The personality of Herbert Avrilaksky was of great interest to his contemporaries and gave rise to a large number of legends even during the life of this extraordinary public figure. Even now it is difficult to imagine that one could apply such different epithets as "warlock", "scientist" and "pope" to one person. However, all this and many other things went well together in one person. Who is actually the warlock Herbert Avrilaksky, whom Mikhail Bulgakov mentioned in his immortal work "Master and Margarita"? Let's try to find out the truth about this extraordinary man, who lived at the end of the tenth century.
Russian literature about the most famous warlock
Most of our compatriots have never heard of Herbert Avrilaksky. And, of course, they do not even have any idea about its activities and contribution to the development of European science. The only thing where modern people could hear the name of the person mentioned by us is from the mouth of Bulgakov's Woland, who talked about the found manuscripts of the warlock of Herbert Avrilaksky of the tenth century. The literary character claimed that he had specially arrived in Moscow to disassemble these mysterious manuscripts that had appeared in the cellars of the state library in an unknown way.
But did Woland hurry, calling Herbert of Rheims (this is another of his many names) a "Warlock"? Could a person with such a reputation ascend to the Holy See and head the Catholic Church of Europe? All this is in no way combined with the image of a dedicated scientist, whom this man appears in his works devoted to computation and astronomy. Who was really Herbert Avrilaksky? And what of the stories about him bordered on fiction, and what information can be considered reliable? We will deal with all these questions in the following sections of our article.
Childhood and youth of the future Pope
Born Herbert Avrilaksky in the 10th century, around the 1940's in France in the quiet village of Auvergne. His family was extremely poor, so in early childhood the boy was sent to the monastery of the Holy Herald. There, a curious child got his first education, the monks immediately noticed in him a penchant for science, an inquisitive mind and incredible curiosity.
After a few years of training, they realized that they could not give the boy the great knowledge that he craved. The joy of the monks to them for some cases drove the Earl of Borrel from Barcelona, he was asked to take with him an unnecessarily curious youth. In the monastery it was assumed that in Spain Herbert could touch the scientific knowledge of the Arab world and get what he so eagerly desired. The count took the young man to Catalonia, where a new stage in his life began.
The last outpost of the Christian world
Once in Spain, the young man was transferred to the municipality of Vic, where he was sent to the teaching of Bishop Ato. In the tenth century Catalonia was practically a fragment of the Christian world surrounded by the Arab caliphate. She bordered with Andalusia, which allowed the young man to visit Córdoba, the main city of the caliphate.
It is interesting that at that time Europe did not possess much of the knowledge of the Arab world. The largest library of the caliphate numbered up to five hundred thousand manuscripts and treatises on various scientific topics. All of them were available for study to a young scientist who literally absorbed new knowledge from the source.
It is worth noting that the information contained in the library manuscripts, Herbert Avrilaksky almost bewitched. He could not tear himself away from them, sitting after reading for hours. It was these facts from the biography of the young man that later became the basis for calling him a "warlock". After all, he mastered the Arabic numerals, which he easily operated on in his mind, which amazed his contemporaries. Such skills they attributed only to the magical abilities of the young man. Here, in Spain, the young man had the opportunity to work with the abacus, which can be considered the first computer in the world. It was thanks to her that later abacus appeared and many other tools that allow quickly to make the most complicated calculations.
At the same time, Herbert Avrilaksky began writing scientific treatises on various topics, from geometry to music. All of them later became the basis for European scientists.
Pilgrimage to Rome and life in Rheims
In the seventies of the tenth century, the young man, together with his patron, went to France, where he was to become acquainted with the head of the Catholic Church and the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire himself. Otto I was delighted with the mind and knowledge of the young man, so he set out to make him the tutor of his son. For this occupation, Herbert spent several years, he diligently fulfilled his duty, teaching the future emperor everything he knew himself. However, after a while he realized that he needed further training and asked the emperor for Reims where the best schools in France were at that time.
Here the warlock Herbert Avrilaksky, whose manuscripts have become basic in the teaching of certain subjects, spent many years. He was engaged in the construction of the organ, the first abacus in Europe, taught rhetoric, dialectics, and collected the rarest scientific treatises for the library.
