ROGER BACON c1220 -
xxxxxThe English scientist and philosopher Roger Bacon, a man of somewhat unorthodox views, was born into a wealthy family and received a good education. It was while at Oxford around 1247 that he became interested in experimental science. In 1266 he began his vast encyclopedia, his Opus Majus, and, on completion in 1268, followed this with his Opus Minus and Opus Tertium -
xxxxxA man of many interests, the English scientist and philosopher Roger Bacon became a Franciscan friar in his early forties and was soon causing concern among his superiors because of his outspoken and somewhat unorthodox views on a number of subjects. Indeed, he was imprisoned for a period of time -
xxxxxBacon was born into a wealthy family, probably at Ilchester in Somerset, around about 1220. He benefited from a good education and studied and taught in Paris before returning to Oxford University in 1247. Here, under the influence of fellow scholars, he turned his attention to experimental science, reasoning that such methods could be used to confirm the Christian faith. In 1266, having aroused the interest of the Pope, Clement IV, he began writing, his Opus Majus, a weighty encylopedia (completed in 1268), and followed this up with his Opus Minus and his Opus Tertium. In these works -
xxxxxOther works by Bacon include two “Compendiums” in which he severely criticised the methods then used for the teaching of theology and philosophy, and treatises entitled On Mirrors and On the Multiplication of Species. He was writing right up to his death, probably at Oxford, in 1292.
xxxxxBecause of his particular interest in practical science, a number of inventions have been attributed to him -
xxxxxIncidentally, in the geographical section of his Opus Majus, Bacon made good use of an account by William of Rubruquis. As we have seen, he was a French Franciscan friar who was sent as a papal envoy to the Mongols in 1253. On his return he wrote a first-
xxxxx…… The English jurist Henry de Bracton is thought to have died in this year (1268) and to have left close to completion his major treatise On the Laws and Customs of England. This pioneer work, written in Latin, was the first systematic treatment of English common law. In it he described the practice and procedure of English courts, and recorded certain decided cases as precedents. A collection of some 2,000 law cases, purported to be by his hand, was discovered in 1884. However, details of his life are sketchy and, in some quarters, doubts have even been raised about his authorship of the Laws and Customs of England. What is known for certain is that he became a judge in 1245, and was appointed chancellor of Exeter Cathedral in 1264.
Bacon: by the English sculptor Thomas Woolner (1825-