Bede was born in 672 or 673 and died on May 27, 735. He was a Northumbrian monk associated with the monasteries at Wearmouth and Jarrow.
Bede was given access to information from all over Britain, and even from the papal archives. His talent was one of gathering together fragments of myth, tales, and oral traditions, and weaving together a coherent history. So popular was Bede's Ecclesiastical History that Alfred the Great had it translated in Anglo-Saxon.
Bede did more than write one book; indeed his scope was prodigious. His writings encompassed a speculative history of the world from the Creation to his own times, commentaries on the Bible and Biblical characters, speculations on the nature of science, lives of saints, even a book of hymns. He was one of the first British writers to take up the style of chant we call Gregorian today.
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