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Hadrian The African

d.709. Monk and scholar. Native of Roman Africa, 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, Theodore of Tarsus, 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.