List of Works By Bede - Works - Hymns and Poems

Hymns and Poems

In Bede's list of his works, he describes a book of hymns: "Librum hymnorum diverso metro sive rhythmo" and a book of poems: "Librum epigrammatum heroico metro sive elegiaco". Although manuscripts by these names survived to the 15th century, none are extant today. However, some of Bede's verse was transmitted through other manuscripts. In addition, Bede included poems in several of his prose works, and these have occasionally been copied separately and thus transmitted independently of their parent work.


Only one hymn is definitely by Bede; his Hymn on Queen Etheldryd, which is part of his Historia Ecclesiastica but which appears independently in some manuscripts. An additional fifteen hymns are thought to be of Bede's composition. Thirteen of these now survive only in a 16th-century printed edition; two further hymns, on psalms XLI and CXXII, have survived in manuscript form.

De die iudicii

The poem De die iudicii is assigned to Bede by most scholars.

Liber epigrammatum

Bede refers to a book of epigrams; the work is not entirely lost but has survived only in fragments. In the early 16th century, the antiquary John Leland transcribed a selection of epigrams from a now-lost manuscript; his selection includes several epigrams attributed to Bede which are likely to have come from the book Bede refers to. Leland's source was originally owned by Milred, bishop of Worcester from 745 to 775. Historian Michael Lapidge suggests that Milred's collection of epigrams was assembled early in Milred's tenure as bishop, perhaps in about 750.

Other poems The only other surviving poem of Bede's that is not part of one of Bede's prose works is a prayer in thirteen elegiac couplets which survives in a tenth-century manuscript in garbled form; it was first printed correctly in 1912.

Read more about this topic:  List Of Works By Bede, Works

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