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History. by the recommendation of his Abbot, and his inclina- offend the Court of France, upon whose protection he
Of the tions led him to exercise his ministry in the conversion was obliged to rely. If he preserved an intercourse Christian of Pagan nations. He went to Friesland, accompanied with them, he was fearful of incurring guilt. He laid
by two Monks, and immediately proceeded to Utrecht, his doubts before his ancient friend the Bishop of Win
where Willebrod had already displayed his Christian zeal. chester, who advised him to endure with patience those 716.
But a war breaking out between Radbod, King of Fries- evils which he could not amend, not to make a schism
723. he went to Rome and presented himself to the Pope, Bishoprics of Wurtzburg, Burabourg, Erfurth, and expressing a desire of being employed in the conversion Aichstadt. The See of Wurtzburg was filled by Burof Infidels. Gregory II. approved his undertaking, chard, an Englishman, who laboured for ten years with and gave him a commission of the most ample and un- unceasing assiduity, and having exhausted his strength, limited nature.
resigned his Bishopric. Receives a
With that commission, Winfrid passed into Bavaria When Boniface was far advanced in life, he once more He visits commission
and Thuringia; in the first Country, he reformed visited Rome, and after some stay there, induced several Rome.
Radbod, King of the Frisons, a patron of Idolatry, At last he fixed at Mentz, but his activity was Settles at
cially for the Works of Bede, whom he styled “ The
Friesland. to support himself by the labour of his own hands, and by the Rhine; and there, with the assistance of Eoban, was exposed to imminent peril from the rage of barba- the second Bishop of Utrecht, he brought numerous rous Infidels.
Pagans to the profession of Christianity. He had ap-
with great kindness by Gregory II., consecrated Bishop baptized; and in expectation of their attendance, he
dered by took an oath of subjection to the Papal authority. beheld not the new converts whom he expected, but
the Pagans. Boniface, encouraged by the addition of fresh mission- troop of fierce Pagans armed with shields and lances. and lastly aries from England, returned with alacrity to the scene His servants prepared for resistance, but Boniface reto Friesland. of his pastoral care. Passing through Hesse, he con- pressed their ardour, and prepared his companions, as him
firmed by imposition of hands several converts who had self was prepared, for martyrdom. The Pagans attacked already been baptized, and exerted himself vigorously them with fury, and slew the whole company, fifty-two in suppressing idolatry. Charles Martel, whose domi- in number, besides Boniface himself. The Christian nions extended over Germany, distinguished the zealous Germans resented his death by an attack upon the murBishop by the protection of regal authority. .
derers, and the memory of Boniface is still reverently Boniface, however, retained a strong attachment for preserved by the honourable appellation of the Apostle spondence, his native Country, and his early friends. His intimacy of the Germans. with Daniel, Bishop of
with Daniel, Bishop of Winchester, was never inter- Boniface was not the only missionary who attempted Winches
. rupted, and the epistolary correspondence of those two to deliver the nations of Germany from the bondage of ter, Prelates is highly interesting. From England, Boni- Pagan superstition ; many others signalized their zeal
face was constantly supplied with fellow-labourers, in in the same pious undertaking. Corbinian, a French
Eistory. catalogue, but as they are of no great reputation, they the Saxon Chiefs, attempted to extirpate the profession Ecclemay be passed over in silence.
of Christianity by the same violent methods through siastical Charle
But Idolatry experienced the attacks of a more for- which it had been planted; but the courage and wisdom Writers of
midable adversary than any Christian Priest, in the of Charlemagne ultimately engaged those two warriors to and Vilith gainst the person of Charlemagne. At the conclusion of this Cen- make a public and solemn confession of their Christian Centuries. Pagans. tury, that Emperor turned his arms against the German Faith, and to promise an adherence to it during the re
Saxons, not only for the purpose of chastising their mainder of their days. Bishops were appointed, and
ECCLESIASTICAL WRITERS OF THE VIIth AND VIIIth CENTURIES.
