Silvester II, pope (999-May 12, 1003 at Rome). Gerbert of Aurillac was born in about 945 in the Auvergne region of France. He became abbot at Aurillac and later studied in Spain, especially mathematics. He studied in the Christian-held city of Barcelona and also in the Islamic cities of Cordoba and Seville.
He was made tutor to Otto II, who later made him abbot of the great monastery at Bobbio in northern Italy. In 987 he became secretary to Hugh Capet, who made him archbishop of Reims in 991. A council in 995 determined that the previous archbishop had been wrongly deposed. He then became tutor to Otto III, who eventually selected him to succeed Gregory V, Otto's cousin, as pope in 999.