Cast of Bede’s skull rediscovered

Cast of Bede's Skull - Photo: J. Story, with  permission  of  the  director  of  the  Duckworth  Laboratory  at  the University  of  Cambridge,  Leverhulme  Centre  for  Human  Evolutionary Studies

‘The Skull of Bede’ exhibition opened yesterday at Bede’s World, Jarrow

How an Early Medieval Historian Worked: Methodology and Sources in Bede’s Narrative of the Gregorian Mission to Kent

Venerable Bede

This dissertation examines the methods and sources employed by Bede in the construction of his account of the Gregorian mission, thereby providing an insight into how an early medieval historian worked.

The Old English Translation of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum in its Historical and Cultural Context

Bede - from BL Arundel 74   f. 2v

Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (HE), written c. 731, enjoyed a great popularity among the Anglo-Saxons and Carolingians and was one of the most popular texts in medieval Europe.

Soldier saints and holy warriors: Warfare and sanctity in Anglo-Saxon England

Saint Guthlac - Roundel from Guthlac Roll, depicting St Guthlac in contemplation - British Library

This study examines hagiographers’ changing literary tropes as subtle but important reflections of medieval Christianity’s evolution from rejecting the sword to tolerating and even wielding it. H

Bede’s Temple as History

The Venerable Bede Translates John by J. D. Penrose (ca 1902)

Another IHR paper, this time, a talk given about Bede’s writing and his interest in the image of the Temple and its relation to Christianity. This paper also examined how Bede’s views shifted over time. How did Bede view Judaism? Was he truly ambivalent?

The Uses Made of History by the Kings of Medieval England


The kings of medieval England, besides using history for the entertainment of themselves and their courts, turned it to practical purposes. They plundered history-books for precedents and other evidences to justify their claims and acts. They also recognised its value as propaganda, to bolster up their positions at home and strengthen their hands abroad.

The derivation of the date of the Badon entry in the Annales Cambriae from Bede and Gildas

Battle of Badon

The battle of Badon [Bellum Badonis], in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and the Britons were victorious.

Burning Idols, Burning Bridges: Bede, Conversion and Beowulf

Athelstan, c.895-939. Illuminated manuscript from Bede's Life of St Cuthbert,

This article will re-examine some of the information in Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, completed in AD 731, on the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity in the late sixth and seventh centuries.

The Role of Bishops in Anglo-Saxon Succession Struggles, 955 x 978

Anglo Saxon Bishops

With these words the anonymous author of the Vita Sancti Oswaldi, now believed to be Byrhtferth of Ramsey, depicts the situation after the death of King Edgar in 975.

Depictions of the Scots in the Arthurian Legend

Howard Pyle illustration from the 1903 edition of The Story of King Arthur and His Knights

Depictions of the Scots in the Arthurian Legend Diana Jefferies Journal of the Sydney Society for Scottish History: Vol 14 (2013) Abstract This paper will explore how motifs of Scotland and Scottishness are portrayed in medieval versions of the Arthurian Legend. I will discuss how the context of what is alleged to be the first […]

An Ideal Marriage: Abraham and Sarah in Old English Literature


Offers a look at how Bible characters Abraham and Sarah are treated in the old English literature. How their marital relationship is portrayed; Neglect in the character of Sarah; Development in the character of Abraham; How the old English literary writers treated Abraham.

Did King Alfred write anything?

Alfred the Great from a 13th Century manuscript

The author investigates the question of whether King Alfred translated Latin texts into English. According to the author, modern scholarship seems to conclude that Alfred did compose the extant translations of a number of texts, although there are questions about Alfred’s linguistic and intellectual skills.

St. Ninian of Whithorn

Saint Ninian

My interest here is in finding usable information regarding the centuries before Bede and in the way in which new data, especially the outstanding recent archaeological discoveries at Whithom in Wigtownshire (which is certainly the site of Candida Casal. might support and add to his picture of St. Ninian and the importance of his church at Candida Casa.

The Weight of Necklaces: Some insights into the wearing of women’s jewellery from Middle Saxon written sources

anglo saxon necklace

Extracts from Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, and other contemporary Anglo-Saxon and Frankish sources concerning queens and princesses who went into the church, show that these authors were aware that in the seventh century necklaces could be an important part of the identity of high status women.

The Venerable Bede

Yates Thompson 26

Venerable: commanding respect because of great age or impressive dignity; worthy of veneration or reverence because of noble character; a title for someone proclaimed by the Roman Catholic church to have attained the first degree of sanctity. The Anglo-Saxon monk Bede easily met this definition.

Bede on the Life of St. Felix

Life of St. Felix

If the eighth-century Anglo-Saxon writer Bede had the chance to rework a Saint’s life, what changes would he make and how would he make it more relevant for his audience?

From Rome to the antipodes: the medieval form of the world

The Terrestrial Sphere of Crates of Mallus (ca. 150 B.C.).

Here we discuss how some medieval scholars in the Western Europe viewed the form of the world and the problem of the Antipodes

The Pagans and the Other: Varying Presentations in the Early Middle Ages

Death of Saint Bruno of Querfurt.

The Pagans and the Other: Varying Presentations in the Early Middle Ages Ian Wood Networks and Neighbours, Volume One, Number One (2013) Abstract This paper discusses the position of the pagan ‘Other’ in medieval thought, arguing that although Paganism was alien to the Christian, churchmen wanted above all to bring the pagans into the Christian […]

Bede’s Perspective and Purpose in the Ecclesiastical History of the English People

Depiction of the Venerable Bede (CLVIIIv) from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493.

I argue that Bede’s involvement in ecclesiastical affairs throughout his life both illuminates and clouds his perspective on the history of the English church.

Narratives of the saintly body in Anglo-Saxon England

Tower of Babel - Ælfric of Eynsham

This dissertation investigates narratives of the saintly body in Anglo-Saxon England. Specifically, it examines the ways in which the bodies of holy men and women were constructed through such narratives and read in local appropriations of emblematic vitae and passiones.

The British Kingdom of Lindsey

Kingdom of Lindsey

The first piece of evidence which offers support for the above contention comes from the kingdom-name ‘Lindsey’ itself. Two forms of this name exist in Anglo-Saxon sources, reflecting two different Old English suffixes:6 Lindissi (later Lindesse, as used by Bede and the earliest manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle)7 and Lindesig…

The Frankish Annals of Lindisfarne and Kent

The Royal Frankish Annals

Scholars interested in the processes by which the history of Early Anglo Saxon England came to be recorded have long known of the existence of the annals that are referred to here as ‘The Frankish Annals of Linidisfarne and Kent’.

Columban Christian influence in Northumbria, before and after Whitby

A manuscript of Bede's, Historia Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.

The Synod of Whitby of 664 has traditionally been regarded as the great ‘set-piece’ debate between the so-called ‘Celtic’ and Roman churches in Britain, and as the turning-point for Irish – and more specifically Columban – ecclesiastical domination in Northumbria (and beyond).

Monasteries and the Geography Of Power in the Age of Bede

Northumbria in 802

Northumbria is usually thought to have been divided into two geographical regions, Deira and Bernicia.

Woden and his Roles in Anglo-Saxon Royal Genealogy

Woden listed as an ancestor of Ælfwald of East Anglia in the Textus Roffensis (12th century).

The essay will attempt to determine the origin of the cult of Woden and also to explore the functions, history and patterns of Woden’s inclusion in royal genealogies.

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