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Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

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3.9 out of 5 stars
10 total reviews
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Most helpful positive review
This book was interesting in that you got to see the formation of Christianity in England through the eyes of Bede, a monk in the 700's AD. Interesting history. It shows how Augustine became the first archbishop of Canterbury, and how Pope Gregory saw some English slaves in the market and wanted to evangelize the country. Bede quotes actual letters from the popes and other important archbishops. Then Bede tells the stories of English Kings and bishops and monks of the various regions of the Picts, West Saxons, East Angles, Mercians, and Northumbrians. But, it was also sad to see that they focused on godly people and miracles from their hair, dirt from where they died, and holy water from washing their bones, and then they focused on penance. After one man turned from his old sinful ways, he felt he needed to stand in freezing water for hours on end to atone for his sin and chastise his body. I was impressed with how willing these Christians were willing to give up everything for the furtherance of the gospel.

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Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation 1723

Specifications

Publisher
Kessinger Publishing
Book Format
Paperback
Number of Pages
528
Author
Bede
ISBN-13
9780766169449
Publication Date
July, 2003
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
11.00 x 8.25 x 1.06 Inches
ISBN-10
0766169448

Customer Reviews

5 stars
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1-5 of 10 reviews

Bedes History (c. AD ...

Bede's History (c. AD 730) provides a fascinating look at how Christianity moved across England during the first millennium. The wars and heresies, miracles and conversions all make for an interesting read which earned its author the title "Father of English History" and a place as one of my heroes.

Amazing he had access ...

Amazing he had access to such a wealth of information

Written in the midst o...

Written in the midst of the 'Dark ages' by a monk of Jarrow monastery, in the modern country of Northumberland, England, this book is more than a historical text, it is the story of a people, and their embryonic nation.From the invasion of Julius Ceasar to his own time Bede tells the story of Britain in his own words.Focusing upon the coming of the Saxons, and their conversion to the Catholic religion under Augustine, Bede's voice permeates this text. Sometimes praising the warrior Kings of Legend and history, passionately recording the conversion of his countrymen, or pouring scorn upon the 'Britons', it is an authentically human account.Though his methodology and the didactic purpose of his writing would be frowned upon by modern Historians, Bede's belief in the importance of verifying accounts, and gleaning as much information as he could from eyewitnesses (or people who had known eyewitnesses) shows that Bede was no amateur and his epithet `the father of English history' is perhaps well deserved.The nature of Bede's contacts and some of his sources of information shed a fascinating light on the cosmopolitan nature of Medieval monasteries - how else could a monk of in a remote corner of Northern England have known about an the Islamic invasions of North Africa and Spain happening thousands of miles away?The one time mayor of London Ken Livingstone once rejected this work out of hand because Bede 'did not mention King Arthur' and others in recent years have condemned the history because of Bede's bias against the Britons and other. Whilst the latter is at least historically justifiable; the former is utterly ludicrous as a criticism of The Ecclesiastical History.Yet for all its shortcomings, be they Bede's obvious bias, polemics and rants, and his unlikely miracle stories, and occasional errors of fact, the Ecclesiastical History still stands as the penultimate contemporary source for the Early Anglo Saxon period and essential reading for students or curious lay-people alike.Love him or hate him, Bede is inescapable and without the Ecclesiastical History out knowledge of 6th-8th century England would be severely lacking. Indeed, its very existence bears testament to a complex, literate and multi-faceted society, far removed from traditional image of the Anglo Saxons as ignorant, backwards grunting barbarian savages.

This book was interest...

This book was interesting in that you got to see the formation of Christianity in England through the eyes of Bede, a monk in the 700's AD. Interesting history. It shows how Augustine became the first archbishop of Canterbury, and how Pope Gregory saw some English slaves in the market and wanted to evangelize the country. Bede quotes actual letters from the popes and other important archbishops. Then Bede tells the stories of English Kings and bishops and monks of the various regions of the Picts, West Saxons, East Angles, Mercians, and Northumbrians. But, it was also sad to see that they focused on godly people and miracles from their hair, dirt from where they died, and holy water from washing their bones, and then they focused on penance. After one man turned from his old sinful ways, he felt he needed to stand in freezing water for hours on end to atone for his sin and chastise his body. I was impressed with how willing these Christians were willing to give up everything for the furtherance of the gospel.

An interesting eyewitn...

An interesting eyewitness view of England in the process of formation. Far from being the dreary "Venomous Bede" which many people seem to remember from school, this is an engaging and sometimes quite light-hearted account of life in the early Church. And there are Vikings! Some might find the piety excessive, but that was how it was in those times and it doesnt detract from either the readability or the importance of this lovely little book.

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