Historical Works of Venerable Bede/Volume 2/Life of Bede/Chapter 8

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The author, mentioned in the last chapter, records also that many famous men were disciples of the Venerable Bede, and among others the following still more distinguished than the rest: Cheulph, Maurice, Oswald, and Cadoc, who for their learning and virtues were held in high estimation by the people. Carter, a schoolmaster of Cambridge, seems to speak on no better authority, in his History of the University of Cambridge,[1] where he attempts to prove its superior antiquity over that of Paris.

"As for Paris," says he, "which claims the precedency, it is at most no older than the reign of Charlemagne, and founded by four disciples of the venerable Bede."

Though the character of Cantalupe's History is too low to allow us to attach any importance to this and other statements which it contains, yet "Bede's knowledge of the Scriptures, the result of so many years of patient study, and his great reputation for learning, would no doubt draw round him a multitude of disciples. The names of some of his more favoured pupils are preserved by himself, in the dedications to such of his works as were undertaken at their suggestion, or for their especial benefit. Amongst these we may notice Huetbert, afterwards Abbot of Weremouth, to whom he dedicated his treatise De Ratione Temporum, and his Exposition upon the Revelations; Cuthbert, the successor of Huetbert, for whom he wrote his Liber de Arte Metrica; Constantine, for whose use he edited a dissertation concerning the division of Numbers; and, lastly, Nothelm, presbyter of London, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, at whose request he propounded thirty questions upon the Books of Kings. Although there were probably other disciples, whose names he does not specify, yet we can by no means agree with Vincent of Beauvais[2] in including amongst the number Rhabanus Maurus, who was not born until fifty years after Bede's death; nor the more celebrated Alcuin, as some writers erroneously have done."[3]

  1. Lond. 1753, page 3.
  2. Spec. Histor. xxiii 173.
  3. Stevenson's Introduction.