Chapter 2.9

[9] QUO tempore etiam gens Nordanhymbrorum, hoc est ea natio Anglorum, quae ad Aquilonalem Humbre fluminis plagam habitabat, cum rege suo Aeduino uerbum fidei praedicante Paulino, cuius supra meminimus, suscepit. Cui uidelicet regi, in auspicium suscipiendae fidei et regni caelestis, potestas etiam terreni creuerat imperii; ita ut, quod nemo Anglorum ante eum, omnes Brittaniae fines, qua uel ipsorum uel Brettonum prouinciae habitabant, sub dicione acciperet. Quin et Meuanias insulas, sicut et supra docuimus, imperio subiugauit Anglorum; quarum prior, quae ad austrum est, et situ amplior, et frugum prouentu atque ubertate felicior, nongentarum LX familiarum mensuram iuxta aestimationem Anglorum, secunda trecentarum et ultra spatium tenet. Huic autem genti occasio fuit percipiendae fidei, quod praefatus rex eius cognatione iunctus est regibus Cantuariorum, accepta in coniugem Aedilbergae filia Aedilbercti regis, quae alio nomine Tatae uocabatur. Huius consortium cum primo ipse missis procis a fratre eius Aeodbaldo, qui tunc regno Cantuariorum praeerat, peteret; responsum est non esse licitum Christianam uirginem pagano in coniugem dari, ne fides et sacramenta caelestis regis consortio profanarentur regis, qui ueri Dei cultus esset prorsus ignarus. Quae cum Aeduino uerba nuntii referrent, promisit se nil omnimodis contrarium Christianae fidei, quam uirgo colebat, esse facturum; quin potius permissurum, ut fidem cultumque suae religionis cum omnibus, qui secum uenissent, uiris siue feminis, sacerdotibus seu ministris, more Christiano seruaret. Neque abnegauit se etiam eandem subiturum esse religionem; si tamen examinata a prudentibus sanctior ac Deo dignior posset inueniri. Itaque promittitur uirgo, atque Aeduino mittitur, et iuxta quod dispositum fuerat, ordinatur episcopus uir Deo dilectus Paulinus, qui cum illa ueniret, eamque et comites eius, ne paganorum possent societate pollui, cotidiana et exhortatione, et sacramentorum caelestium celebratione confirmaret. Ordinatus est autem Paulinus episcopus a Iusto archiepiscopo, sub die XII Kalendarum Augustarum, anno ab incarnatione Domini DCXXV; et sic cum praefata uirgine ad regem Aeduinum quasi comes copulae carnalis aduenit. Sed ipse potius toto animo intendens, ut gentem, quam adibat, ad agnitionem ueritatis aduocans, iuxta uocem apostoli, uni uero sponso uirginem castam exhiberet Christo. Cumque in prouinciam uenisset, laborauit multum, ut et eos, qui secum uenerant, ne a fide deficerent, Domino adiuuante contineret, et aliquos, si forte posset, de paganis ad fidei gratiam praedicando conuerteret. Sed sicut apostolus ait, quamuis multo tempore illo laborante in uerbo: ‘Deus saeculi huius excaecauit mentes infidelium, ne eis fulgeret inluminatio euangelii gloriae Christi.’ Anno autem sequente uenit in prouinciam quidam sicarius uocabulo Eumer, missus a rege Occidentalium Saxonum nomine Cuichelmo, sperans se regem Aeduinum regno simul et uita priuaturum; qui habebat sicam bicipitem toxicatam; ut si ferri uulnus minus ad mortem regis sufficeret, peste iuuaretur ueneni. Peruenit autem ad regem primo die paschae iuxta amnem Deruuentionem, ubi tunc erat uilla regalis, intrauitque quasi nuntium domini sui referens; et cum simulatam legationem ore astuto uolueret, exsurrexit repente, et, euaginata sub ueste sica, impetum fecit in regem. Quod cum uideret Lilla minister regi amicissimus, non habens scutum ad manum, quo regem a nece defenderet, mox interposuit corpus suum ante ictum pungentis; sed tanta ui hostis ferrum infixit, ut per corpus militis occisi etiam regem uulneraret. Qui cum mox undique gladiis inpeteretur, in ipso tumultu etiam alium de militibus, cui nomen erat Fordheri, sica nefanda peremit. Eadem autem nocte sacrosancta dominici paschae pepererat regina filiam regi, cui nomen Aeanfled. Cumque idem rex, praesente Paulino episcopo, gratias ageret diis suis pro nata sibi filia, e contra episcopus gratias coepit agere Domino Christo, regique adstruere, quod ipse precibus suis apud illum obtinuerit, ut regina sospes et absque dolore graui sobolem procrearet. Cuius uerbis delectatus rex, promisit se, abrenuntiatis idolis, Christo seruiturum, si uitam sibi et uictoriam donaret pugnanti aduersus regem, a quo homicida ille, qui eum uulnerauerat, missus est; et in pignus promissionis inplendae, eandem filiam suam Christo consecrandam Paulino episcopo adsignauit; quae baptizata est die sancto pentecostes prima de gente Nordanhymbrorum, cum XI aliis de familia eius. Quo tempore curatus a uulnere sibi pridem inflicto, rex collecto exercitu uenit aduersus gentem Occidentalium Saxonum, ac bello inito uniuersos, quos in necem suam conspirasse didicerat, aut occidit, aut in deditionem recepit. Sicque uictor in patriam reuersus, non statim et inconsulte sacramenta fidei Christianae percipere uoluit; quamuis nec idolis ultra seruiuit, ex quo se Christo seruiturum esse promiserat. Uerum primo diligentius ex tempore, et ab ipso uenerabili uiro Paulino rationem fidei ediscere, et cum suis primatibus, quos sapientiores nouerat, curauit conferre, quid de his agendum arbitrarentur. Sed et ipse, cum esset uir natura sagacissimus, saepe diu solus residens ore quidem tacito, sed in intimis cordis multa secum conloquens, quid sibi esset faciendum, quae religio seruanda tractabat.

