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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Bede Quotes

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Bede
(0673 - 26 May 0735)

English scholar and theologian whose writings established the use of BC and AD with dates. He applied a knowledge of astronomy for the purpose of calculating the correct date for Easter.


Science Quotes by Bede (8 quotes)

In addition to instructing them in the holy Scriptures, they also taught their pupils poetry, astronomy, and the calculation of the church calendar.
— Bede
Referring to the teaching methods of Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Hadrian, abbot of Canterbury (A.D. 669).
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Calculation (67)  |  Calendar (5)  |  Instruction (51)  |  Poetry (96)  |  Science And Education (15)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Scripture (9)  |  Teach (102)

In fact, almost everything in this isle [Ireland] confers immunity to poison, and I have seen that folk suffering from snake-bite have drunk water in which scrapings from the leaves of books from Ireland had been steeped, and that this remedy checked the spreading poison and reduced the swelling.
— Bede
Science quotes on:  |  Bite (11)  |  Book (181)  |  Immunity (4)  |  Ireland (7)  |  Poison (32)  |  Reduce (32)  |  Remedy (46)  |  Snake (14)  |  Steep (4)  |  Swelling (5)

In the month of August 678, in the eighth year of Egfrid’s reign, there appeared a star known as a comet, which remained visible for three months, rising in the morning and emitting what seemed to be a tall column of bright flame.
— Bede
From Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, Book V, Chap. XXIII., as translated by Leo Sherley-Price, revised by R.E. Latham, Ecclesiastical History of the English People (1955, 1990), 224.
Science quotes on:  |  Bright (26)  |  Column (10)  |  Comet (43)  |  Emit (6)  |  Flame (23)  |  Morning (31)  |  Rise (51)  |  Star (251)  |  Tall (8)  |  Visible (20)

In the year of our Lord 729, two comets appeared around the sun, striking terror into all who saw them. One comet rose early and preceded the sun, while the other followed the setting sun at evening, seeming to portend awful calamity to east and west alike. Or else, since one comet was the precursor of day and the other of night, they indicated that mankind was menaced by evils at both times. They appeared in the month of January, and remained visible for about a fortnight, pointing their fiery torches northward as though to set the welkin aflame. At this time, a swarm of Saracens ravaged Gaul with horrible slaughter; … Both the outset and course of Ceolwulfs reign were filled by so many grave disturbances that it is quite impossible to know what to write about them or what the outcome will be.
— Bede
From Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, Book V, Chap. XXIII., as translated by Leo Sherley-Price, revised by R.E. Latham, Ecclesiastical History of the English People (1955, 1990), 323. Note: The observation likely was on a single comet seen twice each day. The event is also in both the Laud and Parker manuscripts of The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Science quotes on:  |  Appear (55)  |  Awful (7)  |  Calamity (8)  |  Comet (43)  |  Day (38)  |  Disturbance (19)  |  Evil (67)  |  Fiery (5)  |  Fortnight (2)  |  Horrible (7)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Menace (4)  |  Night (73)  |  Precursor (2)  |  Ravage (6)  |  Saracen (2)  |  Slaughter (6)  |  Sun (211)  |  Swarm (11)  |  Terror (16)  |  Torch (7)

In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 678, which is the eighth of the reign of Egfrid, in the month of August, appeared a star, called a comet, which continued for three months, rising in the morning, and darting out, as it were, a pillar of radiant flame.
— Bede
From Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum: The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, Book IV, Chap. XII, as translated in J.A. Giles (ed.), The Miscellaneous Works of Venerable Bede (1843), Vol. 3, 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Appear (55)  |  Comet (43)  |  Flame (23)  |  Month (21)  |  Pillar (7)  |  Radiant (5)  |  Star (251)

In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 729, two comets appeared about the sun, to the great terror of the beholders. One of them went before the rising sun in the morning, the other followed him when he set at night, as it were presaging much destruction to the east and west; one was the forerunner of the day, and the other of the night, to signify that mortals were threatened with calamities at both times. They carried their flaming tails towards the north, as it were ready to set the world on fire. They appeared in January, and continued nearly a fortnight. At which time a dreadful plague of Saracens ravaged France with miserable slaughter; … the beginning and progress of Ceolwulf’s reign were so filled with commotions, that it cannot yet be known what is to be said concerning them, or what end they will have.
— Bede
From Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, Book V, Chap. XXIII, as translated in J.A. Giles (ed.), The Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England. Also the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1894), 291-292. The editor reprinted the translation based on the 1723 work of John Stevens into modern English. Note: The observation likely was on a single comet seen twice each day. The event is also in both the Laud and Parker manuscripts of The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Science quotes on:  |  Appear (55)  |  Beholder (2)  |  Calamity (8)  |  Comet (43)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Dreadful (5)  |  Fire (117)  |  Flame (23)  |  Forerunner (3)  |  Fortnight (2)  |  France (21)  |  Great (300)  |  Miserable (6)  |  Morning (31)  |  Mortal (19)  |  Night (73)  |  Plague (34)  |  Ravage (6)  |  Saracen (2)  |  Signify (4)  |  Slaughter (6)  |  Sun (211)  |  Tail (13)  |  Terror (16)  |  Threaten (6)  |  World (667)

Since Britain lies far north toward the pole, the nights are short in summer, and at midnight it is hard to tell whether the evening twilight still lingers or whether dawn is approaching, since the sun at night passes not far below the earth in its journey round the north back to the east. Consequently the days are long in summer, as are the nights in winter when the sun withdraws into African regions.
— Bede
Science quotes on:  |  Africa (15)  |  Britain (14)  |  Dawn (10)  |  Long (95)  |  Midnight (7)  |  Night (73)  |  North (7)  |  Short (31)  |  Summer (26)  |  Sun (211)  |  Twilight (4)  |  Winter (22)  |  Withdraw (5)

There are no reptiles, and no snake can exist there [Ireland]; for although often brought over from Britain, as soon as the ship nears land, they breathe the scent of the air, and die.
— Bede
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Breathe (22)  |  Britain (14)  |  Die (46)  |  Ireland (7)  |  Land (83)  |  Reptile (23)  |  Scent (4)  |  Ship (33)  |  Snake (14)


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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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