Bede on Studying History

» Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Blog, Literature | Comments Off on Bede on Studying History

Bede on Studying History

Northern Britain, 732 A.D.– Bede writes to his king on the study of history:

I gladly acknowledge the unfeigned enthusiasm with which, not content merely to lend an attentive ear to hear the words of Holy Scripture, you devote yourself to learn the sayings and doings of the men of old, and more especially the famous men of our own race. Should history tell of good men and their good estate, the thoughtful listener is spurred on to imitate the good; should it record the evil ends of wicked men, no less effectually the devout and earnest listener or reader is kindled to eschew what is harmful and perverse, and himself with greater care pursue those things which he has learned to be good and pleasing in the sight of God.

(from the preface to The Ecclesiastical History of the English People)