Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Scot, Michael

  • Douglas Scott
Reference work entry

Bornpossibly the Borders of Scotland, circa1175

Diedpossibly the Borders of Scotland, circa1234

Philosopherastrologer and translator from scotland

Michael Scot’s main contribution to astronomy was through his translations of works from Arabic into Latin, including those by  Al-Bitruji and  Aristotle, and significantly  Ibn Rushd’s De motibus coelorum. Scot was thus instrumental in reintroducing Aristotelian ideas to the Western world.

Scot traveled widely around Europe, serving as court astronomer and physician (or astrologer and alchemist) to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Legends of his supernatural powers abound (popularized by  Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, and Sir Walter Scott), and few facts are known about his life.

Selected References

  1. Carmody, Francis J. (ed.) (1952). De motibus celorum: Critical Edition of the Latin Translation of Michael Scot. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  2. Thorndike, Lynn (1965). Michael Scot. London: Nelson.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada