Cotton Tiberius A XIV, f.26v

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This manuscript is a very early copy of Bede’s ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’. Bede was born in Northumbria in the late seventh century, and entered the twin monastery of Wearmouth/Jarrow near Newcastle at the age of seven. In the Middle Ages he was famous for the works he wrote on the interpretation of scripture, on the natural world and time, and on how to calculate the date of Easter. Bede finished his Ecclesiastical History in 731 and died in 735. This copy of that text was probably produced within a few decades of Bede’s death at Wearmouth/Jarrow. Here decorated initials are used to mark the beginning of new paragraphs, serving a functional as well as decorative purpose.  
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