Epic of Beowulf - Where Did the Christianity in Beowulf Come From?

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Where Did the Christianity in Beowulf Come From? The Christian influences in Beowulf ultimately came from the Christian/Catholic Church of Rome which converted Romans, and thereby the Roman legions and thereby the occupied provinces. Also the Christian/Catholic Bishop of Rome sent missionary priests and monks to the British Isles to proselytze the population. There are additional considerations too. First of all, let us be clear about the fact that the conversion of Britain to Christianity began quite early. The Catholic priest Venerable Bede, born in Bernicia, Northumbria, around 673, states in Bk 1, Ch 4 of his Ecclesiastical History of the English People that while Eleutherius was Bishop of Rome (175-189AD), a king of Britain named Lucius requested of the Pope that the king be baptized a Catholic by papal decree: In the year of our Lord 156 Marcus Antoninus Verus was made emperor together with his brother Aurelius Commodus. He was the fourteenth after Augustus. In their time, while a holy man called Eleutherius was bishop of the church at Rome, Lucius, a king of Britain, sent him a letter praying him that he might be made a Christian by a rescript from him. His pious request was quickly granted and the Britons preserved the faith which they had received, inviolate and entire, in peace and quiet, until the time of the Emperor Diocletian. Bede’s last sentence in the passage implies that Christianity had already been established in Britain for some time prior to Eleutherius occupying Peter’s chair from 175-189. This seems reasonable according to what is written by the historian Eusebius Pamphilus, bishop of Caesarea, in His Ecclesiastical History written in the 300’s. The Ecclesiastical His... ... middle of paper ... ...McClure, Judith, editors. Bede: The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; The Greater Chronicle; Bede’s Letter to Egbert. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, translated by C.F. Cruse. Peabody, MS: Hendrickson Publishers, 2000. Magoun, Frances P. “Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry.” In TheBeowulf Poet, edited by Donald K. Fry. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968. “Nero.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. www.bartleby.com/65/. “St. Patrick.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. www.bartleby.com/65/. Ward & Trent, et al. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907–21; New York: Bartleby.com, 2000

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