The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).>br>Volume I. From the Beginnings to the Cycles of Romance.

X. English Scholars of Paris and Franciscans of Oxford

§ 12. Michael Scot

Among the “English” students at Paris we may briefly mention Michael Scot, who, probably before 1209, learnt Arabic at Palermo, where he lived at the brilliant court of Frederick II, to whom he dedicated three of his earliest works. Leaving Palermo for Toledo about 1209, he there completed a Latin rendering of two Arabic abstracts of Aristotle’s History of Animals. In 1223 he returned to Palermo. He was highly esteemed as a physician and an astrologer, and his reputed skill in magic has been celebrated by Dante, Boccaccio and Sir Walter Scott. He is described by Roger Bacon as introducing to the scholars of the west certain of the physical and metaphysical works of Aristotle, with the commentators on the same. He may have visited Bologna and Paris for this purpose about 1232. He probably died before 1235, and tradition places his burial, as well as his birth, in the Lowlands of Scotland.

There is no evidence that Michael Scot was ever a student at Oxford. Like Cardinal Curson of Kedleston (d. 1218), and Alexander of Hales (d. 1245), and the able mathematician Johannes de Sacro Bosco—probably of Holywood in Dumfriesshire—(d. 1252), he owed his sole allegiance to Paris. Stephen Langton (d. 1228), who, similarly, studied in Paris only, was restored to England by his consecration as archbishop of Canterbury; his successor, Edmund of Abingdon (d. 1240), owed his first allegiance to Oxford, and his second to Paris.