Paul Kershaw
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English history and Irish readers in the Frankish World
in Frankland
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This chapter explains the relationship between the Historia of the influential but resolutely static Bede and a set of scholars whose physical movement defined them as peregrini, the ninth-century Irish expatriate scholars who made their careers in the Carolingian world. Within that community, it focuses on one in particular, Sedulius Scottus. The lives of such men - 'scotti who die in foreign lands' in the self-conscious words of a marginal comment found in the ninth-century manuscript Bern 363 - are a reminder that Bede's monastic stabilitas was not the only mode of early medieval scholarly life. Experienced as a continuous piece of prose, the Bern Bede offers a compressed account of British history from Caesar to Augustine's mission, with a noticeable slackening of interest in late imperial history and a sustained moment of collapse in interest when dealing with the life and career of St Germanus.

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The Franks and the world of the early middle ages

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