The son of a serf, Gerbert was destined to end his days as Pope Sylvester II (999-1003). Yet he left a deeper mark upon history through his scholarship. As a young monk, Gerbert had been so brilliant a student that his abbot had taken the unusual step of sending him to Spain to study mathematics where he was also exposed to the broad and tolerant culture of the ruling Muslims. This was the first of a number of significant contributions Muslims made to the Christian intellectual awakening. Gerbert returned to Rheims deeply impressed by the inquisitive, questing spirit of Muslim scholarship and subsequently charged his pupils to study the Roman classics in the original.
[tags]BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, history, Sylvester-II[/tags]