January 12, 1167: Aelred, the Anglo-Saxon abbot who became one of the Middle Ages' best-known devotional writers, dies.
January 12, 1588: John Winthrop, a lawyer who became the first governor of the Puritans in Massachusetts, is born in Suffolk, England (see issue 41: American Puritans).
January 12, 1897: On the 2nd day of excavating papyri at Oxyrhynchus, papyrologists Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt find a Greek literary papyrus of 'logia (sayings) of Jesus.' A full Coptic version found at Nag Hammadi 48 years later showed the Greek to be part of the Gospel of Thomas.
April 21, 1109: Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury and one of the most profound thinkers of the Middle Ages, dies around age 76. He attained fame for his argument that faith is the precondition of knowledge ("credo ut intelligam"), his "satisfaction theory" of the atonement ("No one but one who is God-man can make the satisfaction by which man is saved") and for his ontological argument for God's existence.
April 21, 1142: Medieval French philosopher, teacher, and theologian Pierre Abelard dies. Though ...