site's logo and link back to the English-speaking home page arrow back Learning and Knowledge In the Carolingian Times
decorative picture .Evolution of Culture Between Rome and The Carolingians .The Carolingian Renaissance .Alcuin .Paulinus .Enlisting Clergy .The Palace School


pages decorative bandeau, reminder of the one of the main entry home page and the localized home page

Paulinus was, with Alcuin, the other major mastermind behind the Carolingian cultural revival. He had been born around 730-740 A.D. in Austrasia. A other source quotes that he originated from a Roman family in northern Italy. Under undetermined circumstances, he crossed to Italy where he became a famed literature teacher and the master of the patriarchal school of Cividale. He acquired a vast Latin, pagan, and Christian culture and having a deep knowledge in jurisprudence, Scriptures, theology and patristics

By 776 A.D., Paulinus was seen treated by Charlemagne with a land which had been confiscated to the Lombards. Barely later, his knowledge and reputation had him elevated to the patriarchate of Aquileia under the name Paulinus II, maybe in 787. 'Patriarch' was the titulature in usage there for the bishops, likely due to the proximity to Byzantine lands. He soon became, like Alcuin tells, the 'lux Ausoniae patriae,' which is the 'lux of the patry of Ausone' (or of Italy simply said). He also was instrumental into the conversion of the Avars, he was brilliant against the adoptianist heretics at the council of Frankfurt in 794 as, at the same time, he was a most consulted counselor to Charlemagne, of which in religious matters. Like a counselor he eventually likely met Alcuin as both became friends, as Alcuin considered him like his master. Charlemagne, had had Paulinus invited to the court in 776 A.D. to be a 'royal master of grammar.' He became there acquainted, beyond Alcuin, with the other Carolingian scholars like Eginard or Petrus of Pisa. Paulinus can also be found like a 'missus dominicus,' one of those civil servants -one lay, one cleric- who, at interval, patrolled the empire. He thus was missus in 798 with one named Arno and ten other bishops as, afterwards, Charles also named him the imperial legate to the Pope, in Rome

Apart from his role in the Carolingian revival and a efficient administrator of this bishopric, Paulinus had a important role as a theologian, helping to the Christian legislation of the Frankish world, or participating into the assemblies held against the heresy of the Adoptionism, that heresy defended by Felix, the bishop of Urgel, Spain (council of Ratisbon in 792; leading role in the synod of Francfort in 794; synod of Cividale in 796). Paulinus, for example, was too one the great defensor of the 'Filioque,' this update to the Council of Nicea. Paulinus, on the other hand, was too the leading figure to the evangelization among the Avars and the Slovenes, as, following a synod of bishops in Salzburg, he accompanied Pepin against the Avars. Paulinus died in 802 A.D. revered as a saint, as he appeared in the liturgy as soon as in the 9th century. His feast was translated from Jan. 11 to Feb. 9 in the beginning of the 17th century. The Church of Cividale was keeping his feast on March 2nd

Website Manager: G. Guichard, site Learning and Knowledge In the Carolingian Times / Erudition et savoir à l'époque carolingienne, Page Editor: G. Guichard. last edited: 10/20/2011. contact us at
Free Web Hosting