the Iconoduli destroyed or suppressed all writings which
was a native of Damascus, and having first applied ISIDORE OF SEVILLE.
himself to the study of Philosophy, became a Monk, ALDHELM, DIED 709.
and was finally raised to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
He was chiefly remarkable for the controversies which
he carried on against the Monothelites. When Jeru-
salem was taken by the Khalif Omar, A. D. 637, Sophro
nius, by the terms of capitulation, was allowed the free VIIIth CENTURY.
exercise of his Religion, but he died shortly after that
Dupin, tom. I. p. 261. Cave, Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 579.
was a Monk of Palestine, and belonged to the celebrated
disposition, and composed a Pandect of the Holy Scrip-
tures, or a Summary of Christian doctrine, contained in ALCUIN, DIED A. D. 804.
one hundred and thirty Homilies. This is his only
Work extant, except a Life of St. Euphrosyne, a mem-
ber of the Monastery of St. Saba.
Cave, Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 576.
ISYCHIUS, OR HESYCHIUS
was Bishop of Jerusalem. He wrote a Commentary on
are still extant, besides an Ecclesiastical History which lite Heresy; and thirdly, the increasing corruptions of
Cave, Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 572.
tury. He was born at Constantinople, and held a con-
History. fidential situation in the Court of the Emperor Herac
ISIDORE OF SEVILLE.
Eccle lius. When that Prince was seduced by the Monothe
siastical lite Heresy, Maximus indignantly left the Court, and The Latin writers of the VIIth and VIIIth Centuries Writers of retired into a Monastery near Constantinople. His were of a higher order than the Greeks. Isidore go- and VIlith
the VIlta literary labours were almost entirely devoted to the verned the Church of Seville for forty years. He was Centuries. Monothelite controversy, with the exception of some born in the VIth Century, but flourished at the beginIllustrations of the Holy Scriptures. His style, on ac- ning of the VIIth. He was a voluminous writer, but count of its involutions, is obscure, and moreover tumid. perhaps the most useful part of his Works is his CollecCave, Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 586.
tion of Sentences out of Gregory. The Mosarabic
Liturgy, which became the text Book of Spanish wor-
slip, was principally from his hand.
was Bishop of Constantinople, and has obtained a no
ceived his early education in France and Italy. Re-
turning to his native Country, he embraced the Monastic
life, and became Abbot of Malmsbury. Having passed COSMAS
more than thirty years in this seclusion, he was promoted
to the Bishopric of Sherborn. In the Paschal controacquired the appellation of Hagiopolites, on account of versy which so long divided the British and Saxon his proficiency in Polite Literature. Having been cap- Churches, he sustained a distinguished part. According tured by the Saracens, he was carried to Damascus, and to Camden, he was the first Englishman who wrote in had the honour to be Preceptor of that consummate Latin, and according to the testimony of Bede, * his master of the Peripatetic Philosophy, whom we are next erudition was various. His book on the Paschal conabout to notice.
troversy is lost, but several Poems remain, Concerning
the Christian Life, which exhibit no striking marks of JOHANNES DAMASCENUS.
Cave, Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 595. Collier, Eccl. Hist
vol. i. p. 121. This eminent writer, who was called Damascenus
THEODORE from the place of his birth, and Chrysorrhoas from his extraordinary eloquence, was also known by the appella- was the seventh Archbishop of Canterbury. The Biogration of Mansus, that being his patronymic. * His father phy of this Prelate may be seen under the History of the held a station in the Saracenic Court, to which himself Anglo-Saxon Church. Besides his famous Penitentiale, succeeded. Having with some difficulty obtained from there are extant of his writings, 1. Capitula Ecclesiastica, the Khalif an embassy to Jerusalem, his Preceptor Cos- 120. 2. Epistola Theodori ad Æthelredum Merciorum mas was the companion of his journey. At Jerusalem Regem de amicitiâ inter se et Wilfridum Episcopum he was advanced to the Order of Priesthood, and soon Eboracensem quam injustè deponi curaverat Theodorus after he retired to the Monastery of St. Saba, where he redintegratâ. ' Apud Guil. Málmsbur. de Gest. Pontif. passed the remainder of his days.
lib. iii. fol. 151. et Concil. tom. vi. p. 1383. His Works. His writings are numerous, and illustrate the leading Cave, Hist. Lit. tom. i. p.
