The Venerable Bede

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The Venerable Bede

(c. 703)

English monk.

De natura rerum (On the nature of things).


De circulis terrae

His circulis antiqui duos praeponunt, unum per insulam Meroen, et Ptolemaidam Rubri maris urbem, ubi longissimus dies horarum XII est, dimidia hora amplior.

(Gnomonica de iisdem)

Sed et in Meroe insula Nili, V millibus stadiorum a Syene bis in anno absumi umbras, sole duodevicesimam partem Tauri, et quartam decimam Leonis obtinente.

(De mundi coelestis terrestrisque constitutione liber)


Chus hodieque ab Hebraeis Aethiopia nuncupater...

(The circles of the world

The Ancients added above the two circles other circles; the first through the Island of Meroe and Ptollemaïs, which is a city of the Red Sea, where the longest day is twelve and a half hours.

(On the divisions of time)

And we also said that in Meroe, an island of the Nile, five thousand furlongs from Syene, shadows twice a year totally lacking the sun when it is in the twelfth part of Taurus, and the fourteenth of that of Leo.

(book on the constitution of the celestial world and the earth)


Today Ethiopia is called after the Hebrew Chus (Kush)...)

Selected edition

Monumenta Cartographica Africae et Aegypti. Tome III.I, ed. Y. Kamel (Leiden: 1930).