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Alastair Campbell described Blair's statement that the intelligence on WMDs was "beyond doubt" as his "assessment of the assessment that was given to him. Blair denied that he would have supported the invasion of Iraq even if he had thought Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. He said he believed the world was safer as a result of the invasion. In addition to PMQs, Blair held monthly press conferences at which he fielded questions from journalists [88] and — from — broke precedent by agreeing to give evidence twice yearly before the most senior Commons select committee, the Liaison Committee.

Blair in As the casualties of the Iraq War mounted, Blair was accused of misleading Parliament, [95] [96] and his popularity dropped dramatically. As a combined result of the Blair—Brown pactIraq war and low approval ratings, pressure built up within the Labour Party for Blair to resign.

Blair resigned from his Sedgefield seat in the House of Commons in the traditional form of accepting the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundredsto which he was appointed by Gordon Brown in one of the latter's last acts as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Blair decided not to issue a list of Resignation Honoursmaking him the first Prime Minister of the modern era not to do so. Blairism Social reforms InBlair said, "We are a left of centre party, pursuing economic prosperity and social justice as partners and not as opposites". Some left-wing critics, such as Mike Marqusee inargued that Blair oversaw the final stage of a long term shift of the Labour Party to the right.

George Osborne describes him as "the master", Michael Gove thought he had an "entitlement to conservative respect" in Februarywhile David Cameron reportedly maintained Blair as an informal adviser. The non-historical works contributed greatly to the Carolingian renaissance.

Both Benedict Biscop and Ceolfrith had acquired books from the Continent, and in Bede's day the monastery was a renowned centre of learning. Alban from a life of that saint which has not survived. He acknowledges two other lives of saints directly; one is a life of Fursaand the other of St. Albinus, the abbot of the monastery in Canterbury, provided much information about the church in Kent, and with the assistance of Nothhelmat that time a priest in London, obtained copies of Gregory the Great 's correspondence from Rome relating to Augustine's mission.

For the early part of the work, up until the Gregorian mission, Goffart feels that Bede used Gildas 's De excidio. The second section, detailing the Gregorian mission of Augustine of Canterbury was framed on the anonymous Life of Gregory the Great written at Whitby.

The last section, detailing events after the Gregorian mission, Goffart feels were modelled on Stephen of Ripon 's Life of Wilfrid. His introduction imitates the work of Orosius, [4] and his title is an echo of Eusebius's Historia Ecclesiastica. For example, he almost always uses the terms "Australes" and "Occidentales" for the South and West Saxons respectively, but in a passage in the first book he uses "Meridiani" and "Occidui" instead, as perhaps his informant had done.

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His interest in computusthe science of calculating the date of Easter, was also useful in the account he gives of the controversy between the British and Anglo-Saxon church over the correct method of obtaining the Easter date. He knew rhetoric, and often used figures of speech and rhetorical forms which cannot easily be reproduced in translation, depending as they often do on the connotations of the Latin words. However, unlike contemporaries such as Aldhelmwhose Latin is full of difficulties, Bede's own text is easy to read.

Alcuin rightly praises Bede for his unpretending style. The native Britons, whose Christian church survived the departure of the Romans, earn Bede's ire for refusing to help convert the Saxons; by the end of the Historia the English, and their Church, are dominant over the Britons.

He also wants to instruct the reader by spiritual example, and to entertain, and to the latter end he adds stories about many of the places and people about which he wrote.

Higham argues that Bede designed his work to promote his reform agenda to Ceolwulf, the Northumbrian king. Bede painted a highly optimistic picture of the current situation in the Church, as opposed to the more pessimistic picture found in his private letters. Yet both reflect an inseparable integrity and regard for accuracy and truth, expressed in terms both of historical events and of a tradition of Christian faith that continues to the present day.

Bede, like Gregory the Great whom Bede quotes on the subject in the Historia, felt that faith brought about by miracles was a stepping stone to a higher, truer faith, and that as a result miracles had their place in a work designed to instruct. This may be because Wilfrid's opulent lifestyle was uncongenial to Bede's monastic mind; it may also be that the events of Wilfrid's life, divisive and controversial as they were, simply did not fit with Bede's theme of the progression to a unified and harmonious church.

Frank Stenton describes this omission as "a scholar's dislike of the indefinite"; traditional material that could not be dated or used for Bede's didactic purposes had no interest for him.

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He also is parsimonious in his praise for Aldhelma West Saxon who had done much to convert the native Britons to the Roman form of Christianity. He lists seven kings of the Anglo-Saxons whom he regards as having held imperium, or overlordship; only one king of Wessex, Ceawlinis listed, and none from Mercia, though elsewhere he acknowledges the secular power several of the Mercians held.

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This, combined with Gildas's negative assessment of the British church at the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions, led Bede to a very critical view of the native church.

However, Bede ignores the fact that at the time of Augustine's mission, the history between the two was one of warfare and conquest, which, in the words of Barbara Yorkewould have naturally "curbed any missionary impulses towards the Anglo-Saxons from the British clergy. One was to use indictionswhich were year cycles, counting from AD.

There were three different varieties of indiction, each starting on a different day of the year. The other approach was to use regnal years—the reigning Roman emperor, for example, or the ruler of whichever kingdom was under discussion.

This meant that in discussing conflicts between kingdoms, the date would have to be given in the regnal years of all the kings involved. Bede used both these approaches on occasion, but adopted a third method as his main approach to dating: Assessment[ edit ] The Historia Ecclesiastica was copied often in the Middle Ages, and about manuscripts containing it survive.

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About half of those are located on the European continent, rather than in the British Isles. It was printed for the first time between andprobably at Strasbourg, France.

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The belief that the Historia was the culmination of Bede's works, the aim of all his scholarship, a belief common among historians in the past, is no longer accepted by most scholars. Stenton regarded it as one of the "small class of books which transcend all but the most fundamental conditions of time and place", and regarded its quality as dependent on Bede's "astonishing power of co-ordinating the fragments of information which came to him through tradition, the relation of friends, or documentary evidence In an age where little was attempted beyond the registration of fact, he had reached the conception of history.

One historian, Charlotte Behr, thinks that the Historia's account of the arrival of the Germanic invaders in Kent should not be considered to relate what actually happened, but rather relates myths that were current in Kent during Bede's time. Cuthbert, showing King Athelstan presenting the work to the saint. This manuscript was given to St. Cuthbert's shrine in For recent events the Chronicle, like his Ecclesiastical History, relied upon Gildas, upon a version of the Liber Pontificalis current at least to the papacy of Pope Sergius I —and other sources.

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For earlier events he drew on Eusebius 's Chronikoi Kanones. The dating of events in the Chronicle is inconsistent with his other works, using the era of creation, the Anno Mundi. He also created a listing of saints, the Martyrology. The majority of his writings were of this type, and covered the Old Testament and the New Testament. Most survived the Middle Ages, but a few were lost. In order to do this, he learned Greek, and attempted to learn Hebrew. He spent time reading and rereading both the Old and the New Testaments.

He mentions that he studied from a text of Jerome 's Vulgatewhich itself was from the Hebrew text. He also studied both the Latin and the Greek Fathers of the Church.

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Bede wrote homilies not only on the major Christian seasons such as AdventLentor Easter, but on other subjects such as anniversaries of significant events. A number of his biblical commentaries were incorporated into the Glossa Ordinariaan 11th-century collection of biblical commentaries.

Some of Bede's homilies were collected by Paul the Deaconand they were used in that form in the Monastic Office.

Saint Boniface used Bede's homilies in his missionary efforts on the continent.