May 16, 583 (traditional date): Brendan the Navigator, founder of a Celtic monastery in Clonfert, Ireland, dies. Some Irish scholars have asserted that Brendan was among the first Europeans to reach America, nine centuries before Columbus (see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved).
May 16, 1805: Henry Martyn, a well-educated Englishman, arrives in India to aid William Carey with translation work (see issue 36: William Carey).
February 21, 1109: Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury recognized as the "founder of Scholasticism," dies. One of the most profound thinkers of the Middle Ages, his treatise Why Did God Become Man was the greatest medieval treatise on the atonement. He is also known for his ontological argument for the existence of God.
February 21, 1142: Medieval French philosopher, teacher, and theologian Peter Abelard dies. Perhaps best known for his (chaste) love affair with nun Heloise, Abelard made ...