Illumination: Alcuin and Hrabanus Maurus
Alcuin accompanies his pupil Hrabanus Maurus at the handover of his work De laudibus sanctae crucis to Martin of Tours, illumination from the Manuscriptum Fuldense, circa 831/40
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Wien / Wikimedia Commons


Charlemagne’s adviser

What is a letter? – A guardian of history.

Alcuin, Gespräch des jungen hochedlen Königssohns Pippin mit seinem Lehrer Albinus

Alcuin was an important scholar, head of the palace school in Aachen and advisor to Charlemagne. These positions explain his influence in the Frankish imperial court. This led him to become one of the protagonists in the Carolingian Renaissance.

His editing of the Vulgata, the Latin Bible, was highly influential. However his most important contribution to the cultural unification of Western Europe was that he introduced the Carolingian Minuscule, which was subsequently used for almost three hundred years. From this the Humanists of the Renaissance era developed the lower case letters still in use today.