KING EDWIN'S KINGDOM

Edwin was the son of Ælle, the first king of Deira, who ruled from ca. 560 to 589. After uniting Northumbria under his rule in 616, Edwin gradually extended his power in England, eventually becoming a bretwalda, or overlord. He was defeated and killed in a battle with the combined forces of Penda of Mercia and Cadwallon of Gwynedd in 632. With his belated conversion in 628, Edwin became the first Christian king of Northumbria.

(1) Quō tempore: “at this time”

Humbre: genitive, with flūminis (“of the River Humber”)

cum rēge suō Aedvīnō: ablative of accompaniment with cum. Edwin ruled Northumbria from 616 to 633. See PASE Edwin 2.

verbum fideī: object of suscēpit. The main clause is gēns verbum suscēpit. To “receive the word of faith” is to be converted.

praedicante Paulīnō: ablative absolute, can be translated “through the preaching of Paulinus.” Paulinus was bishop of York from 625 to 633. See PASE Paulinus 1.

cuius suprā meminimus: Bede introduces Paulinus in I.29 as one of the missionaries that Pope Gregory sent to Britain. meminī takes a genitive object (here, cuius) when it means “mention”; see AG 350.b, Note 2.

(2) cui vidēlicet regī: dative of reference (AG 376).

in auspicium: “as a portent of” (with genitive).

ita ut: introducing a result clause.

quod nēmō Anglōrum ante eum: “(a thing) which no one of the Angles before him (had done).” Understand fēcerat.

omnēs Brittāniae fīnēs: direct object of acciperet.

quā: “where”

sub diciōne: “under his sway”

(3) Quīn et: “And in addition….”

Mēvāniās īnsulās: Anglesey and the Isle of Man.

sīcut et suprā docuimus: Bede first mentions Edwin’s conquest of Anglesey and Man at 2.5.

imperiō subiugāvit: subiugāre takes an ablative: “subjected to the authority of….”

quārum prior: “the former of which,” i.e., Anglesey.

ad austrum: “to the south”

sitū ... prōventū ... ūbertāte: ablatives of specification (AG 418) with comparative adjectives (“larger in size,” etc.).

nōngentārum LX familiārum mēnsūram: “a measure of 960 hides.” The genitives are genitives of measure (AG 345.b); mēnsūram is the direct object of tenet.

trecentārum et ultrā: “more than 300”

tenet: has both prior and secunda as its subjects: “the first ... has a measure of …, the second has a territory of….”

KING EDWIN'S MARRIAGE

Christianity was introduced to the kingdom of Northumbria through the marriage, ca. 625, of King Edwin to Æthelburh, the daughter of King Æthelberht of Kent, whom Augustine had converted to Christianity ca. 597 (see HE I.25). Edwin's conversion to Christianity was a condition of the marriage.

(4) Huic autem gentī: dative of reference (AG 376)

quod: “that”

eius: refers to huic gentī: “their aforementioned king”

cognātiōne iūnctus est: “was joined by marriage”

Cantuāriōrum: “of Kent”

acceptā ... filiā: ablative absolute.

in coniugem: “in marriage”

Ædilbergā: Æthelburh of Kent (died ca. 647), daughter of Æthelberht of Kent.

Æthelberctī: Æthelberht of Kent (ca. 560–616). For more on Æthelberht, see HE 2.5.

vocābātur: “was called.” Æthelburh’s nickname was Tate.

