Sylvester II

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Sylvester II,

c.945–1003, pope (999–1003), a Frenchman (b. Auvergne) named Gerbert; successor of Gregory V. In his youth he studied at Muslim schools in Spain and became learned in mathematics and astronomy. Returning to France, he began teaching in the bishop's school at Reims. In 991, Gerbert, now widely celebrated as a teacher, was elected archbishop of Reims; but his predecessor had been deposed illegally, and eventually (995) Gerbert's election was nullified. He joined Holy Roman Emperor Otto III as his teacher and went with him to Italy, where Pope Gregory V made him archbishop of Ravenna. Upon Gregory's death, Otto presented Gerbert as his papal candidate. As pope, Sylvester aided energetically in the Christianization of Poland and Hungary and worked closely with Otto in the restoration of the Holy Roman Empire. In the later Middle Ages his learning became legendary and was in popular belief transformed into skill at sorcery. He wrote on theology, mathematics, and the natural sciences. Sylvester was the first French pope, and of the popes of the 10th cent. he was the only one of distinction. He was succeeded by John XVII.

Sylvester II

original name Gerbert of Aurillac. c. 940--1003 ad, French ecclesiastic and scholar; pope (999--1003): noted for his achievements in mathematics and astronomy
References in periodicals archive ?
Near the end of the tenth century, Gerbert of Aurillac wrote of the necessity to gather manuscripts of the ancients in order to develop skills of 'smooth speech', and we know that he took up residence in the cathedral school at Rheims because he wished to perfect his practice of dialectic and rhetoric.
(43) That same interest in practical rhetoric, mathematics and music, and their relationships, is reflected elsewhere among leaders of ecclesiastical reform, at the abbey of Gorze, in the German translations of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy and On the Trinity by Notker Labeo of St Gall, in writings about astronomy and dialectic by Notker of Liege, in descriptions of Gerbert of Aurillac's teaching at Rheims and his construction of devices to illustrate musical tones and to observe the heavens, and by Gandersheim's ecclesiastical superior Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim.
As Gerbert of Aurillac, he studied and taught astronomy and mathematics in France, Spain, Italy, and at the court of Otto III, the German Roman Emperor.
Her influence may have helped to form Otto's high concept of his own destiny, which was encouraged by his tutors, who included the cultivated French cleric Gerbert of Aurillac.