About this period of his life there are numerous legends, but historians believe that most of them are true. For example, it is known that he spent 24 hours discussing with the most famous dialectician from Germany, finally exhausting the emperor, who by his order stopped the dispute between the two scientists. It was also Herbert of Reims who managed to lay the foundations of European scholasticism, which later was famous not only for France but also for other countries. From all over Europe, the disciples flocked to this unique man, but he suddenly chose the path of the priest.
It is interesting and almost unbelievable for that time that a scientist, whose accusations of witchcraft and connection with the devil periodically sounded, confidently made a church career, receiving one appointment after another. At the turn of the millennium, Herbert was elected pope and began to call himself Sylvester II. For the first time the head of the Catholic Church was a Frenchman from a poor family who did not have a special education.
In this position, Herbert lasted four years, constantly encountering popular unrest, which forced the Pope to flee Rome. His pupil tried several times to regain the imperial throne, but he did not manage to achieve it and passed away. However, after his death, a talented scientist and public figure regained the title of head of the Catholic Church and soon died under the name of Sylvester II.
The Black Legend: Herbert Avrilaksky
From all that we have told you about, perhaps, the most mysterious person of the tenth century, it is difficult to understand why he was often accused as a warlock. But in fact, there were numerous legends about him, according to which he was associated with the devil himself and his henchmen.
The most incredible rumors gave rise to the election of Herbert of Reims by the Pope. Many of his contemporaries said that he received his appointment after he won the devil's dice. In this game, the scientist had no equal, so he managed to outwit the messenger of hell. He, in turn, promised the winner to fulfill any desire. As a result, the head of the Catholic Church became Sylvester II.
Another legend tells how Herbert Avrilaksky got his knowledge. Some French people claimed that in Cordoba, he studied with a famous magician who owned a unique book. In it were collected all the spells, known wizards and wizards of antiquity. The sly Frenchman decided to steal this treasure and seduced the daughter of the magician. Blinded by love, she herself handed the magic book to her father's pupil at night, after which Herbert disappeared. The next morning the sorcerer rushed to chase, he could feel everything that was on the ground, under the ground and in the air, so he easily caught up with the fugitive. However, he managed to hide under the bridge, clinging to his protruding parts. Thus, he was sheltered from the all-seeing gaze of the sorcerer. In the future, as people said, the magic book has not once helped Herbert in his work.
The Talking Head
Supported rumors about the ties of the newly-made pope with warlocks and the story of the talking head. According to legend, she inherited Herbert Avrilaksky from the adepts of the secret magical society, which according to some rumors exists even today. This amazing mechanism could answer simple questions that require monosyllabic "yes" or "no" answers.
It is believed that this particular head predicted to the Pope the death after the celebrated Mass on the Promised Land. After such a prediction, Sylvester II refused to go to Israel, but death was more cunning than him.
The posthumous fate of the first Frenchman on the Holy See
Even the death of Herbert of Reims is shrouded in legends and secrets. Some of his contemporaries claimed that he died just after serving in a small church. Surprisingly, the Pope did not know that the people called her "Jerusalem." Thus, the prediction of the magic head was fulfilled. Dying, Sylvester II ordered to cut his body into pieces and scatter on different sides. Many said that so he tried to deceive the devil, who sold his soul.
It is interesting that on the gravestone of the great scientist are written not quite ordinary words. They can be translated in such a way that there will be a certain prediction. According to him, before the death of another pope in the tomb for several nights, there will be a roar of bones of Herbert Avrilaksky, who can not find peace in his grave.
Manuscripts of the great scientist
And what about manuscripts? After all, it was with them that we began our story about this extraordinary person. Unfortunately, after his death, no one ever found any tracts in which mystical knowledge was contained. However, historians claim that Prince Vladimir, who baptized Rus, personally met with Sylvester II. Therefore, it is possible that Bulgakov in his work wrote about real manuscripts kept for many years on the territory of our country.
Despite the fact that the magical texts were never found, European scholars actively used scientific treatises, once written by Herbert of Reims. During his lifetime, he worked on texts on astronomy and geometry and developed his own calculation system based on the Arabic abacus. Also, the scientist was able to lay the foundations of acoustics, creating musical instruments in the Pythagorean style. It is interesting that the organ built by the future Pope in Rheims can be attributed to Europe's first hydraulic musical instruments.
Of course, those who are looking for genuine manuscripts of Herbert Avrilaksky with magical formulas and knowledge may be disappointed by this article. However, most scientists of our time consider the scientific treasures to be a real treasure, which left behind the most mysterious sorceress of the tenth century as a legacy to the descendants.