The “magician” overwhelmed by rumors

  He was born the son of serfs, but died as Pope; he studied hard and determined to spread the knowledge of another world to the Christian world, but he was called “magician” because of it; The Church of Aurillac, but has been haunted by all kinds of strange theories during his lifetime and after his death——Sylvester II, Gerbert of Aurillac, the first pope born in France, because His extraordinary life has become an immortal legend.
  Gilbert was born in 945 in Aurillac, in what is now the Saint-Simon region of France, where his statue stands today as the glory of his hometown. Around 963, Gilbert was lucky enough to enter the monastery of St. Grande in Aurillac to study, where Gilbert received a good training in Latin classical culture. In 967, the first nobleman in Gilbert’s life appeared. Earl Basel II from Barcelona discovered Gilbert’s talent when he visited St. Grande, so he proposed to bring Gilbert back to Barcelona. In order to make it better trained in mathematics and astronomy. This encounter changed Gilbert’s life, and to some extent also influenced the later Christian world in Western Europe.
  Barcelona in the 10th century was much more enlightened than other parts of the Christian world at that time, and this benefited from the “pagans”-the Arabs. The newly emerging Arabs entered the Spanish peninsula first, of course, by the army, but their advanced culture constituted the second wave of impact shortly thereafter, which was more subtle than the former but had a far-reaching impact. The influence from Arabia came to Gilbert in a coincidental way. Gilbert’s mentor in Barcelona was Bishop Attu, an enlightened Christian who revered Arab culture out of his own experience. The Count of Basel II was defeated in the war with the Arabs, so he sent a mission to Cordoba to seek an armistice. Bishop Attu happened to be one of them. This mission allowed him to see the customs of Arabia. culture. It is recorded that in Córdoba, he was overwhelmed by the magnificent palaces of the Arabs, compared with which the humble castles of Western Europe were nothing. Gilbert later said of the Bishop of Attu that he taught him not only advanced mathematics and science, but also a love of knowledge and culture rather than war affairs, where Gilbert formed the He maintained a lifelong interest in mathematics and astronomy. It is said that Gilbert exchanged an armillary sphere for a rare manuscript. The later pope was also famous for his profound knowledge and love of knowledge, and this is inseparable from the influence of his mentor, Bishop Attu, and Arab culture.
  After several years of study, Gilbert accompanied Duke Basel II on a pilgrimage to Rome in 969, where Gilbert met his second nobleman. Pope John XIII appreciated Gilbert’s talents and strongly recommended him to Otto the Great as the crown prince, the teacher of the future Otto II. From then on, Gilbert formed an indissoluble bond with the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, and even shared weal and woe.
  After the death of Otto II in 983, Gilbert became involved in the political torrent. The young Otto III was held hostage by Henry, Duke of Bavaria. Gilbert escaped from the Cologne rebellion and wrote letters to the Germans, Belgians and Lorraine asking for help. In 985, with the support of the archbishop, Guibert resisted the attempt of King Lothel of France to wrest Lorraine from Otto III by supporting Hugh Capet. Hugh Capet became King of France in 987, ending the Caroline dynasty.
  Gilbert went to Reims in northern France to become a deacon, and was soon appointed as a teacher by Bishop Adebolon because of his outstanding talents. Gilbert is an excellent teacher. He has studied the seven arts of Christianity. He also produced a variety of practical teaching aids, astronomical instruments and organs, and wrote the book “On Reason and the Application of Reason”. When Bishop Adeborone died in 989, Gilbert was supposed to take over as the designated successor, but King Capet stepped in and awarded the post to Anaf, Lothel’s illegitimate son. , and Arnaf was deposed just two years later for his involvement in plotting against the king. At this time, Gilbert was elected as the successor bishop, but there was another wave of ups and downs. Gilbert’s tenure was opposed by many people, so the Pope sent an envoy to announce the suspension of the appointment. At the Synod, Anaf’s dismissal was declared invalid again, so Gilbert’s dream of a bishop was once again in vain. In desperation, Gilbert went to the young king Otto III.
