The Venerable Bede

De Venerabilis Baedae

Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum


Gloriosissimo Regi Ceoluulfo Baeda Famulus Christi, et Presbyter

Historiam Gentis Anglorum Ecclesiasticam quam nuper edideram, libentissime tibi desideranti, rex, et prius ad legendum ac probandum transmisi, et nunc ad transscribendum ac plenius ex tempore meditandum retransmitto: satisque studium tuae sinceritatis amplector, quo non solum audiendis Scripturae sanctae verbis aurem sedulus accommodas, verum etiam noscendis priorum gestis sive dictis et maxime nostrae gentis virorum illustrium, curam vigilanter impendis. Sive enim historia de bonis bona referat, ad imitandum bonum auditor sollicitus instigatur; seu mala commemoret de pravis, nihilominus religiosus ac pius auditor sive lector devitando quod noxium est ac perversum, ipse sollertius ad exsequenda ea quae bona ac Deo digna esse cognoverit,



Of the Venerable Bede’s

Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation


To the Most Glorious King Ceolwulf,1 Bede the Servant of Christ and Priest

The history of things done in the Church of the English2 nation, which of late I had set forth, I did both first on your desire very gladly send your Grace to have a sight and proof thereof, and now do send it to you again, to the intent you may copy it out and more fully at your leisure consider it: and I cannot but highly commend this your unfeigned zeal, not only to give diligent ear to the words of Holy Scripture, but also exercise a watchful care to know of things done or spoken by worthy men before your time, and specially of our own country. For whether an history shall contain good things concerning good men, the careful hearer is thereby stirred up and provoked to follow after well-doing; or whether it shall report evil things concerning froward men, the devout and well-disposed hearer or reader none the less, by flying that is evil and noisome to his soul, is himself moved thereby more earnestly to follow after the things he knoweth

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.bede-ecclesiastical_history_english_nation.1930