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Saint Aldhelm (Old English: Ealdhelm) (c. 639 – 25 May 709), Abbot of Malmesbury Abbey, Bishop of Sherborne, Latin poet and scholar of Anglo-Saxon literature, was born before the middle of the 7th century. He is said to have been the son of Kenten, who was of the royal house of Wessex.[1] He was certainly not, as Aldhelm's early biographer Faritius asserts, the brother of King Ine.



Early life and education

Aldhelm received his first education in the school of an Irish scholar and monk, Máeldub (also Maildubh, Maildulf or Meldun) (died c. 675), who had settled in the British stronghold of Bladon (or Bladow) on the site of the town called Mailduberi, Maldubesburg, Meldunesburg, etc., and finally Malmesbury, after him.

In 668, Pope Vitalian sent Theodore of Tarsus to be Archbishop of Canterbury. At the same time the African scholar Hadrian, became abbot of St Augustine's at Canterbury. Aldhelm was one of his disciples,[1] for he addresses him as the 'venerable preceptor of my rude childhood.' He must, nevertheless, have been thirty years of age when he began to study with Hadrian. His studies included Roman law, astronomy, astrology, the art of reckoning and the difficulties of the calendar. He learned, according to the doubtful statements of the early lives, both Greek and Hebrew. He certainly introduces many Latinized Greek words into his works.

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