(c. 639—709) abbot of Malmesbury, bishop of Sherborne, and scholar

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(c. 639–709)

was one of the most learned men of his time. Thought to be related to West Saxon kings and educated at Malmesbury under the Irish scholar Maildubh, he also studied briefly at the Canterbury school flourishing under Archbishop Theodore and Abbot Hadrian after 669. A distinguished scholar and teacher, ecclesiastically energetic, appointed abbot of Malmesbury c.675, and first bishop of Sherborne c.705, Aldhelm founded monasteries, built churches, and a surviving letter shows him writing to Geraint, king of Dumnonia, urging conformity with the Roman observance of Easter. His largest work, De virginitate, dedicated to the nuns at Barking (Essex), is a twofold treatise in prose and verse, which became a stylistic model for subsequent Anglo‐Latin works.

Subjects: History — Christianity.

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