IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1233: Bede's Friends and Enemies, I: Hostility, Threats, and Friendship in the Contemporary Northumbrian World

Wednesday 11 July 2012, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Medieval Research Centre, University of Leicester
Organiser:Peter Darby, School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester
Moderator/Chair:Peter Darby, School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester
Paper 1233-a‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste': Anxiety and External Threats in Bede's Historia Abbatum
(Language: English)
Christopher Grocock, Bedales School, Petersfield
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Monasticism
Paper 1233-bBede and the Language of Friendship
(Language: English)
Alan Thacker, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - Latin, Monasticism
Paper 1233-cBede and His Enemies: The Letter to Ecgberht
(Language: English)
Conor O'Brien, Queen's College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Monasticism

These papers will examine some of the relationships (both positive and negative) that connected Bede to other important figures in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria. Paper A (Grocock) brings forward new ideas about Bede’s Historia Abbatum which arise from the speaker’s work as co-editor of the new critical edition of that text. The paper will show that Bede’s account of the history of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow was written in a highly charged political environment, and was intended to counteract external threats to the twin-foundation’s unity. Paper B (Thacker) will discuss Bede’s prologues, prefaces and letters to see what they can tell us about his relationships with contemporary figures, such as Acca (bishop of Hexham) and Hwætberht (abbot of Wearmouth-Jarrow). Paper C (O’Brien) will examine how Bede represented his ‘enemies’ (‘false’ monks and clerics) in his letter to Ecgberht of York; it will show that Bede used biblical sources and motifs to provide a historical setting for his fierce condemnation of the Northumbrian church.

** [note to organisers – please try to avoid clash with the ‘Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain’ session organised by Jo Story, if at all possible] **