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 P. 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).
March 28, 1515: Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila, founder of a reformed Carmelite order, is born. Though her contemporaries noted her practicality and administrative skills, her legacy stems from her mysticism, evidenced in her Autobiography, Way of Perfection, Book of Foundations, and Interior Castle.
March 28, 1592: Czech theologian Jan Comenius, educator of the Bohemian (or Moravian) Brethren, is born in Nivnice, Czechoslovakia. As today, the region was tormented by warfare, and Comenius believed ...