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Anselm of Canterbury

c.1033-1109. Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093. Born in Aosta, Italy, he quarreled with his father as a youth and left home. After years of wandering, at the age of twenty-six he settled in Normandy at Bec, becoming a monk under the influence of Lanfranc. When he was sixty years old he left the abbey and was made archbishop of Canterbury, a post he held until his death. Anselm took part in the intellectual development of eleventh- and twelfth-century Europe when, due to the increase in wealth and the challenge of new ideas, the Scholastic* tradition was formed. At the beginning of this process, the monastic communities took the lead. They had various advantages over the secular schools, the greatest of these being the close and continuing contact between the teacher and the student. Given a bright teacher, a tradition of learning, and the unhurried pace of a monastic community, the results could be very impressive. This was the situation at Bec while Anselm was prior and then abbot.