Scully, Diarmuid


Scully, Diarmuid, “Bede, Orosius and Gildas on the early history of Britain”, in: Lebecq, Stéphane, Michel Perrin, and Olivier Szerwiniack (eds), Bède le Vénérable: entre tradition et posterité, Centre de Recherche sur l'Histoire de l'Europe du Nord-Ouest 34, Villeneuve d'Ascq, 2005. 30–42.

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Citation details
“Bede, Orosius and Gildas on the early history of Britain”
Stéphane Lebecq (ed.) • Michel Perrin (ed.) • Olivier Szerwiniack (ed.), Bède le Vénérable: entre tradition et posterité (2005)
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Abstract (cited)
This paper explores Bede’s account of Britain’s spiritual and political history under the Roman empire from the time of the island’s conquest to the Britons’ conversion. Bede’s approach to this subject in the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (HE) provides an insight into his objectives and techniques as a providential historian. The paper will consider his selection, interpretation and omission of information and ideas from earlier sources, and in particular the writings of Orosius and Gildas. Orosius’ Historiarum adversum paganos libri vii (Hist.), written in the early fifth century, is one of Bede’s most important sources for Romano-British history. Bede, however, was not the first Insular authority to make use of Orosius. In the mid-sixth century, the British prophet-historian Gildas made extensive use of the Historiae in his De excidio Britanniae (DEB). Since Gildas’ work is another vital source for Bede’s account of early British history, we will also consider Bede’s response to his reading of Orosius.
(source: Introduction)
Dennis Groenewegen