Joy in learning

Daily Reading for September 19 • Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690

Because both of them [Archbishop Theodore and his assistant Abbot Hadrian] were extremely learned in sacred and secular literature, they attracted a crowd of students into whose hearts they daily poured the streams of wholesome knowledge. They gave their hearers instruction not only in the books of holy Scripture but also in the art of metre, astronomy, and ecclesiastical computation. Never had there been happier times since the English first came to Britain; for having such brave Christian kings they were a terror to all the barbarian nations, and the desires of everyone were set on the joys of the heavenly kingdom of which they had only lately heard; while all who wished for instruction in sacred studies had teachers ready to hand. From that time also the knowledge of sacred music, which had hitherto been known only in Kent, began to be taught in all the English churches.

From Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, quoted in The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society by John Blair (Oxford, 2005).

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