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His interest in the topic began with curiosity about the correct date to celebrate Easter, and Bede is the first historian to use the A. (from the Latin , "in the year of our Lord") system of dating. And he exhorted his copyists to preserve his citations—"since I do not want to be thought a thief in putting down as mine what is really theirs." Though remembered as a historian, Bede's chief delight was in the study of Scripture.

Four-fifths of his writings were on biblical interpretation.

There is no "zero" year -- in this system, the year Christ was born is 1 A. Russia and Turkey, for example, did not convert to the modern calendar and year scheme until the 20th century.

This practice was first suggested in the sixth century A. It took quite a while for it to become a worldwide standard, however.

For the adult Bede, life was an continuous round of devotion and study.

His fellow monks testify to his character, as one put it, "I can with truth declare that I never saw with my eyes or heard with my ears anyone return thanks so unceasingly to the living God." Bede, for his part, only qualified his reputation as a hard working scholar: "I really don't work 'night and day,' but it is quite true that I do toil hard to reach a right judgment on all that I read." Bede was a renaissance scholar: He wrote on grammar, mathematics, poetry, church music, rhetoric, and science, both for a general audience and for his own pupils. 731, and without it, we would know little of the early centuries of Christianity in Britain, especially the history of Celtic Christianity, early missions to the Continent, and the definitive Synod of Whitby (during which the Celtic church submitted itself to Rome).

Before Bede's use of it, there was no use of a year number in everyday use in western Europe. The normal mode of specifying the year before that time (8th century) was by regnal years, or consular years (Rome), or Judges/Archons/Olympiads (Greece).

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The BCE/CE system requires no conversions and no re-dating of historical events; only the renaming of BC to BCE and AD to CE is needed.

More specifically, the young Bede was given over to the care of the abbot Benedict Biscop, a learned man with refined tastes, who introduced Bede to the world of beauty and scholarship.

Bede's love for church liturgy was cemented during an early tragedy, when all the monks but Benedict succumbed to the plague and Bede and his abbot alone labored together to continue the services until others could be sent to support them.

D.) year numbering, sometimes secularized as "BCE" (Before Common Era) or "CE" (Common Era). For example, both Jews and Muslims maintain a calendar which is not related to CE; many cultures maintain a calendar which "begins" with the foundation of their government or the reign of the current dynasty.

What was the prevailing method of dating years in Western culture before this system came into use? The use of Anno Domini ("in the year of our Lord") was first used in narrative history by Bede (although it had been used very slightly in some annals before that).

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