Bede on the Plague

In John Maddicott's article "Plague in Seventh Century England" reprinted with slight modification in Plague and the End of Antiquity (2007), he discusses how Bede alone of the writers of the Justinian plague did not see the plague as a curse or punishment from God. Northumbria's Golden Age Maddicott points to Bede's recognition that the... Continue Reading →

PW: King Ecgfrith of Northumbria

On May 20th, 685 King Ecgfrith of Northumbria fell deep in Pictland at Dunnichen to King Bridei, who was somehow his cousin. As far as we know, Ecgfrith's death at Dunnichen marked the deepest incursion into Pictland that we know of in the Anglo-Saxon period. Given that Ecgfrith invaded to prevent loosing hegemony, it is... Continue Reading →

PW: Cynefrith, Abbot of Gilling

Everything we know of Cynefrith is found in the Anonymous Life of Coelfrith, his brother. Here we learn (indirectly) that both Cynefrith and Coelfrith were kinsmen of King Oswine of Deira. It is clear that, following Irish fashion, Gilling was passed through blood relatives from its first abbot Trumhere, whom Bede describes as a close... Continue Reading →

Bede and the Codex Amiatinus

I was reading over Ward's Bede and the Psalter at lunch today and came across one of those scholarly exaggerations that really gets under my skin. It follows the general principle that anything of any worth that came out of Wearmouth-Jarrow must be associated somehow with Bede. She goes beyond implication that Bede worked on... Continue Reading →

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