Chapter 4.23

<Dē vītā et obitū Hildae abbātissae>

[1] Annō post hunc sequente, hoc est annō dominicae incarnātiōnis DCLXXX, religiōsissima Chrīstī famula Hild, abbātissa monastēriī quod dīcitur Streanæshalch, ut suprā rettulimus, post multa quae fēcit in terrīs opera caelestia, ad percipienda praemia vītae caelestis dē terrīs ablāta trānsīvit diē XV kalendārum Decembrium, cum esset annōrum LXVI; quibus aequā partiōne dīvīsīs, XXXIII prīmōs in saeculārī habitū nōbilissimē conversāta complēvit, et totidem sequentēs nōbilius in monachicā vītā Dominō cōnsecrāvit. [2] Nam et nōbilis nātū erat, hoc est fīlia nepōtis Edvīnī rēgis, vocābulō Hererīcī, cum quō etiam rēge ad praedicātiōnem beātae memoriae Paulīnī prīmī Nordanhymbrōrum episcopī fidem et sacrāmenta Chrīstī suscēpit atque haec usquedum ad eius vīsiōnem pervenīre meruit, intemerāta servāvit.

[3] Quae cum relictō habitū saeculārī illī sōlī servīre dēcrēvisset, sēcessit ad prōvinciam Orientālium Anglōrum (erat namque propinqua rēgis illīus), dēsīderāns exinde, sī quō modō posset, dērelictā patriā et omnibus quaecumque habuerat, Galliam pervenīre atque in monastēriō Calē peregrīnam prō Dominō vītam dūcere, quō facilius perpetuam in caelīs patriam posset merērī. [4] Nam et in eōdem monastēriō soror ipsīus Heresvid, māter Aldvulfī rēgis Orientālium Anglōrum, rēgulāribus subdita disciplīnīs, ipsō tempore corōnam expectābat aeternam; cuius aemulāta exemplum, et ipsa prōpositō peregrīnandī annum tōtum in praefātā prōvinciā retenta est; deinde ab Aidānō episcopō patriam revocāta, accēpit locum ūnīus familiae ad septentriōnālem plāgam Viurī flūminis, ubi aequē annō ūnō monachicam cum perpaucīs sociīs vītam agēbat.

[5] Post haec facta est abbātissa in monastēriō quod vocātur Heruteu, quod vidēlicet monastērium factum erat nōn multō ante ā religiōsā Chrīstī famulā Heiu, quae prīma fēminārum fertur in prōvinciā Nordanhymbrōrum prōpositum vestemque sānctimōniālis habitūs, cōnsecrante Aidānō episcopō, suscēpisse. [6] Sed illa post nōn multum tempus factī monastēriī sēcessit ad cīvitātem Calcāriam, quae ā gente Anglōrum Kælcacaestir appellātur, ibique sibi mānsiōnem īnstituit. [7] Praelāta autem regiminī monastēriī illīus famula Chrīstī Hild, mox hoc rēgulārī vītā per omnia, prout ā doctīs virīs discere poterat, ōrdināre cūrābat, nam et episcopus Aidan et quīque nōverant eam religiōsī, prō īnsitā eī sapientiā et amōre dīvīnī famulātūs, sēdulō eam vīsitāre, obnīxē amāre, dīligenter ērudīre solēbant.

[8] Cum ergō aliquot annōs huic monastēriō rēgulāris vītae īnstitūtiōnī multum intenta praeesset, contigit eam suscipere etiam cōnstruendum sīve ōrdinandum monastērium in locō quī vocātur Streanaeshalch, quod opus sibi iniūnctum nōn sēgniter immplēvit. [9] Nam eīsdem quibus prius monastērium etiam hoc disciplīnīs vītae rēgulāris īnstituit, et quidem multam ibi quoque iūstitiae pietātis et castīmōniae cēterārumque virtūtum sed maximē pācis et cāritātis cūstōdiam docuit; ita ut in exemplum prīmitīvae ecclēsiae nūllus ibi dīves, nūllus esset egēns, omnibus essent omnia commūnia, cum nihil cuiusquam esse vidērētur proprium. [10] Tantae autem erat ipsa prūdentiae ut nōn sōlum mediocrēs, quīque in necessitātibus suīs, sed etiam rēgēs ac prīncipēs nōnnumquam ab eā cōnsilium quaererent et invenīrent. [11] Tantum lēctiōnī dīvīnārum scrīptūrārum suōs vacāre subditōs, tantum operibus iūstitiae sē exercēre faciēbat, ut facillimē vidērentur ibīdem quī ecclēsiasticum gradum, hoc est altāris officium, aptē subīrent plūrimī posse repperīrī.

