Alcuin of York
Born c. 732/35, Alcuin was educated at the cathedral school of York, of
which he became master in 766. A deacon all of his career, he met
Charlemagne in 781 and became a leading figure at the Frankish king's
court, where he established schools and libraries. He was also
Charlemagne's private tutor and counselor. Alcuin wrote poetry, including
a elegy on the destruction of Lindisfarne, and hagiography, including the
life of St. Willibrord of Utrecht. He introduced the customs of singing
the creed and of observing All Saints' Day into the Frankish church; he
was also responsible for the Romanization of the Gallic mass. At the
council of Frankfurt (794), he presented arguments against the
of Felix of Urgel.
One of his arguments included the use of the phrase
filioque in the creed; the Eastern church holds Alcuin responsible
the propagation of its usage. Alcuin may have written the
which attack the Seventh Oecumenical Council, and he may have
supplemented the Gregorian sacramentary. Appointed abbot of the monastery
of St. Martin of Tours in 796, Alcuin and his followers may have been the
force behind Leo III's "surprise" coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman
Emperor on Christmas Day, 800. Alcuin died four years later. His 300
surviving letters are an important source of history. His knowledge was
considerable, but his originality was not.
Karen Rae Keck
- ALCUIN'S THEOLOGY:
- Opposition to Adoptionism
- John C. Cavadini:
The Last Christology of the West --
Adoptionism in Spain and Gaul, 785-820, (1993).
University of Pennsylvania, 1993.
Life of St. Vedastus:
Describes the conversion of King Clovis to
Lasnier translation, 1996.
--- University of Kansas
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