[London]: Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd., [1965]. First Edition, First Printing. First edition. Octavo, original black cloth titled in gilt on spine panel. 143 pp. Five plates reproducing illustrations from Bodley MS 266, Index. Bookstore ticket on front paste-down, slight browning to endpapers and page edges, covers a trifle bowed; a clean, very good copy. Item #312315

¶ Biography of Michael Scot (1175 -1232), medieval alchemist, mathematician and scholar. "Alchemist, physician, astrologer and divine, his insistence on experience & his allusions to experiments influenced the methods later used by Grosseteste and Roger Bacon. But he also delighted in `adulterine arts such as the interpretation of dreams, auguries and lots'. Born in Scotland in about 1175,he is thought to have studied at Oxford, and very likely both taught and studied at the University of Paris. The earliest certain date in his cosmopolitan academic career is, however, 1217, when he translated the work of the twelfth-century astronomer Al-Bitrugi at Toledo. In his later years he became astrologer to the Emperor Frederick II, at whose request many of his works were written. As a translator Michael.is now seen to have been of the greatest importance, reforming the translations of Aristotlean metaphysics and natural philosophy, and acquainting the Latin world with recent Arab thought, including the commentaries of Averroes on Aristotle. Professor Thorndike's description of Scot's life & his considerable achieve ments is detailed,lively & full of anecdote. His writings present a picture of society and psychology; of the universe and meterology; of medicine, metaphysics and magic. Astrology was the supreme science in the thirteenth century, the fundamental natural law almost to the time of Newton being the subjection of inferior elementary bodies to the rule of the stars. Particu- lar emphasis has therefore been placed on the extent to which Michael believed in astrology. The whole study is based on an intensive survey of manuscript material hitherto unobtainable, and offers many new conclusions." - jacket blurb.

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