[12] Dēnique quīnque ex eōdem monastēriō posteā episcopōs vīdimus, et hōs omnēs singulāris meritī ac sānctitātis virōs, quōrum haec sunt nōmina: Bosa Aetla Oftfor Iōhannēs et Vilfrid. [13] Dē prīmō suprā dīximus quod Eborācī fuerit cōnsecrātus antistes; dē secundō breviter intimandum quod in episcopātum Dorciccaestræ fuerit ōrdinātus; dē ultimīs īnfrā dīcendum est quod eōrum prīmus Hagustaldēnsis, secundus Eboracēnsis ecclēsiae sit ōrdinātus episcopus. [14] Dē mediō nunc dicāmus quia, cum in utrōque Hildae abbātissae monastēriō lēctiōnī et observātiōnī scrīptūrārum operam dedisset, tandem perfectiōra dēsīderāns vēnit Cantiam ad archiepiscopum beātae recordātiōnis Theodōrum, ubi postquam aliquamdiū lēctiōnibus sacrīs vacāvit, etiam Rōmam adīre cūrāvit, quod eō tempore magnae virtūtis aestimābātur; et inde cum rediēns Brittāniam adīsset, dīvertit ad prōvinciam Huicciōrum, cui tunc rēx Osric praefuit, ibique verbum fideī praedicāns simul et exemplum vīvendī sēsē videntibus atque audientibus exhibēns, multō tempore mānsit. [15] Quō tempore antistes prōvinciae illīus, vocābulō Bosēl, tantā erat corporis īnfirmitāte dēpressus, ut officium episcopātūs per sē implēre nōn posset, propter quod omnium iūdiciō praefātus vir in episcopātum prō eō ēlēctus ac (iubente Aedilredō rēge) per Vilfridum beātae memoriae antistitem, quī tunc temporis Mediterrāneōrum Anglōrum episcopātum gerēbat, ōrdinātus est, prō eō quod archiepiscopus Theodōrus iam dēfūnctus erat, et necdum alius prō eō ōrdinātus episcopus. [16] In quam vidēlicet prōvinciam paulō ante, hoc est ante praefātum virum Deī Boselum, vir strēnuissimus ac doctissimus atque excellentis ingeniī vocābulō Tatfrid, dē eiusdem abbātissae monastēriō ēlēctus est antistes; sed, priusquam ōrdinārī posset, morte inmātūrā praereptus est.

[17] Nōn sōlum ergō praefāta Chrīstī ancilla et abbātissa Hild, quam omnēs quī nōverant ob īnsigne pietātis et grātiae mātrem vocāre cōnsuērant, in suō monastēriō vītae exemplō praesentibus extitit, sed etiam plūrimīs longē manentibus, ad quōs fēlīx industriae ac virtūtis eius rūmor pervēnit, occāsiōnem salūtis et corrēctiōnis ministrāvit. [18] Oportēbat namque implērī somnium, quod māter eius Bregusvid in īnfantiā eius vīdit. [19] Quae cum vir eius Hereric exulāret sub rēge Brettonum Cerdice (ubi et venēnō periit), vīdit per somnium, quasi subitō sublātum eum quaesierit cum omnī dīligentiā, nūllumque eius uspiam vestīgium appāruerit. [20] Vērum cum solertissīmē illum quaesierit, extemplō sē repperīre sub veste suā monīle pretiōsissimum, quod, dum attentius cōnsīderāret, tantī fulgōre lūminis refulgēre vidēbātur, ut omnēs Brittāniae fīnēs illīus grātia splendōris implēret. [21] Quod nīmīrum somnium vērāciter in fīliā eius, dē quā loquimur, explētum est, cuius vīta nōn sibi sōlummodo sed multīs bene vīvere volentibus exempla operum lūcis praebuit.

