Considered in terms of his own life and achievement, Lanfranc's exceptional stature as Archbishop of Canterbury is apparent. In particular aspects of an archbishop's life and work in church and kingdom, others would excel him, but in the succession of archbishops from Augustine to the present day, only Theodore of Tarsus approaches Lanfranc's high competence in each of the main concerns of his office, his skill in human and political relationships, and above all the enduring character and benefit of his government of the English church both in itself and as an aspect of national life. He was important as a monk-archbishop not only because of his background as monk and prior of Bec and then abbot of Saint-Étienne at Caen, but also because he was ex officio abbot of the cathedral monastery at Canterbury.
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