Theodulph of Orleans
b ?Spain c750, Angers, NW France 821. As a relatively young man he was abbot of a monastery in Florence. Favoured by Charlemagne (‘Charles the Great’), he was brought to France to be Abbot of Fleury and Bp of Orleans some time before 798. In 800 he took part in the trial of the much-troubled pope Leo III, who cleared himself and forthwith crowned Charles as the first head of the ‘Holy Roman Empire’. He was committed to his diocese, doing much to reform its standards of education, worship, architecture and art, including the encouragement of illuminated mss of the (Lat) Bible. But the intrigues continued, and after Charles’ death Theodulph was accused of conspiracy in 818, deposed, imprisoned and finally exiled to Angers in the Loire region, where he remained. He was possibly released but re-arrested; his death had some suspicious features which suggest poisoning. His theological writings included works on the Holy Spirit, on baptism and the creed. His verse gives a rare glimpse of life in the imperial court, and included the hymns of which one (in paraphrase) has become universally known. No.407.