[22] Vērum illa cum multīs annīs huic monastēriō praeesset, placuit piō prōvīsōrī salūtis nostrae sānctam eius animam longā etiam īnfirmitāte carnis exāminārī, ut iuxtā exemplum apostolī, virtūs eius in īnfirmitāte perficerētur. [23] Percussa etenim febribus ācrī coepit ārdōre fatīgārī, et per sex continuōs annōs eādem molestiā labōrāre nōn cessābat; in quō tōtō tempore numquam ipsa vel conditōrī suō grātiās agere vel commissum sibi gregem et publīcē et prīvātim docēre praetermittēbat. [24] Nam suō praedocta exemplō monēbat omnēs, et in salūte acceptā corporis Dominō obtemperanter serviendum, et in adversīs rērum sīve īnfirmitātibus membrōrum fidēliter Dominō esse grātiās semper agendās. [25] septimō ergō suae īnfirmitātis annō, conversō ad interānea dolōre, ad diem pervēnit ultimum; et circā gallī cantum perceptō viāticō sacrōsānctae commūniōnis, cum arcessītīs ancellīs Chrīstī, quae erant in eōdem monastēriō, dē servandā eās invicem, immō cum omnibus pāce ēvangelicā ammōnēret, inter verba exhortātiōnis laeta mortem vīdit; immō, ut verbīs Dominī loquar, dē morte trānsīvit ad vītam.

[26] Quā vidēlicet nocte Dominus omnipotēns obitum ipsīus in aliō longius positō monastēriō, quod ipsa eōdem annō cōnstrūxerat, et appellātur Hacanos, manifēstā vīsiōne revēlāre dignātus est. [27] Erat in ipsō monastēriō quaedam sānctimōniālis fēmina, nōmine Begu, quae XXX et amplius annōs dēdicātā Dominō virginitāte in monachicā conversātiōne serviēbat. [28] Haec tunc in dormitoriō sorōrum pausāns audīvit subitō in āere nōtum campānae sonum, quō ad ōrātiōnēs excitārī vel convocārī solēbant, cum quis eōrum dē saeculō fuisset ēvocātus; apertīsque, ut sibi vidēbātur, oculīs aspexit, dētēctō domūs culmine, fūsam dēsuper lūcem omnia replēvisse; cui vidēlicet lūcī dum sollicita intenderet, vīdit animam praefātae Deī famulae in ipsā lūce, comitantibus ac dūcentibus angelīs, ad caelum ferrī. [29] Cumque somnō excussa vidēret cēterās pausantēs circā sē sorōrēs, intellēxit vel in somniō vel in vīsiōne mentis ostēnsum sibi esse quod vīderat. [30] Statimque exsurgēns, nimiō timōre perterrita, cucurrit ad virginem, quae tunc monastēriō abbātissae vice praefuit, cui nōmen erat Frigyd, flētūque ac lacrimīs multum perfūsa ac suspīria longa trahēns, nūntiāvit mātrem illārum omnium Hild abbātissam iam migrāsse dē saeculō, et sē aspectante cum lūce inmēnsā ducibus angelīs ad aeternae līmina lūcis et supernōrum cōnsortia cīvium ascendisse. [31] Quod cum illa audīsset, suscitāvit cūnctās sorōrēs, et in ecclēsiam convocātās ōrātiōnibus ac psalmīs prō animā mātris operam dare monuit. [32] Quod cum residuō noctis tempore dīligenter agerent, vēnērunt prīmō dīlūculō frātrēs quī eius obitum nūntiārent, ā locō ubi dēfūncta est. [33] At illae respondentēs dīxērunt sē prius eadem cognōvisse; et cum expōnerent per ōrdinem quōmodo haec vel quandō didicissent, inventum est eādem hōrā trānsitum eius illīs ostēnsum esse per vīsiōnem, quā illam referēbant exīsse dē mundō. [34] Pulchrāque rērum concordiā prōcūrātum est dīvīnitus ut, cum illī exitum eius dē hāc vītā vidērent, tunc istī introitum eius in perpetuam animārum vītam cognōscerent. [35] Distant autem inter sē monastēria haec XIII fermē mīlibus passuum.

