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Rhabanus [1]

(more properly Rabanus) Maurus a distinguished German theologian and prelate, was born of French parents, named Raban, at Mentz, about 776. On the completion of his early studies at Fulda, in Hesse, he was there made a deacon in 801; and he betook himself to Tours the following year to enjoy the tuition of the famous Alcuin, who is said to have surnamed him the Moor, from his dark complexion. It is also apparent from his writings that he had in his youth made a pilgrimage to Palestine. In his twenty-fifth year he became head of the convent school at Fulda, where his successful teaching drew around him many pupils, and not a few of the nobility intrusted him with the education of their sons. In 822 he was consecrated abbot; but he still directed the seminary, which supplied many able teachers for the Frankish and German churches. On a complaint of the monks that his absorption in literary pursuits hindered the discharge of his more active conventual duties, he retired in 842. He was, however, drawn out of this voluntary seclusion, in 847, by being made archbishop of Mentz, whence he is supposed by some to have received the epithet of Magnentius. In this situation he was the opposer and persecutor of Gottschalk (q.v.), who advocated the doctrine of predestination. Rabanus founded the monastery of Mont St. Pierre, and rebuilt that of Klingemunster. In 850 he showed great devotion in relieving the poor who had suffered from a flood. In 852 he presided at a council held in his metropolis. He died Feb. 4, 856. His influence was great among the churches in the diffusion of practical piety, and he had several illustrious disciples. His erudition and general attainments were respectable for the age in which he lived, and, as a lecturer, he instructed his scholars in general literature and science as well as theology. He wrote commentaries on all the canonical books and many of the Apocryphal ones, and left behind him numerous treatises, sermons, and letters. His Opera Omnia were edited by Henin and Colvener (Cologne, 1627, 6 vols. fol.). See Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. G n rale, s.v.; Darling, Cyclop. Bibliog. s.v., and the literature there cited; also, Johann, De Vita ac Doctrina Rhab. Mauri Magn. (Jen. 1724); Schwarz, De Rabano Mauro (Heidelb. 1811); Dahl, Leben. u. Schr. d. Rab. Maur. (Fulda, 1828); Kunstman, Ueb. Hraban, Maur. (Mainz, 1841).