Roger Bacon

20 Apr, 2017 500 Science

The 13th-century English philosopher Roger Bacon is perhaps best known for his major work the Opus Maius. Commissioned by Pope Clement IV, this extensive text covered a multitude of topics from mathematics and optics to religion and moral philosophy. He is also regarded by some as an early pioneer of the modern scientific method. Bacon’s erudition was so highly regarded that he came to be known as ‘Doctor Mirabilis’ or ‘wonderful doctor’. However, he is a man shrouded in mystery. Little is known about much of his life and he became the subject of a number of strange legends, including one in which he allegedly constructed a mechanical brazen head that would predict the future.

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  • Jack Cunningham No other episodes
    Academic Coordinator for Theology at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln
  • Amanda Power 2 episodes
    Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Oxford
  • Elly Truitt 2 episodes
    Associate Professor of Medieval History at Bryn Mawr College

Reading list

  • The Opus Majus of Roger Bacon, volumes 1 and 2
    Robert Belle Burke (trans.) (Kessinger Publishing, 2010)
  • Roger Bacon and the Sciences: Commemorative Essays
    Jeremiah Hackett (ed.) (Brill, 1997) Google Books →
  • God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
    James Hannam (Icon Books, 2010) Google Books →
  • Magic in the Middle Ages
    Richard Kieckhefer (Cambridge University Press, 2011) Google Books →
  • Robert Grosseteste: Great Medieval Thinkers
    James McEvoy (Oxford University Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • Roger Bacon and the Defence of Christendom
    Amanda Power (Cambridge University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • Magic and Religion in Medieval England
    Catherine Rider (Reaktion Books, 2012) Google Books →
  • The Poor and the Perfect: The Rise of Learning in the Franciscan Order, 1209-1310
    Neslihan Senocak (Cornell University Press, 2012) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 509.2 (History of science in the Middle Ages)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, Dr Mirabilis, or Wonderful Doctor, was the nickname given to the medieval English scholar Roger Bacon.