The Abacus and the Cross by Nancy Marie Brown
The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages

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Synopsis

The medieval Catholic Church, widely considered a source of intolerance and inquisitorial fervor, was not anti-science during the Dark Ages—in fact, the pope in the year 1000 was the leading mathematician and astronomer of his day. Called “The Scientist Pope,” Gerbert of Aurillac rose from peasant beginnings to lead the church. By turns a teacher, traitor, kingmaker, and visionary, Gerbert is the first Christian known to teach math using the nine Arabic numerals and zero.

In The Abacus and the Cross, Nancy Marie Brown skillfully explores the new learning Gerbert brought to Europe. A fascinating narrative of one remarkable math teacher, The Abacus and the Cross will captivate readers of history, science, and religion alike.

 

About Nancy Marie Brown

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Nancy Marie Brown is the author of highly-praised books of nonfiction, including The Abacus and the Cross and The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman. She has studied Icelandic literature and culture since 1978. Formerly the editor of the award-winning magazine Research/Penn State, Brown lives in Vermont, where she keeps four Icelandic horses and an Icelandic sheepdog. She blogs at nancymariebrown.blogspot.com.
 
Published December 7, 2010 by Basic Books. 330 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Science & Math, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Abacus and the Cross

Kirkus Reviews

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The author gives equal time to medieval science, to debunking myths (educated men knew the earth was round) and to the tortured contemporary politics that preoccupied Gerbert for the last decade of his life.

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New York Journal of Books

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Gerbert d’Aurillac’s life as a monk, mathematician, scientist, and spy spanned a turbulent time in European history.

Dec 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Abacus and the Cross: The...

The Washington Times

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However, with the patronage of Otto III, Gerbert was appointed archbishop of Ravenna and shortly thereafter was appointed pope by Otto, succeeding Gregory V and taking the title Sylvester II.

Apr 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Abacus and the Cross: The...

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