Bayle, Dict. tom. ii. p. 950. Spanheim, Hist. Christ. Archbishopric. Such of his writings as are still extant, sæc. viii. and Hist. Imag. Restil. sec. 2. num. 13. Cave, were chiefly in confutation of the Jews, and several of Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 624.
his tracts both in prose and verse are lost.
Cave, Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 596.
FLOR. 690, Chronicon of Syncellus was in a great measure borrowed without acknowledgment from the Work of was an African Bishop, but of what city does not apEusebius. That of Theophanes in its style is rude, and pear. He was the author of two books on Ecclesiasin its matter replete with contradictions.
tical Law, the one being an Abridgement and the other Cave, Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 641.
a Concordance of the Canons. He also wrote a Poem on the wars and victories of Patricius over the Saracens,
which is lost. * Toő Mavooúg, Mansuris filius. Thus he is namod in the Acts of the Nicene Council, in which he bore a distinguished part, and by
Caro, Hoot. Lit. tom. 1. p. 600. Suidas. Spanheim, Hist. Christ. sæc. viii.
† Baronius, a favourable witness, confesses of him, In multis ejus * Vir undecunque doctissimus ; nam est sermone nitidus, et scrip scriptis fidem vacillare, et compluribus ipsum scatere menduciis. Cave, turarum tum liberalium quam ecclesiasticarum erat eruditione mi Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 624.
randus. Bede, Eccl. Hist. lib. v. c. 19.
Ecclecupied in translating St. John's Gospel into Saxon, his 672-735.
Writers of pupil adds, " When he came to the third festival before
the VIIth the Ascension day, his breathing began to be very and Villth The Venerable Bede, as he is universally and justly strongly affected, and his feet to swell. All that day Centuries. styled, * was born in the neighbourhood of Durham, in he dictated cheerfully, and sometimes said, “ Make haste, a village now called Farrow, near the mouth of the I know not how long I may contain. My Maker may Tyne. Concerning his parents, Biography is silent, but call me away very soon.' He passed that whole night it is probable that they were poor. It is however cer- in watching and devotion, and in the inorning comtain, that he was deprived of them in his infancy, and manded us to write diligently what we had begun. This that he was placed by his kindred in the Monastery of being done, we walked till the third hour with the Wearmouth.' His youthful days were passed in that relics of the Saints, as the custom of the day required. retirement, until he became capable of professing the one of us was with him who said, “There is yet, beloved discipline in which he had been educated : he was then master, one chapter wanting, will it not be unpleasant removed to the neighbouring Monastery of Jerrow. In these two Religious Houses, situated scarcely five miles Not at all; take your pen, prepare it, and write with
to you to be asked any more questions?' He answered, from each other, Bede passed and ended his days.
speed !' He did so. At the ninth hour, he said to me, In the nineteenth year of his age, he was ordained a
I have some valuables in iny little chest ; but run Deacon, and in his thirtieth year was admitted to the quickly and bring the Presbyters of the Monastery to Order of Priesthood. We are not informed who the
me, that I may distribute my small presents. He adinstructors of Bede were, but some notion may be dressed each, and exhorted them to attend to their formed of the ability of the teachers in the Benedictine Masses and Prayers. They wept when he told them Monasteries from the noble Libraries with which they that they would see him no more, but he said that it were furnished. So great was the progress of Rede
was time for him to return to the Being who had formed both in sacred and profane Learning, that his fame had him out of nothing. He conversed in this manner spread to the Continent, and Sergius I., at that time cheerfully till the evening, when the boy said, Dear Roman Pontiff, invited him to the Metropolis of the master, one sentence still is wanting.” Write it quickly,' Western Church, to assist in the settlement of some
exclaimed Bede. When it was finished, he said, “Take Ecclesiastical disputes, then warmly agitated ; an offer
my head in your hands, for I shall delight to sit opposite which he declined.
