Although overloaded with the miraculous, it is the work of a scholar anxious to assess the accuracy of his sources and to record only what he regarded as trustworthy evidence.It remains an indispensable source for some of the facts and much of the feel of early Anglo-Saxon history.It is possible that the inventor of the concept of the English was actually Pope Gregory the Great, when around 580 noticing fair haired slaves for sale in an Italian marketplace he was told that they were Angles: ‘Not Angles, but angels’ was said to be his reply.Whether this story is true or not, what is known is that in 596 AD Pope Gregory dispatched a Roman mission of 40 monks headed by Augustine, the prior to the Benedictine monastery of St.Andrew in Rome, to convert these pagan ‘angels with dirty faces’ to Roman Christianity.
It is thought that Bede was born in Monkton, Durham, however there is no record of his very early life or family background.
Historians continued to use the regnal dates of Roman emperors to measure time and still counted up the years since the founding of the city of Rome.
Two hundred years later, a Northumbrian monk known as the Venerable Bede also became preoccupied with the question of when to celebrate Easter. The adherents of the Celtic church (those who had been evangelized by Columba and the monks from Ireland) often observed the holy day at a different time than the adherents of the Roman church (those who had been evangelized by the Roman missionary Augustine of Kent).
Although his interpretations were mainly allegorical, treating much of the biblical text as symbolic of deeper meanings, he used some critical judgment and attempted to rationalize discrepancies.
Among his most notable are his verse (705–716) and prose (before 721) lives of St. These works are uncritical and abound with accounts of miracles; a more exclusively historical work is leaves gaps tantalizing to secular historians.