Today’s the official observance of Martin Luther King Jr in the United States and to celebrate the occasion we thought we’d take a look at a famous person of colour from the period of BEOWULF Age of Heroes.
Hadrian or Adrian of Canterbury was a prominent North African scholar, born in 637CE who came to England in roughly 669 (after some adventures in Frankia). He had travelled from Rome with his friend Theodore of Tarsus, in modern-day Turkey. Hadrian was sent on this journey by the Pope to accompany Theodore who was taking up the archbishopric of Canterbury.
Hadrian became Abbot of the monastery of Saints Peter and Paul in Canterbury, and set about instituting a new respect for learning and study, paving the way for the importance of Canterbury in the Christian Church.
Not only was Hadrian of Libya well versed in religious matters, but he was a prominent scientist and teacher, who travelled all over the islands of what is now the United Kingdom, teaching those he met.
A hundred years (or thereabouts) later, King Alfred references Hadrian as a wise and learned man, and he sought to emulate him in furthering his own quest for education and learning.
After his death, Hadrian became a saint, and we’re not long past his feast day of January the 9th.
Check out more Hadrian facts at wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_of_Canterbury (and naturally in the spirit of Hadrian of Canterbury, find a book or two about him!)
Happy MLK day!