[36] Ferunt autem quod eādem nocte in ipsō quoque monastēriō, ubi praefāta Deī famula obiit, cuidam virginum Deō dēvōtārum, quae illam inmēnsō amōre dīligēbat, obitus illīus in vīsiōne appāruerit; quae animam eius cum angelīs ad caelum īre cōnspexerit, atque hoc ipsā quā factum est hōrā hīs quae sēcum erant famulīs Chrīstī manifēstē nārrāverit, eāsque ad ōrandum prō animā eius, etiam priusquam cētera congregātiō eius obitum cognōvisset, excitāverit. [37] Quod ita fuisse factum mox congregātiōnī māne factō innōtuit. [38] Erat enim haec ipsā hōrā cum aliīs nōnnūllīs Chrīstī ancellīs in extrēmīs monastēriī locīs seorsum posita, ubi nūper venientēs ad conversātiōnem fēminae solēbant probārī, dōnec rēgulāriter īnstitūtae in societātem congregātiōnis susciperentur.

THE LIFE OF ST. HILD OF WHITBY

(1) post hunc: in chapters 4.21–22 Bede discusses the battle on the River Trent between King Ecgfrid of Northumbria and King Æthelred of Mercia in 679. The ablative here is the ablative of time when or within which (AG 423): “in the year following after this….”

annō dominicae incarnātiōnis DCLXXX: Bede uses the formula “in the year of the Lord’s incarnation” for A.D. (Annō Dominī).

famula: in a Christian context, famula was commonly used of a woman in religious orders, who was described as famula Christi (“handmaiden of Christ”) or famula Deī (“handmaiden of God”).

monastēriī: Hild was the abbess of an Anglo-Saxon double monastery, that is, a religious house for both women and men, presided over by an abbess.

quod dīcitur Streanaeshalc, ut suprā rettulimus: King Oswiu of Northumbria founded the double monastery at Streanaeshalch (Whitby) in 657 and appointed Hild as abbess. Bede mentions (ut suprā rettulimus) the founding of the monastery in 3.24.

ad percipienda praemia: ad + gerundive indicating purpose (AG 506)

dē terrīs ablata transīvit: for the use of the participle, see AG 496 n. 2.

diē XV kalendārum Decembrium: the fifteenth day before the Kalends of December, i.e., November 17. The days were reckoned inclusively, meaning that the Kalends itself (December 1) was counted. November 17 is the feast day of St. Hild, or Hilda, of Whitby.

quibus aequā parte divisīs: ablative absolute (quibus … divisīs): “when these have been divided in half (in equal part)….” The antecedent of quibus is annōrum.

(2) nobilis natū: natū is an ablative of specification: “noble by birth” (AG 418).

hoc est: “that is…,” explaining the previous statement.

fīlia nepōtis Eduīnī rēgis, vocābulō Hererīcī: Hild was the daughter of Hereric, nephew of King Edwin of Northumbria. Hereric’s parents are unknown.

vocabulō: ablative of specification (“by name”) (AG 418).

cum quō etiam rēge: King Edwin.

ad praedicātiōnem: ad = “in obedience to”

Paulinī: Paulinus, the bishop of York from 625 to 633. See PASE Paulinus 1.

Nordanhymbrōrum: Nordanhymbrī are “the people north of the River Humber,” or the Northumbrians.

haec: Hild.

ad eius visiōnem: eius refers to Christ. The phrase visiō Christi can refer to a mystical vision of Christ, or, as here, to coming into Christ’s presence after death.

(3) In this long sentence Quae (Hild) is the subject and sēcessit (“withdrew”) is the main verb, with a circumstantial cum clause intervening; there follows a long participial phrase (desiderāns …) stating Hild’s desire to leave England and go to Gaul to live a religious life. See articulated text.

illī solī: i.e., Christō

cum … dēcrēvisset: “when she had decided…”

relictō habitū saeculārī: ablative absolute.

ad prōvinciam Orientālium Anglōrum: “to the territory (kingdom) of the East Angles” (East Anglia).

propinqua rēgis illīus: referring to Hild, whose sister Hereswith was married to the brother of the king of East Anglia.

dērelictā patriā et omnibus quaecumque habuerat: ablative absolute; understand dērelictīs with omnibus: “having left behind her homeland and everything she had.”

