Alcuin: Friend of Charlemagne, His World and His Work

Alcuin: Friend of Charlemagne, His World and His Work

Alcuin: Friend of Charlemagne, His World and His Work

Alcuin: Friend of Charlemagne, His World and His Work

Excerpt

Error at different times has told of Alcuin various stories: that he was abbot of St. Augustine's Monastery in Canterbury; that he taught the liberal sciences at Cambridge; that he founded the University of Paris; that he was Archbishop of York. He is still a very shadowy figure to many readers, and apology is scarcely needed for a book that bears his name. The text of this one is intended for the student of history sacred and secular during the eighth century in Anglo-Saxon England and the Frankish realm. It is centred in the life of Alcuin, and I have tried to give as clear a picture as I could of his character, of his many interests, and of his importance to his world and to ours. For the specialist I have appended footnotes and bibliography, should he wish to verify or to dispute the faith that is in me, or to wander down one of the many bypaths that beckon so persuasively to the researcher in the problems of this time. The bibliography records my indebtedness to experts in the history and the literature of the period, in the liturgy and theology of the Church. Among the names recognized by all I should like to mention here those of Wilhelm Levison, master of this century in England and on the continent, of Arthur Kleinclausz, who fulfilled a life of distinguished scholarship in giving us his Alcuin, ofEtienne Gilson , who dedicated to Alcuin in 1944 his La Philosophie au Moyen Age, and of J. C. B. Gaskoin, whose learned and well-known study, published in 1904, now needs revision in the light of later research. From this fact I have drawn courage to follow him afar.

The responsibility for my book is mine; its sins of commis-

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