(5) huius cōnsortium cum ... peteret: temporal/circumstantial clause in the subjunctive. Re-arrange: cum prīmō ipse missīs procīs peteret huius cōnsortium ā frātre eius Aedbaldō…. The postponement of cum emphasizes the first two words.

huius: Æthelburh

primō: “first,” “the first time”

ipse: Edwin

missīs procīs: ablative of means (literally, “by means of sent ambassadors”)

Aeodbaldō: Eadbald, son of Æthelberht and Bertha; king of Kent, 616–640.

nōn esse licitum: infinitive in indirect discourse, introduced by respōnsum est (“the response was that it was not permissible…”).

caelestis: the word play on rēgis lends emphasis to this word

prōfānārentur cōnsortiō: “be profaned by the marriage” (ablative of means)

quī: the antecedent is rēgis (“of a king who….”)

esset: subjunctive by attraction (AG 593).

(6) sē ... esse factūrum: accusative-infinitive construction of indirect discourse, introduced by prōmīsit. nīl is the direct object of factūrum esse.

nīl omnimodīs: “not at all” (DMLBS, omnimodus 2.b)

quam: the antecedent is fideī (“the Christian faith, which…”)

quīn potius: “and furthermore”

permissūrum: understand esse (indirect discourse): “he would allow”

servāret: the subject is Æthelburh. The purpose clause can be translated: “he would allow her to keep …” (literally, “he would allow that she keep…”).

(7) sē … subitūrum esse: accusative-infinitive of indirect discourse, introduced by abnegāvit, the subject of which is Edwin. subitūrum esse: “he would submit to,” takes an accusative object (i.e., eandem religiōnem).

eandem ... religiōnem: i.e., Christianity

sī tamen: = “if, that is ...,” tamen providing a clarification and limitation (DMLBS, tamen 3).

exāmināta: take the participle in apposition to religio: “if it [i.e., the Christian religion], having been examined by wise men, could be found....”

PAULINUS ACCOMPANIES ÆTHELBURH TO THE COURT OF KING EDWIN

In 604 Pope Gregory sent Paulinus (d. 644) to England with a second group of missionaries to support Augustine's mission in Kent. Paulinus accompanied Æthelburh to Northumbria when she married Edwin, and turned his attention to converting the king. He finally succeeded in about 627, and was consecrated the first Bishop of York.

(8) prōmittitur: “was promised in marriage,” DMLBS, prōmittō 2.b.

virgō: Æthelburh

iuxtā: “in accordance with”

dispositum fuerat: shifted pluperfect, for dispositum erat.

ordinātur: “was ordained bishop,” DMLBS, ordināre 13.c.

quī ... venīret ... cōnfirmāret: relative clauses of purpose (AG 531.2): Paulinus is ordained “to come with her….” confirmāre means “to encourage, strengthen, confirm (person or heart, esp. in faith),” DMLBS, confirmāre 2.

eamque et comitēs eius: direct objects of cōnfirmāret.

cōtidiānā et exhortātiōne, et: “both by daily exhortation, and ….”

(9) Ordinātus: the ordination of Paulinus is here associated with Æthelburh’s marriage to Edwin in 625. On the controversy surrounding the dates in this chapter, see S. Wood, “Bede’s Northumbrian Dates Again,” The English Historical Review 98 (1983): 280–296, and D.P. Kirby, The Earliest English Kings (London: Unwin Hyman, 1991), 37–44.

Iūstō: Justus, first bishop of Rochester (604–624) and fourth archbishop of Canterbury (624 to between 627 and 630).

sub diē XII Kalendārum Augustārum: July 21

quasi comes cōpulae carnālis: literally, “as if as a companion of her secular union”; that is, Paulinus accompanied Æthelburh as if he were a retainer in the bride’s household, rather than as a bishop of the church.

(10) Sed ipse potius tōtō animō intendēns, ut: understand advēnit as the main verb, carried over from the previous clause, with intendēns as a complementary participle: “but really he came exerting himself wholeheartedly to….”

ut ... Chrīstō: re-order: ut, advocāns gentem, quam adībat, ad agnitōnem vēritātis, exhibēret [gentem] virginem castam ūnī vērō spōnsō Chrīstō, iuxtā vōcem apostolī. Understand gentem as the direct object of both advocāns and exhibēret, and virginem castam as a predicate accusative with gentem (“… to present the people as a pure virgin…”). ūnī vērō spōnsō is the dative indirect object of exhibēret.

iuxtā vōcem apostolī: “according to the word of the apostle”; Bede is paraphrasing 2 Corinthians 11:2: despondī enim vōs ūnī virō virginem castam exhibēre Christō (Vulgate; in the King James Version: “… for I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ”).

