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9th Century

9th Century

• 800--On Christmas day Charlemagne (Charles the Great, c. 742-814) is crowned the first "Holy Roman Emperor" by Pope Leo at St. Peters in Rome. Charlemagne noted for military conquests, strong central government, ecclesiastic reform and educational patronage.

• 831--Radbertus (c. 790-865) publishes first writing in the West on the Eucharist. It provokes controversy and anticipates later Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.

• John Scotus Erigena (c. 810-877), one of greatest theologians of early middle ages, helps pave way for scholasticism. Involved in eucharistic controversy with Radbertus and maintains in the supper we partake of the Lord "mentally not dentally."

• Anskar (801-865), "Apostle of the North," lays foundation for Christianity in Scandinavia.

• Significant missionary efforts make further inroads among heathen peoples of Europe. Cyril (826-869) and Methodius (c. 815-885), the "Apostles of the Slavs," work in Moravia and invent an alphabet for the Slavs.

• Photius (c. 820-895), a renowned scholar and layman, made Patriarch of Constantinople in 858. Later deposed and reinstated at least twice. Conflicts with pope and Rome over spiritual jurisdiction and doctrine ("filioque controversy") foreshadow deepening rift and eventual split between churches in East and West.

• Alfred the Great is King of Wessex in England. Translated Christian writings into the language of the common people. Set up a palace school and founded two monasteries. Devoted half his time and money to religious purposes.


Originally published May 21, 2010.

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