« Bebenburg, Lupold Von Bec, Abbey of Becan, Martin »

Bec, Abbey of

BEC, ABBEY OF: Benedictine abbey of Normandy, situated at the present village of Le BecHellouin (7 m. s.w. of Rouen). It was founded about 1034 by Herluin, a noble Norman, who was first abbot. Mainly because of its great teachers, Lanfranc (who came to the abbey about 1042 and was prior 1045 or 1046–66) and Anselm (entered the abbey 1060; prior 1063–78; abbot 1078–93; see Anselm, Saint, of Canterbury), it became a famous center of learning for Normandy and, after the Conquest, for England. Among those who studied there were: Anselm of Lucca, afterward Pope Alexander II; Anselm of Laon; Gilbert Crispin, abbot of Westminster, author of the life of Herluin; Milo Crispin, biographer of Lanfranc and certain of the early abbots; Arnulf and Gundulf, bishops of Rochester; Ivo of Chartres; Gutmund, archbishop of Aversa; and William, archbishop of Rouen. Its fifth abbot, Theobald, became archbishop of Canterbury (1139); and the seventh abbot was Vacarius, who about the middle of the twelfth century introduced the study of the Roman law into England. The abbey was destroyed during the French Revolution.

Bibliography: The Chronicon Beccensis abbatiæ, with the lives by the Crispins above referred to, are in d’Achéry's edition of the works of Lanfranc, Paris, 1648; reprinted in MPL, cl; and the Gesta of seven Abbots of Bec, by Peter the Monk, written 1150, are in MPL, clxxxi.

« Bebenburg, Lupold Von Bec, Abbey of Becan, Martin »
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