The Venerable Bede: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Venerable Bede.

  • The Venerable Bede, or Saint Bede, was an English monk who lived in a monastery in Northumberland. He is best known for writing the Ecclesiastical History of the English.

  • He was born in 673 and taken to a monastery at 7 years old. Bede learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew and became one of the most learned men in England, although he never left the country.
  • Bede wrote at least three Latin hymns. He also wrote several biographies, books on natural history, poetry and books designed to teach Latin grammar to monks.

The Venerable Bede

  • Bede’s most well known work, the Ecclesiastical History of the English was finished in 732. It is an account of British history from 54 BC to 597 AD
  • He was a strong supporter of using the term ‘anno domini’, or AD, to denote dates after the birth of Christ. It is largely because of the Venerable Bede that we still often use the method today.
  • The Venerable Bede was a scientist too. He worked out that the moon affected the tides, and he believed that the world was round, a major achievement for the time.
  • Bede calculated the date of Easter and stated that the creation of the earth occurred in 3952 BC. However, he was accused of blasphemy, as at the time, the accepted date was 4000 BC.
  • The Venerable Bede died in 735. He was buried in Jarrow, although his remains were later moved to Durham Cathedral, where his tomb can be seen today.
  • The Church declared Bede to be ‘venerable’ in 836. He was made a saint in 1899, as well as a Doctor of the Church, the only English man to hold that title.
  • Bede’s World is a museum in Jarrow, northern England which details his life and work. It contains a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon farm and coins, pottery and stained glass from the time.

What next? Discover more Anglo-Saxon facts by visiting the Primary Facts resources page.

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