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Roger Bacon, English philosopher

Roger Bacon, English philosopher

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MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Roger Bacon, (c.1214-1292) English philosopher and alchemist. Bacon studied at Oxford and in Paris, and joined the Franciscan Order (c.1247) as a monk. Bacon had bold ideas, was self-confident and his works were suppressed when he was imprisoned for 15 years. Bacon was neither an experimentalist nor a mathematician but believed in these approaches for science. He foresaw man controlling nature; made predictions (however imprecise) on mechanical land transport, air and undersea transport; first suggested that man could circumnavigate the earth and mentioned gunpowder. Bacon foreshadowed Paracelsus when he claimed that alchemy was essential to medicine. This engraving comes from 'Symbola aureae' by Michael Maier, published at Frankfurt in.

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