Hadrian The African
d.709. Monk and scholar. Native of , he became abbot of Niridan, a Benedictine house near Naples. Proficient in Greek and Latin learning and adept in canon law, he resisted his appointment by Pope Vitalian, a personal friend, to the vacant archbishopric of Canterbury. He did agree, however, to accompany his suggested nominee, , to England as adviser and defender of Roman orthodoxy. As abbot of SS. Peter and Paul's monastery and head of the school in Canterbury, he introduced a variety of disciplines, taught pagan and patristic literature, founded other schools, and educated students-notably Aldhelm-from as far as Ireland and the Continent. His contributions helped assure the dominance of Roman Christianity in Britain.