(11) dēficerent: “stray, fall short”

Dominō adiuvante: ablative absolute (“with the Lord’s help”)

praedicandō: ablative of means

(12) quamvīs multō tempore illō labōrante: multō tempore is ablative (for accusative) of extent of time; illō labōrante is an ablative absolute: “though he labored for a long time….”

in verbō: “in preaching the word” (Colgrave and Mynors).

“Deus … Chrīstī”: 2 Corinthians 4:4 (Vulgate).

Deus saeculī huius: “the god of this age,” i.e., Satan.

inlūminātiō ēvangeliī glōriae Chrīstī: literally, “the illumination of the Gospel of the glory of Christ.” This appears to be an instance of St. Jerome, in the Vulgate, using the genitive of an abstract noun in place of an adjective (see Bede’s Latin A.1.2); the KJV translates: “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ.”

KING EDWIN SURVIVES AN ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT

(13) vocābulō: “by name”

Occidentālium Saxonum: the West Saxons

Cuichelmō: Cwichelm, king of the West Saxons, was first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 614, and last mentioned in 636.

spērāns sē … prīvātūrum: spērāns introduces the accusative-infinitive of indirect discourse; understand esse with prīvātūrum (“hoping that he would deprive…”).

rēgnō simul et vītā: prīvāre, “to deprive of,” takes the ablative of separation.

sīcam bicipitem: a double-edged dagger. In Hebrews 4:12, the word of God is described as “sharper than any double-edged sword” (penetrabilior omnī gladiō ancipitī, Vulgate).

ferrī vulnus: the wound from the blade

(14) prīmō diē paschae: Easter Day

amnem Derventiōnem: the River Derwent, in Northumbria (a tributary of the Tyne).

villa: “hall” (Colgrave-Mynors), or “royal estate” (DMLBS, villa 1.b)

ēvāgīnātā ... sicā: ablative absolute

peste venēnī: “the sickness caused by the poison.” See DMLBS, pestis 2 and, for the “appositional” genitive, AG 343.g.

(15) quō ... dēfenderet: relative clause of purpose (AG 531.2): “to defend the king”

(16) Quī: i.e., the assassin Eumer

THE BIRTH AND BAPTISM OF KING EDWIN'S DAUGHTER EANFLÆD

(17) Aeanfled: Eanflæd (626 to ca. 685), who became the second wife of King Oswiu of Northumbria (married 642), and abbess of Whitby from ca. 680 until her death.

(18) ē contrā: “on the other hand”

precibus suīs: ablative of means

adstruere, quod ... obtinuerit ... prōcreāret: indirect statement with quod, introduced by adstruere (“to add”: the infinitive follows coepit). The perfect subjunctive obtinuerit is treated as a verb in secondary sequence, hence it is followed by the imperfect subjunctive (prōcreāret) in the subordinate clause.

(19) pugnantī: agrees with sibi (“if he [Christ] would give life and victory to him [Edwin] in his fight…”).

absque: = sine (post-classical)

sobolem: = subolem > suboles -is m., an elevated word for “offspring, child”

in pignus prōmissiōnis inplendae: “as a pledge of the fulfilment of his promise”

Chrīstō … Paulīnō: Chrīstō is the dative indirect object of cōnsecrandum and Paulīnō is the dative indirect object of adsignāvit.

pentēcostēs: genitive of a Greek first declension noun (AG 44)

cum XI aliīs dē familiā eius: that is, with 12 other members of Edwin's household; eius refers to Edwin.

KING EDWIN DEFEATS THE WEST SAXONS AND CONSIDERS THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

(20) bellō initō: ablative absolute: “when the war had started” or “in the course of his campaign” (Colgrave and Mynors).

ūniversōs: “everyone, “all those”

(21) ex quō: understand tempore (“from the time when…”).

(22) Vērum prīmō: “but first of all”

dīligentius: with ēdiscere and cōnferre

ex tempore: “as occasion offered”

et … et: “both … and”

ēdiscere ... cōnferre: both complementary infinitives with curāvit (“he took care to learn ... and to consult …”).

prīmātibus: “earls, barons,” DMLBS, primas 1.

quōs sapientiōrēs nōverat: sapientiōrēs is a predicate adjective: “whom he considered wisest.”

quid ... arbitrārentur: indirect question (AG 574) introduced by cōnferre (“to discuss what …”).

agendum: understand esse (“what they thought ought to be done …”).

(23) nātūrā: ablative of specification (AG 418): “by nature”

quid ... faciendum, quae ... servanda: indirect questions, introduced by tractābat (“he was considering what …”).

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