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Historical Writing in England: 550 - 1307 and 1307 to the by Antonia Gransden

By Antonia Gransden

Utilizing numerous assets together with chronicles, annals, secular and sacred biographies and monographs on neighborhood histories Historical Writing in England by means of Antonia Gransden bargains a entire serious survey of historic writing in England from the mid-sixth century to the early 16th century. according to the learn of the resources themselves, those volumes additionally provide a serious review of secondary assets and historiographical improvement.

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65 Nevertheless Bede derived most of his miracle stories at first hand, from, as he considered, reliable witnesses. But the Ecclesiastical History is not full of incredible happenings and irrational statements. On occasion it is clear that Bede appealed to the supernatural for explanations because of ignorance. In his day scientific knowledge was almost non-existent,66 and occurrences which struck Bede as miraculous may seem to the modern reader, on Bede's own evidence, to be normal events or coincidences.

Research has revealed that much truth is preserved in Nennius's heap of material, partly because he did not synthesize his evidence, but narrated with uncritical diligence what he read, heard and saw. Even some of his errors when traced to their sources contain interesting information. Moreover the Historia Brittonum is more than a repository of facts. It throws light on how at least one man, Nennius, thought in one of the darkest periods of history. There is little doubt that Nennius used earlier sources, most of which are now lost, and many of which contained valuable historical information.

With an English translation, B. Colgrave and R. A . B. Mynors (Oxford Medieval Texts, 1969), pp. 580-7. Bede's letter to Egbert is printed in Plummer, vol. 1, pp. 405-23. HE, v. ' For lists of Bede's works see Plummer, vol. 1, pp. , passim. For Bede's place in the patristic tradition see Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (Oxford 1952), pp. 35—6. For Bede's biblical criticism see M. L. W . Laistner, 'Bede as a classical and patristic scholar' in TRHS, 4th series, xvi (1933), pp.

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