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An advisor to William the Conqueror, Lanfranc was born c. 1010 in Pavia. He was an itinerant scholar and established a school at Avranches in 1039. He wrote a book about the trivium that is now lost. In 1042, he entered the monastic community at Bec, where he wrote commentary on the structure of St. Paul's arguments in his epistles. He also commented on the Psalms and on the Collations of St. John Cassian.
In 1053, Lanfranc opposed William's marriage to Matilda of Flanders because the couple were too closely related. When the king and the priest were reconciled, William made Lanfranc the abbot of St. Stephen's in Caen. William appointed him Archbishop of Canterbury in 1070, about the time that Lanfranc's work on eucharistic theology, On the Body and Blood, came out. The book almost articulates transubstantiation and is the most influential of Lanfranc's oeuvre. Lanfranc re-established the primacy of Canterbury, replaced Anglo-Saxon bishops with Norman bishops, and rebuilt Canterbury Cathedral. He died in 1089.
Karen Rae Keck
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