Main Contributions of Bede's Ecclesiastical History as a Source for Early English History

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There is not a single work along English History that could have been more determinant and indispensable than Bede's Ecclesiastical History. By describing the story of the English people through their experience of Christianity he became our intermediary with the world of Anglo-Saxon England and their believes. Therefore, in what follows an attempt will be made to describe the main contributions of Bede's Ecclesiastical History as a source for early English history.

As a Christian monk and teacher, Bede could not have carried out this English history without emphasizing the importance of the Christian conversion that took place in England before the VIII century. It covers both the conversion of the kingdoms and the creation of the
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Bede wrote a well-organized story, after having contrasted sources and texts and after having coordinated all the pieces of information that came to his hands. The result was an account of kings' names, kingdoms' foundations and legends that constitute a good study of the culture of the time.

Together with this important history account we can find another relevant contribution of Bede's Ecclesiastical History, it has to do with the chronological system included in his work. Until that moment there were various dating systems that could create a clear confusion when trying to determine the exact date of a specific event. So what Bede realised was that all these systems had to be synchronized and he did it in the already existing system of the Anno Domini. In spite of the fact that he made some reasonable mistakes in setting dates, this achievement became a very reliable method of dating.

But all these contributions could not have taken place without all the sources that Bede used in order to retail this history of the English People. These sources include witnesses who remembered or knew facts, manuscripts borrowed directly from Rome, several church records including Saints' lives and Papal letters, in short, a wide range of evidences that could give a trustworthy basis to all his accounts. Still, despite all these true evidences used by Bede, some of the stories that he related were not entirely true and at the same time, they…