Galliam pervenīre: “to reach Gaul.” Pervenīre is a complementary infinitive after dēsīderāns.

in monastēriō Cale: Cale is genitive. Chelles was a Frankish double monastery outside Paris, founded by Queen Balthild, wife of King Clovis II, in 658. There is some confusion here on Bede’s part: since Chelles was not founded until 658, Hild could not have intended to enter that monastery in 647. See Wallace-Hadrill 1988, 232.

peregrīnam … vītam dūcere: “to lead a life in exile.” Bede contrasts an earthly life of exile (peregrīna vita) with an eternal homeland (perpetua patria) in heaven.

quō facilius: introducing a relative clause of purpose with a comparative adjective (AG 531.2.a): “so that she might more easily…”

(4) Heresvid, mater Aldvulfi rēgis Orientālium Anglōrum: Hild’s sister Hereswith, the mother of Aldwulf (or Ealdwulf), king of the East Anglians. Hereswith had been married to Aethilric, an East Anglian king, and after his death entered a Frankish monastery. Her son Eadwulf reigned in East Anglia from 663 to 713.

rēgulāribus … disciplīnīs: “to the discipline of the monastic life” (following a rēgula, or monastic rule)

cuius aemulāta exemplum: the antecedent of cuius is Hereswith: “having followed example of whom [i.e., Hereswith]…” aemulāta, from aemulor, is deponent.

propositō: “with the intention of” (OLD, propositum 1)

annum totum: accusative of extent of time (AG 423.2): “for a full year.”

in praefātā provinciā: “in the aforementioned kingdom” (i.e., East Anglia)

Aidanō episcopō: St. Aidan (d. 651) was an Irish monk and missionary to Northumbria, which in the early seventh century had been reverting to paganism. Aidan established himself on the island of Lindisfarne, and under the patronage of King Oswald of Northumbria and King Oswin of Deira set about reconverting Northumbria to Christianity. See 3.5.

accipit locum unīus familiae: “she received a place [the size of] of one hide.” A “hide,” or familia, was an Anglo-Saxon unit of measurement, and equalled “the amount of land adequate to supply the needs of a household.” The exact size of a familia varied over time, making it impossible to know the exact size in this context.

ad septentriōnālem plāgam Viurī flūminis: “in the territory to the north of the River Wear.” The exact location of the monastery is unknown.

aequē unō annō: “likewise for one year” (as she had spent one year in East Anglia).

(5) quod vocātur Heruteu: Hartlepool, in Northumbria.

Heiu: Heiu was the first woman in Northumbria to be consecrated as a nun. In 649 Hild succeeded Heiu as the second abbess of Hartlepool, and remained there until 658, when she left to found a new monastery at Whitby.

videlicet: “evidently.”

nōn multō ante: “not much before.” multō is the ablative of degree of difference (AG 414).

quae prima feminārum fertur … suscēpisse: prima is a predicate nominative with fertur (“is said to be…”); “who is said to be the first of the women to have taken up…” For ferō in the passive with a predicate nominative see OLD, ferō 34.b.

(6) cīvitātem Calcāriam, quae ā gente Anglōrum Kælcacaestir appellātur: Calcaria (Kaelcacaestir) has been identified as Tadcaster, in North Yorkshire.

factī monastēriī: “of the foundation of the monastery”; literally, “of the monastery having been founded,” the so-called ab urbe condita construction (AG 497).

(7) Praelāta autem regiminī monastēriī illīus: “and so, having been placed in charge of the management of that monastery…” praeferō (or preferō) = “to place in change of” (with a dative object); by the seventh century it came to have the specific meaning “to prefer (i.e., advance or appoint) to an ecclesiastical benefice.”

hoc: “this” (monastery)

rēgulārī vitā: “with a life governed by a monastic Rule”

per omnia: “in all respects,” “throughout”

et … et: “both…and…”

nōverant: the pluperfect of noscō (“get to know”) has the force of a perfect (“knew”).

prō īnsitā eī sapientiā et amōre dīvīnī famulātūs: “for her innate wisdom and love of divine service.” prō īnsitā eī sapientiā is literally “for the wisdom implanted in her”; īnsita (+ dative) is the perfect passive participle of īnserō, īnserere īnsēvī, īnsitum, “to implant (in).”

