Computus, Chronology, Theology, Christology
Bede’s application of Anno Domini dating to narrative history in his Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum was an innovation that exercised an extraordinary influence on future generations, continuing to the present day. Bede’s use of AD-dating in the Historia ecclesiastica was inspired by his understanding of the salvific nature of the Incarnation and his views on the nature of Christ. This essay considers what Bede aimed to achieve in presenting his contemporaries with a means of measuring time that was inherently Christ-centred. It argues that this has implications for understanding Bede’s aims and objectives in writing the Historia ecclesiastica and show that in restructuring the past Bede consciously attempted to influence the Anglo-Saxons’ perceptions of the future.