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Main Contributions Of Bede's Ecclesiastical History As A Source For Early English History

631 words - 3 pages

There is not a single work along English History that could have been more determinant and indispensable than Bede's Ecclesiastical History. By describing the story of the English people through their experience of Christianity he became our intermediary with the world of Anglo-Saxon England and their believes. Therefore, in what follows an attempt will be made to describe the main contributions of Bede's Ecclesiastical History as a source for early English history.

As a Christian monk and teacher, Bede could not have carried out this English history without emphasizing the importance of the Christian conversion that took place in England before the VIII century. It covers both the conversion of the kingdoms and the creation of the church, which, in his opinion, were clear manifestations of God's power. He also insisted in the same way on the importance of the actions of missionaries and saints that came to the island and on how the new church developed. Despite wanting to transmit Christ's message, it also supposed a critic towards the ecclesiastical corruption present in his days.

However, not only does this historical account have value for its ecclesiastical data but also from a secular point of view. Bede wrote a well-organized story, after having contrasted sources and texts and after having coordinated all the pieces of information that came to his hands. The result was an account of kings' names, kingdoms' foundations and legends that constitute a good study of the culture of the time.

Together with this important history account we can find another relevant contribution of Bede's Ecclesiastical History, it has to do with the chronological system included in his work. Until that moment there were various dating systems that could create a clear confusion when trying to determine the exact date of a specific event. So what Bede realised was that all these systems had to be synchronized and he did it in the already existing system of...

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