(8) huic monastēriō: dative with praeesset: “had been in charge of this monastery.”

multum: adverbial (“greatly”), modifying intenta, “intent upon” + dat. (DMLBS, intendere 16.a).

rēgulāris vītae: “of a life governed by a monastic Rule.”

contigit eam suscipere: contigit (< contingō, -tingere, -tigī, -tāctum) is impersonal, “it happened,” and here introduces an accusative-infinitive construction (as in indirect discourse): “it happened that she undertook…”

cōnstruendum sīve ōrdinandum monastērium: the gerundives indicate purpose after the verb suscipere: “she undertook to construct or to organize the monastery…” (see AG 500.4).

in locō quī vocātur Streanaeshalch: Whitby

(9) Nam eīsdem … īnstituit: take hoc [monasterium] as the object of īnstituit, and rearrange the word order: Nam [Hild] īnstituit etiam hoc [monastērium] eīsdem disciplinīs vītae rēgulāris quibus [īnstituit] prius monastērium.

multam … cūstōdiam docuit: cūstōdia = “obedient observance” (a Christian use of the word, see TLL 4.0.1557.36): “she taught much observance of…” Multam could also mean “full”: “she taught full observance of…” The extreme hyperbaton of multam cūstōdiam elegantly emphasizes the list of virtues enclosed by the framing words.

iūstitiae, pietātis, et castīmōniae … sed maximē pācis et cāritātis: Bede lists some of the cardinal virtues of the monastic life: justice, piety, chastity, peace, and charity. Wallace-Hadrill points out the special importance of peace and charity in a seventh-century monastery heavily populated with members of the nobility, accustomed to wealth and power, who have to live together on terms of equality. See Wallace-Hadrill 1988, 164.

ita ut: introducing a result clause (AG 537 n. 2): Hild taught these virtues “in such a way that…”

in exemplum prīmitīvae ecclēsiae: in + accusative here means “in accordance with.” The “primitive church” generally refers to early Christianity through the third century C.E., and was often appealed to in later Christian writings as the model for the life of the church, with particular emphasis on the “common life” of the monasteries, where all property was held in common.

cum nihil cuiusquam esse vidērētur proprium: cum + the imperfect subjunctive here indicates contemporaneous action, so translate cum as “while.” proprium is the predicate nominative after esse and takes a genitive of person: “while nothing was seen to be belonging personally to anyone.”

(10) Tantae autem erat ipsa prūdentiae ut: tantae prūdentiae is a genitive of quality (AG 345); ut introduces a result clause.

mediocrēs quīque: “all the ordinary people,” i.e., people of middling social status (DMLBS, mediocris 5.b)

(11) re-order: Tantum faciēbat subditōs suōs vacāre lēctiōnī dīvīnārum scrīptūrārum, tantum (faciēbat subditōs suōs) sē exercēre operibus iūstitiae, ut plūrimī facillimē vidērentur posse repperīrī ibīdem quī ecclēsiasticum gradum, hoc est altāris officium, aptē subīrent. The word order as written emphasizes the key words lēctiōnī, operibus, and plūrimī.

subditōs: “those under her supervision” (DMLBS, subdere 7.e)

tantum … ut: Both tantum clauses have faciēbat as their main verb. Facere, here, means “to make,” as in “to act (on a person or thing) so as to bring it about (that)…," and here takes an accusative and infinitive construction: “So much did she make her subjects have time for (vacāre + dat.) ... so much did she make them apply themselves to (sē excerēre)…that …”

ut facillimē vidērentur … plūrimī posse repperīrī: the result clause takes plūrimī as the subject of vidērentur, and posse and repperīrī as complementary infinitives: “so that many people seemed to be able to be found, who (quī) …” (i.e., “so that it wouldn’t be difficult to find many people who…”).

quī ecclēsiasticum gradum, hoc est altāris officium, aptē subīrent: ecclēsiasticus gradus can be translated as “clerical rank,” that is, the position of priest; altāris officium (literally, “service of the altar”) means something like “presiding over the sacraments.” Bede is saying that many members of Hild’s monastic community were suitable for ordination as priests.

(12) quīnque ex eōdem monastēriō posteā epīscopōs vīdimus: understand an accusative and infinitive construction with esse after vīdimus, with quīnque as the subject of esse and epīscopōs as the predicate accusative (see AG 393): “we have seen that five from the same monastery were later bishops.”

