Hrabanus Maurus

Woodcut: Hrabanus Maurus as bishop of Mainz
Hrabanus Maurus as the bishop of Mainz, woodcut from his work De Clericorum institutione, 1532
Deutsches Buch- Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Leipzig
um 780-856

Hrabanus Maurus

Abbot at the spiritual heart of the Frankish Empire

I did what I could and what God gave.

Hrabanus Maurus, Epitaph Hrabans, 9th century

Hrabanus Maurus was a renowned scholar from an early age. He became a leading figure of the Carolingian Renaissance after spending time at the court of Charlemagne and as a pupil of Alcuin. From 804, Hrabanus worked at the monastery of Fulda, first as a teacher and then as abbot from 822. He helped to make the monastery with school, library and scriptorium a spiritual centre of the Frankish Empire. Hrabanus' numerous works mainly deal with questions of church practice; he also penned an extensive encyclopaedia of biblical interpretation.

The universal scholar, who had created a spiritual connection between the early Christian ancient tradition and scholasticism of the early Middle Ages, continued to have an impact until well into the 16th century.