Alcuin, (735-804), an English theologian, philosopher, and scholar. As adviser to the Frankish king Charlemagne on educational, cultural, and church affairs, he helped to bring about a revival of learning in Europe. Alcuin was born near York, England. He studied and taught at the cathedral school there, becoming master of the school in 778. In 782 he went to Charlemagne's court to establish a palace school for the royal family.

In 796 Alcuin was made abbot of St. Martin's Abbey at Tours, France. Under his direction, the abbey became the leading institution of learning in the early Middle Ages. Alcuin wrote treatises on grammar, rhetoric, history, theology, and a number of other subjects. His more than 300 surviving letters are a valuable source of information about life in the eighth century.