(13) Dē primō suprā dīximus: Bosa (PASE, Bosa 1) was made bishop of York (Eboracum) in 678 after King Ecgfrith of Northumbria removed Wilfrid from that position, and held it until 706. See HE 4.12.

quod Eborācī fuerit cōnsecrātus antistes: fuerit cōnsecrātus = consecrātus sit (perfect subjunctive).

intimandum: understand est, “I should mention briefly that” (TLL, intimo II.B, 7.2.17.65).

quod in epīscopātum Dorcicaestrae fuerit ōrdinātus: as above, fuerit ordinatus = ordinatus sit. Dorcicaestrae is Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

prīmus Hagustaldēnsis, secundus Eboracēnsis ecclēsiae: John of Beverley (Iohannes, PASE, John 18) was Bishop of Hagustald (Hexham) in Northunderland (687–706), and Wilfrid was Bishop of York (718–732). Wilfrid is the second Bishop of York of that name (PASE, Wilfred 4): the first Wilfrid (PASE, Wilfred 2) was succeeded by Bosa in 678; he was succeeded by John of Beverley, who was succeeded by Wilfrid II in 718. All of these bishops were at one time members of Hild’s community at Whitby.

Bishops of York:

664–678 Wilfrid (I)

678–706 Bosa

706–714 John of Beverley

714–732 Wilfrid (II)

(14) A summary of Oftfor’s biography. The structure is: cum … operam dedisset, tandem … vēnit … ubi … cūrāvit … et inde … dīvertit … ibique … mānsit. See articulated text.

Dē mediō: Oftfor.

vēnit Cantiam: ad is omitted. Cantia is Kent. Theodore (PASE, Theodore 1) was Archbishop of Canterbury.

Rōmam adīre curāvit: curāre = “to take steps (to)”

provinciam Huicciōrum: Hwicce was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom comprising most of present day Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, and parts of Warwickshire. Oftfor became the second Bishop of Worcester (691–693).

multō tempore mānsit: “he remained [there] for a long time.”

(15) The circumstances around Oftfor’s ordination as bishop of Worcester.

per sē: “on his own”

praefātus vir: “the aforementioned man” (i.e., Oftfor)

per Vilfridum: “by Wilfrid.” per + accusative can be used to indicate agency in place of ab + ablative. In 690 Oftfor had to be ordained by Wilfrid II, then bishop of the Mercians or Middle Angles, because the bishop of Canterbury, Theodore (PASE, Theodore 1), had died and not yet been replaced.

tunc temporis: “at that time.” Partitive genitive (AG 346).

prō eō quod: “in view of the fact that….”

(16) excellentis ingeniī: genitive of quality (AG 345)

dē eiusdem abbātissae monastēriō: “from the monastery of the same abbess,” i.e., Whitby.

(17) Chrīstī ancilla: “nun” (DMLBS, ancilla 1.c)

ob insigne: “in recognition of”

cōnsuērant: “were accustomed,” > cōnsuēscō

vītae exemplō praesentibus extitit: double dative (dative of purpose or end, AG 382): “She stood out as an example of life to those present.” extitit = exstitit > exstāre.

plurimīs longē manentibus: contrasts with praesentibus: not only to those present, but also “to very many who were far away.” manēre provides the missing present participle of esse (TLL 8.0.290.13).

(18) Oportēbat namque inplērī somnium quod: “for it was appropriate that the dream was fulfilled which…” (DMLBS, oportere 1.b).

(19) Quae, cum vir eius Hereric exulāret … vīdit quasī : “When her husband Hereric was in exile … she saw in a dream as if ....” (i.e. in her dream it appeared as if). Quae is a connecting relative (AG 308.f). quasi + perfect subjunctive = “as though…” (AG 524).

Cerdice: Ceretic, the last king of the Brittonic kingdom of Elmet (modern West Yorkshire), where Hild’s father Hereric died in exile.

subitō sublātum eum quaesierit: “he had suddenly been taken from her and she looked for him.” sublātum (> tollere, DMBLS 3.e) is a participle standing in for a coordinate clause (AG 498 note 2).

(20) sē repperīre: take this as the accusative and infinitive construction of indirect discourse after vīdit per somnium: “she dreamed that she found….”

monīle: jewel

illīus grātia splendōris: “the grace of its splendor”; word order suggests that gratia is the subject of implēret, and that gratia splendōris is a single idea: “its gracious splendor” (Colgave-Mynors).