  Determined to restore the glory of the Roman Empire, Otto III led his troops into Italy in 996 and appointed his cousin as Pope John V, who was soon crowned Otto III by the pope. The secularism and the church at that time mocked the world in such a way. Thanks to their close relationship, Gilbert was appointed Bishop of Ravenna by John V in 998. After several twists and turns, at the time of John V in 999, with the support of Otto III, Gilbert finally became the pope of the Christian world, titled Sylvester II. This title is also very meaningful. Pope Sylvester I in the 4th century had an extraordinary relationship with Constantine the Great. Gilbert alluded to his relationship with Otto III, and hoped that Otto III’s Help restore the glory of Christianity as Sylvester I did with the support of Constantine the Great. During his four-year term, Sylvester II vigorously reorganized the church. The corruption of the church at that time was simply sensational, buying and selling holy relics was commonplace among the clergy, and it was even common for senior clergy to live together illegally and have illegitimate children. In response to this situation, Sylvester II has repeatedly stated that only those who are virtuous can become bishops. But from the process of Gilbert becoming pope, we can find that the independence of the church was in jeopardy at that time, and the pope became a tool for various secular forces to fiddle with. influence. He had been Pope for just two years when a rebellion broke out in Rome and Sylvester had to leave. Otto III launched three repressions, and lost his life in the third repression. Shortly thereafter, Sylvester returned to Rome and continued to be Pope surrounded by various rebel forces, but not long after, In 1003 he also went to see God.
  There are a lot of strange stories about Gilbert, which is not unusual in the Middle Ages, and some scholars even believe that there may be no fewer people who worshiped Satan than worshiped God. One of the strange tales is that Gilbert stole an Arab magic book while in Spain, and then flew back to France. On the way, he learned that the other party was chasing him on a flying carpet, because the victim could track the thief by observing the stars. So he hid under a wooden bridge, because under the wooden bridge between heaven and earth, it is a dead end of magic.
  Another strange story is even more bizarre. Some people say that he made a talking magic head, which can tell him the answer to any question and tell him that he will never die, but there is a very strange condition: he must not go to Jerusalem do mass. And later his death was precisely related to this: when he fell ill before he died, he asked the magic head, and the head told him that he was doomed, because the church where he went to mass a few days ago was called “Holy Cross of Jerusalem”. Before he died, Gilbert called the cardinals to his bedside to confess his crimes, and had himself chopped into pieces to make atonement, but some people believed that he was murdered.
  Reasonable explanations can often be found for absurd things, and if we search carefully, we can also find traces of truth in the absurd. In the early Middle Ages, the whole of Western Europe was permeated with strong obscurantism. Any behavior beyond the simple common sense would be treated very badly, either as a miracle of God or as a trick of the devil, and the difference between the two is often Casual irrational. The rumors surrounding Gilbert were the product of the special historical environment at that time, either from the ignorant people’s misinterpretation of his profound knowledge, or from his political opponents using this ignorance to slander him.
  Today, we can get rid of the shackles of theological prejudice and ignorance, and know a real Gilbert with objective eyes. In today’s historians, Gilbert’s title is no longer “magician”, but a mathematician, teacher, philosopher, etc. His achievements include the introduction of the Arabic abacus and the invention of various astronomical instruments , many practical teaching aids and many textbooks and monographs. Gilbert has many manuscripts and letters handed down, from which people can find knowledge and living conditions in the 10th century, and these aptly show that Gilbert’s level of knowledge far exceeds that of the era in which he lived, and in that generally ignorant historical environment , it is only logical that he is called a “magician”. The Sylvester II in our eyes today is a soul eager for knowledge and a pioneer of an era. He has far heralded the arrival of the great Renaissance and the Age of Reason hundreds of years later.

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