Today in Christian History

February 2

February 2, 767: Alcuin, the academic who would later play a large role in establishing schools under Charlemagne, becomes headmaster of York Cathedral School, where he once studied. Alcuin's curriculum was built on the seven liberal arts: the elementary Trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic) and the more advanced Quadrivium (music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy).

February 2, 1594: Giovanni F. da Palestrina, the most gifted composer of Renaissance church music, dies.

February 2, 1745: Popular British poet and dramatist Hannah More is born. She renounced the social life and concentrated on religious efforts, such as setting up Sunday schools. For her work with the Clapham Sect of British social reformers, she was once derisively called "a bishop in petticoats" (see issue 53: William Wilberforce).

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September 26, 1460: Pope Pius II assembles European leaders, then delivers a three-hour sermon to inspire them to launch a new crusade against the Turks. The speech works, but then another speaker, Cardinal Bessarion, adds a three-hour sermon of his own. After six hours of preaching, the European princes lose all interest in the cause; they never mount the called-for crusade.

September 26, 1897: Charles C. Overton, a Sunday school superintendent at Brighton Chapel, Staten Island, spontaneously promotes ...

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