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Raban Maur (left), supported by Alcuin (middle), dedicates his work to Archbishop Otgar of Mainz (right)
Alcuin, died AD 804, was an English scholar and teacher. He was educated at York and became the head of a school there. He spent some time at the court of Charlemagne at Aachen, where he was a key figure in the Carolingian Renaissance, and was later in charge of an abbey in Tours, in central France. He wrote a number of books and poems, and was described in Einhard's Life of Charlemagne as "The most learned man anywhere to be found".

Alcuin was a deacon in the church, and lived a monastic life without actually becoming a monk.

He had intense friendships with other men, and the gay author John Boswell has identified the homoerotic nature of some of his poetry.