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Anselm

ANSELM. b. Aosta, Italy, 1033; d. 21 April 1109. Anselm studied under Lanfranc at the Norman abbey of Bec where he became a monk in 1060, prior in 1063, and abbot in 1078. He was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093. A philosopher and theologian, he is famous for formulating the ontological argument for the existence of God: nothing greater than God can be imagined and reality consists of more than what is imagined, therefore God exists in reality. ‘Quid commisisti, dulcissime puer’, translated into German as ‘Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen’* by Johann Heermann*, and thence into English as ‘Ah, holy Jesu, how hast thou offended’* by Robert Bridges*, appears in St Anselm’s...

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