Today in the Middle Ages: May 25, 735

On May 25, 735, the Venerable Bede ended his peaceful, learned life in the Northumbrian monastery where he had lived over fifty years.

Bede's family gave him to the monastery at the age of seven, and few men can have been better suited to a life of thought and prayer. He faithfully performed the duties of a monk, but his true vocation was scholarship. The Catholic Encyclopedia calls him "undoubtedly the most learned man of his time."

Bede wrote on many topics, including theology and what we would now call natural science. His most famous work is the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, or Ecclesiastical History of the English People, for which he is considered the first English historian.