(21) exempla operum lūcis: “examples of works of light.” opera lūcis is a phrase used elsewhere in Bede and in the writings of medieval theologians for the deeds of Christians, who are described in the New Testament as “children of light.”

(22) multīs annīs: the ablative in place of the accusative of extent of time.

placuit piō prōvīsōrī … sanctam eius animam … exāminārī: placuit is impersonal, with the dative (of agent): “it was resolved upon [by],” followed by an accusative and infinitive construction (“it was resolved upon by the holy overseer … that her sacred spirit … be tested …”).

prōvīsōrī: i.e., God; prōvīsor means “providential overseer.”

(23) praetermittēbat: “was neglecting [to],” + infinitive.

(24) Dominō ... serviendum: “one must serve the Lord”; servīre takes the dative, (Dominō), even when the construction is impersonal passive (AG 207.d; see LS, serviō II.A).

(25) gallī cantum: day-break (literally, “the song of the rooster”)

viāticō sacrōsānctae commūniōnis: viāticum, which in classical Latin means a “provision for a journey,” or “traveling expenses,” came in Christian Latin to refer to the Eucharist, as administered to a dying person.

cum … ammōnēret: re-order: arcessītīs ancellīs Chrīstī quae erant in eōdem monastēriō, cum ammōnēret eās dē servandā pāce ēvangelicā invicem, immō cum omnibus. The word order as written puts heavy emphasis on the word ammōnēret. See articulated text.

arcessitīs ancellīs: ablative absolute. In classical Latin, an ablative absolute would not be allowed in this context, since eās also refers to the ancellae (see AG 419 note).

invicem, immō cum omnibus: “mutually (i.e., among themselves), and indeed with everyone.”

dē servandā eās … pace ēvangelicā ammōnēret: admonēre + : “to urge to” (“she urged them to keep…”).

dē morte transīvit ad vītam: a reference to the Hostias section of the Requiem Mass: Fac eōs, Dominī, dē morte transīre ad vītam.

BEGU'S VISION OF HILD'S SOUL BEING CARRIED TO HEAVEN

In his prose Life of St. Cuthbert Bede relates a similar story of St. Cuthbert's vision of the soul of St. Aidan being carried to heaven in the company of angels.

(26) Hacanos: Hackness, Yorkshire, about 13 miles south of Whitby.

(27) sānctimōniālis fēmina: a nun.

conversātiōne: “manner of life”

(28) pausāns: pausō, -āre = “to sleep, rest”

ōrātiōnēs: prayers

cum quis: cum aliquis

dē saeculō fuisset ēvocātus: “had been summoned from earthly life.” Saeculum means “the temporal world,” or “earthly life.”

praefātae Deī famulae: i.e., Hild.

(30) abbātissae vice: “in place of the abbess” (LS, vicis II.2.b)

perfūsa: “filled with” + abl. (> perfundō)

(31) operam dare: + dative: “apply themselves to” + dat.

(32) residuō noctis tempore: “for the remaining time of the night.”

(33) eādem horā … quā: “at the same hour when…”

illīs ostensum esse … referēbant: illīs refers to the nuns at Hackness; the subject of referēbant is the monks from Whitby.

trānsitum: “passing” away, i.e., death (DMBLS, transitus 10)

(34) Pulchrāque rerum concordiā: “and by a beautiful harmony of events.”

prōcūrātum est dīvīnitus ut: “it was divinely brought about that…” (+ a result clause).

cum illī … tunc istī: “while those … at the same time these…” When used in contrast to each other, ille refers to the more distant person and iste to the nearer person (AG 297). Here, illī are those in the monastery at Whitby and istī are those in the monastery at Hackness.

(35) XIII fermē mīlibus passuum: about 13 miles.

(36) As often, Bede dignifies a miracle with a long, complex sentence. The thread is Ferunt quod (“they say that”) … cuidam … appāruerit, quae … cōnspexerit, atque … nārrāverit, eāsque … excitāverit. See articulated text.

ipsā quā factum est horā: “at the very hour when it happened.”

(37) congregātiōnī māne factō innōtuit: “became known to the gathering that took place in the morning.”

(38) haec: the nun who had the vision of Hild’s death.

ubi … probārī: i.e., the novitiate.

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