Bede: 'On the Nature of Things' and 'On Times'

Bede: 'On the Nature of Things' and 'On Times'

by Calvin B. Kendall
     
 

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The Venerable Bede composed On the Nature of Things and On Times at the outset of his career in AD 703, shaping a mass of difficult and sometimes dangerous material on the mathematical and physical basis of time into a lucid and well-organized account that laid the framework for much of Carolingian and Scholastic scientific thought.

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Overview

The Venerable Bede composed On the Nature of Things and On Times at the outset of his career in AD 703, shaping a mass of difficult and sometimes dangerous material on the mathematical and physical basis of time into a lucid and well-organized account that laid the framework for much of Carolingian and Scholastic scientific thought.

Available here for the first time in English-language translation for the first time, these two short works represent an attempt to show Christianity connecting coherently with natural history and vice versa. Building on insights found in Isidore of Seville’s earlier work of the same name, On the Nature of Things addresses creation and recapitulates the idea of the four elements. In On Times, Bede breaks from Seville’s structure, separating out and considering the chapters on time. This work also introduces Bede’s computus—the practical yet intensely polemical science for determining the dates of Easter. Bede’s views are bound up with the integrity of nature as God’s creation and the theological significance of Christ’s death and resurrection, and these extensively annotated translations mark an essential contribution to the ecclesiastical history that is crucial to an understanding of early medieval science.

 

 

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Editorial Reviews

University of Cambridge

“Accurate, elegant, utterly clear and easily accessible, even for readers who lack expertise in the relevant disciplines. The commentaries and appendices shed floods of light on Bede’s mental processes and expertise, and will represent a very significant landmark in Bedan studies.”—Michael Lapidge, University of Cambridge

— Michael Lapidge

University of Cambridge - Michael Lapidge
“Accurate, elegant, utterly clear and easily accessible, even for readers who lack expertise in the relevant disciplines. The commentaries and appendices shed floods of light on Bede’s mental processes and expertise, and will represent a very significant landmark in Bedan studies.”

Isis - Scott DeGregorio
“Like the other Bede translations in the Liverpool University Press’s Translated Texts for Historians series, this one is invaluable for its illuminating introduction, which gracefully and articulately places the primary texts within their essential contexts….The translation itself is extremely well produced: it stays close to the Latin yet employs the best in modern idioms….Scholars of Bede and the early Middle Ages will read these works with great interest for the light they throw on the organization of Bede’s thought and the larger trajectory of his biblical vision; historians of science, meanwhile, will enjoy having in so inviting a volume translations of two early medieval works that had a strong hold on understandings of chronology and cosmology up till modern times.”  

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781846314957
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
Publication date:
02/15/2011
Series:
Liverpool University Press - Translated Texts for Historians Series
Pages:
222
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

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