The Revival of Literature

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 13
The beginning of the eleventh century was not only famous for the putting forth of great architectural skill, but also for the renewed energies of the human mind in the various departments of learning. The long, dull, unquestioning belief of ages was now to be disturbed by a free and wholesome inquiry.
The intellectual energy of Europe, it is said, was in a condition of gradual decay from the fifth to the middle of the eighth century; and though the condition of the British isles, and the labors of the venerable Bede, may seem to furnish some exception to the general rule, it was then that ignorance reached its widest and darkest boundaries. Bede, we may observe in passing, is spoken of as the man who most eminently deserves to be called England's teacher. He was born in the year 673, in the village of Jarrow in Northumberland; he was a monk and a priest, but a most devout, laborious, and godly man: the instruction of youth had been one of the great objects of his life, which he continued till his latest hours: he died in the midst of his beloved scholars, May 26th, 735.*
(* Neander, vol. 5, p. 197.)