Chapter 4.6

<Vt dēpositō Vynfridō Sexvulf episcopātum eius accēperit et Earconvald Orientālibus Saxonibus sit episcopātus datus >

[1] Nōn multō post haec ēlāpsō tempore, offēnsus ā Vynfridō Merciōrum episcopō per meritum cuiusdam inoboedientiae, Theodōrus archiepiscopus dēposuit eum dē episcopātū post annōs acceptī episcopātūs nōn multōs; et in locō eius ōrdināvit episcopum Sexuulfum, quī erat constrūctor et abbās monastēriī quod dīcitur Medeshamstedi in regiōne Gyruiōrum. [2] Dēpositus vērō Vynfrid rediit ad monastērium suum, quod dīcitur ad Barvae, ibique in optimā vītam conversātiōne fīnīvit.

 [3] Tum etiam Orientālibus Saxonibus, quibus eō tempore praefuērunt Sebbī et Sigherī quōrum suprā meminimus, Earconualdum cōnstituit episcopum in cīvitāte Lundōniā; cuius vidēlicet virī et in episcopātū et ante episcopātum vīta et conversātiō fertur fuisse sānctissima, sīcut etiam nunc caelestium signa virtūtum indiciō sunt. [4] Etenim usque hodiē feretrum eius caballārium, quō īnfirmus vehī solēbat, servātum ā discipulīs eius multōs febrīcitantēs vel aliō quōlibet incommodō fessōs sānāre nōn dēsistit. [5] Nōn sōlum autem subpositī eīdem feretrō vel adpositī cūrantur aegrōtī, sed et astulae dē illō abscissae atque ad īnfirmōs allātae citam illīs solent adferre medellam.

 [6] Hic sānē, priusquam episcopus factus esset, duo praeclāra monastēria, ūnum sibi alterum sorōrī suae Aedilburgae, cōnstrūxerat, quod utrumque rēgulāribus disciplīnīs optimē īnstituerat; sibi quidem in regiōne Sudergeonā iuxtā fluvium Tamēnsem in locō quī vocātur Cerotaes Eī, id est Cērōtī īnsula, sorōrī autem in Orientālium Saxonum prōvinciā in locō quī nuncupātur In Berecingum, in quō ipsa Deō dēvōtārum māter ac nūtrīx posset existere fēminārum. [7] Quae susceptō monastēriī regimine, condignam sē in omnibus episcopō frātre et ipsa rēctē vīvendō et subiectīs rēgulāriter ac piē cōnsulendō praebuit, ut etiam caelestia indiciō fuēre mīrācula.

SEAXWULF MADE BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH

The scene of Bede's History shifts briefly to the kingdom of Mercia, where Theodore, the Archbishop of Canterbury, deposes Winfrith as bishop and replaces him with Seaxwulf. This took place sometime in the mid-670s. Winfrith had followed Chad as the bishop of the Mercians, with his episcopal see at Lichfield (for Chad, see 4.3).

(1) per meritum: “on account of”

Medeshamstedi: Peterborough

in regiōne Gyruiōrum: the region of the Gyrwas, or The Fens.

(2) Adbaruae: Barrow (probably Barrow upon Humber in Lincolnshire). The monastery at Barrow was founded by Chad (see 4.3), Winfrith's precedessor as bishop of the Mercians.

conversātiōne: “manner of living,” “conduct,” “behavior”

EARCONWALD MADE BISHOP OF LONDON

The scene now shifts to London, which at the time of Earconwald's consecration as bishop in 675 was part of the kingdom of the East Saxons (Essex), and ruled jointly by Sighere and Sebbi (reigned 664 to ca. 694). Although we don't have details of the ancestry of Earconwald and his sister Æthelburh, they were undoubtly members of a noble family, as were other known founders of Anglo-Saxon monasteries.

(3) Sebbī et Sigherī: Sebbi and Sighere are first mentioned in 3.30

Earconualdum: Earconwald

in civitāte Lundōniā: London

caelestium signa virtūtum: “signs of heavenly powers,” i.e., miracles

indiciō: dative of purpose or end (AG 383), "for a proof"

(4) quō: ablative of means

(5) eīdem feretrō: dative after the compounds subpositī and adpositī (AG 370)

sed et: = sed etiam

dē illō: i.e., dē feretrō

THE FOUNDING OF BARKING ABBEY

Æthelburh, sister of Earconwald and abbess of Barking Abbey, is the first of three prominent abbesses who appear in Book IV of Bede's History; the others are Æthelthryth, abbess of Ely (4.19), and Hild, abbess of Whitby (4.20). Like Ely and Whitby, Barking Abbey was a double monastery, where an abbess presided over a community of both nuns and monks, housed in separate quarters within the monastery. For more details on the founding and significance of Barking Abbey, see Brown and Russell 2012, 1–4, 33–40, and 56–72.

(6) priusquam ... factus esset: priusquam with the imperfect subjunctive implies purpose or expectancy in past time (AG 551.b); here, the the expectation is that Earconwald will be made a bishop.

Aedilburgae: Æthelburh

quod utrumque: “both [of] which”

rēgulāribus disciplīnīs: “this is misleading: Bede is stating that an ordered monastic life was followed in these monasteries, not that there was a written rule.” (McClure and Collins)

in regiōne Sudergeonā: Surrey

fluvium Tamēnsem: the River Thames

Cerotaes Eī: Chertsey, Surrey.

In Berecingum: Barking, about eight miles from the center of medieval London, and now an eastern suburb of London. Both Chertsey and Barking were founded in the first half of the 660s, destroyed in attacks by the Danes in the 9th century, refounded in the early 10th century, and dissolved by Henry VIII in the late 1530s.

ipsa Deō … fēminārum: re-order: ipsa posset existere māter et nutrīx fēminārum dēvōtārum Deō; māter et nutrīx is appositive, “as mother and nurse.”

(7) Quae: i.e., Æthelburh

condignam … praebuit: re-order: praebuit sē condignam episcopō frātre in omnibus…

et ipsa … et subiectīs: “both…and…”

vīvendō … cōnsulendō: ablatives of means

cōnsulendō: consulere + dative = "to care for"

ut: “as”

indiciō: dative of purpose or end (AG 382): “[for] evidence”

fuēre: syncopated third person plural perfect active indicative (= fuērunt)

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