the holy place where I have been accustomed to pray, The course of his life and studies is thus described by and where I can invoke my Father.' When he was himself. “From the time of my receiving the Order of placed on the pavement, he repeated the Gloria Patri, Priesthood to my fifty-ninth year, I have employed and expired in the effort."* myself in briefly noting from the Works of the venerable
The Theological Works to which Bede alludes in the His Works. Fathers, those things on the Holy Scriptures which are
passage above quoted, consist of Commentaries on the adapted to the necessities of me and mine, and in adding Holy Scriptures, Homilies, Lives of Saints, and Ecclesisomething to the form of their sense and interpretation.'
astical History. And those comprise three-fourths of A Monastic life, above any other, must be barren of all his writings. He has commented on every Book events, and the chief celebrity of Bede arose from his
of the Scriptures froin Genesis to the Revelations, and Lectures. His death is described in the following man
he has introduced on each, as much learning and knowner by his pupil Cuthbert. · He was attacked with a ledge as any individual could at that time accumulate severe infirmity of frequent short breathing, yet without by the most patient research. His Treatise on the pain, about two weeks before Easter Day, and so he
Trinity is a Commentary on the Tract of Boethius on continued joyful, employed in returning daily, or rather
that subject. His Meditations on the last words of our hourly, thanks to God, till the day of Ascension. He
Saviour display great devotional sensibility. His Hogave lessons to us his disciples every day, and during
milies must, in the dearth of knowledge which then the remainder of it was employed in singing Psalms. The nights he passed almost without sleep, yet rejoicing Religious persons are disfigured with absurd legends,
prevailed, have been abundantly useful. His Lives of and giving thanks, unless when a little slumber inter- but as they were the object of general admiration and vened. When he waked, he resumed his accustomed belief in his day, his credulity was no more than the devotions, and with expanded hands ceased not to utter credulity belonging to the Age. thanksgivings. He recited the passage of St. Paul, 'It
Of all his Works, the most valuable is the Ecclesiasis a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living tical History of the Nation of the Angles, which, while God,' admonishing us to awake from the sleep of the
it treats professedly of the establishment of Christianity mind. He sang the Antiphonæ according to our cus
in the different Saxon Kingdoms, contains almost all tom and his own, of which one is ‘ O King of glory,
which we know of the History of their more early Lord of virtues, leave us not orphans, but send the pro- Princes. His industry and abilities in this department mise of the Father, the Spirit of Truth, upon us. Alle.
may be best estimated if we recollect that all notice of luiah.' When he came to the words 'Spirit of Truth,' public transactions ceased with him. The greatest obhe burst into tears, and wept much, and we wept with jection to his History arises from its marvels.
The style of Bede is plain and unaffected, seldom * The legendary story of the origin of the title informs us that eloquent, and often homely, but clear and precise. His one of his scholars willing to compu- ngritoph on his master,
cateni of reading is undisputed; he was one of the Hac sunt in fossů Beda
greatest Ecclesiastics of his times, and while his learning Being unable to discover any proper epithet, in his perplexity he fell asleep, and when he awoke he found the verse filled up as below,
* Smith's Bede, p. 793. Hac sunt in fossá Beda VENERABILIS ossa,
+ Six folio volumes out of eight.
History. qualified him for the highest stations in the Church, rius III. issued a Bull declaring that it “abounded with
Eccle. his humility kept hi.n in one of the lowest. Instead of worms of Heretical depravity.” Excommunication was siastical
Writers of being, as he might have been, a munificent patron of denounced against all who should retain in their posses
the VIIth learned men, he chose the laborious life of a Monk, an sion a copy of so dangerous a Work.*
and Villah author, and a teacher, in one of the most remote parts Erigena enjoyed a great share of Royal favour. King Centuries. of his native Island.
