Name/TitleBede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People), The British Library, Cotton Tiberius C II
About this objectThis history of early Christianity in Britain was written by Bede (672/3–735), a monk at the monastery of St Peter and its companion monastery, St Paul, in Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, Northumberland. What is known of his life comes mainly from the final chapter in this work, completed in about 731.
The book, in five chapters, gives a history of Christianity in Britain, starting with the Romans and continuing to the tensions between Celtic and Roman Christianity in the 7th century. This culminated in the Synod of Whitby in 664 in which the King of Northumbria ruled that Christianity in his kingdom would follow Roman practices and dates rather than those of the Celtic tradition—as followed by St Cedd and St Cuthbert. The final chapters look at attempts at conversion in other parts of Britain after this.
Bede had been educated at the monastery from the age of 7 and wrote in Latin. He also had access to a considerable library at the monastery which included many books brought from continental Europe. This manuscript was probably copied in the south of England in the second half of the 8th century and contains glosses in Old English that were added during the 9th century.
Date MadeLate 8th to 9th century
Subject and Association KeywordsArrivals
Subject and Association KeywordsBooks
Subject and Association DescriptionLearn More: Breay and Story 2018; Brown 2001; Brown 2010.
Medium and MaterialsInk and pigments on parchment
Measurements27.5 x 21.5 cm, ff. 156.
Credit LineThe British Library
Object numberEXH14: Cotton Tiberius C II