c.943 - 1003

Gerbert of Aurillac became as Sylvester II the first French pope.

Gerbert was a learned scholar in France and a student of Arab scholars in Spain. He travelled to Rome in 970, where he made such an impression with his knowledge of mathematics that the emperor Otto I appointed him tutor to his son.

He was elected pope in 999. As pope he was renowned for his scholarly achievements, politically he consolidated papal influence over Poland and Hungary.

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