Charles the Bald, one day, when they were feasting Cave, Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 616-619. Life of Bede, opposite to each other, took occasion to give him a gentle prefixed to his Works. Turner, Hist. of the Anglo- rebuke for some irregularity by asking him, Quid disSarons, book ix. ch. vi. Muratori, Antiq. Italic. Med. tat inter Sotum et Scotum ?f The Philosopher reÆvi, tom. iii. p. 325.
plied with ready wit, Mensa tantum. The Emperor
had the good sense and good nature to smile at the reALCUIN, OR ALBINUS
After the death of Charles, Alfred invited Erigena to was a native of York or its neighbourhood, although some England, and rewarded his talents by settling him at writers have fixed his birth in the vicinity of London." Malmesbury. His life ended unfortunately, for it is He is said to have been one of the disciples of Bede. said that he was stabbed by the boys whom he taught. By Egbert, Archbishop of York, he was appointed This story is related also of Erigena, Abbot of Ethelingey, Master of the School in that Archiepiscopal city. His but the probable solution of the difficulty is, that Joreputation attracted crowds of students from Gaul and hannes Erigena had been removed from Malmesbury to Germany to his Lectures, and recommended him to the Ethelingey. A difficulty less capable of explanation is, notice of the Emperor Charlemagne. He accepted the how one and the same Erigena could have been the invitation of that Prince to reside in his Court,t diffused disciple of Bede and the literary companion of Alfred, a taste for Learning throughout all the Provinces of the
or a contemporary of Charles the Bald. These ana-
Cave, Hist. Lit. tom. ii. p. 45. Turner, Hist. of the
Books against the Felicians, he wrote some Sacred
Hist. Lit. tom. i. p. 696. Art. Sanctor. tom. i.
OTHER WRITERS OF THE VIIth AND VIIIth
CENTURIES. was another disciple of Bede, and distinguished for the acuteness of his intellect as well as for the extent of his Fredegarius the Historian claims the first place in Learning. Ile was by birth an Irishman, but was well the list of minor Writers. Boniface, the Apostle of Gerskilled in Grecian Literature, for he translated from that many, of whom we have already spoken, wrote a TreaLanguage a Work of Dionysius, and the Scholia of tise entitled De unitate Fidei, which is lost, but his Maximus on Gregory Nazianzen. Ile dedicated the Epistles are still extant. Eginhard is known for his latter Work to Charlemagne, at whose command he Life of Charlemagne. Charlemagne himself is placed had undertaken it. At the request of his Ecclesiastical in the catalogue of authors. I The laws which are superiors, he wrote against Godeschallus on Predesti- known by the title of Capitularia, a Tract concerning nation, but his principal Work was a Treatise, De Divi- Images, with several Epistles, are attributed to him, sione Nature, a Dialogue which is distinguished for its though it is highly probable that they were the producAristotelian acuteness and extensive information.
tion of some of those illustrious characters whom he so subsequent Age it was condemned, and Pope Hono- munificently patronised.
* He hirnself says that he was born and educated at York. Malmsb. De Gest. Reg. p. 24.
† He acquired great riches by the favour of Charlemagne. He was indeed reproached on that account, and he does not deny the fact, but affirms that wealth had not corrupted his mind." It is one thing to possess the world ; it is another to be possessed by it." Alb. Ep. p. 927 :
They were published by Du Chesne at Paris, in 1617
* The Bull is contained at length in Fabric. Bib. Med.lib. ix. 402. It is dated 10 Kal. Feb. 1225.
† Matt. West. 333.
1 Yet, according to his Biographer, this great Prince was unable to write. Tentabat et scribere ; tubulasq et codicillos ad hoc in lec tulo sub cervicalibus circumferri solebat ; ut cum vacuum tempus esset manum effigiundis literis assuefaceret. Sed parum prosperè successit labor pra posterus ac scro inchoatus. Eginhard, Vit. Carlum.