FRIAR BACON'S MAGIC
Roger Bacon, English monk of the 13th Century, studies the ancients--and the Greeks--and inaugurates the--scientific study of magic shadows and devices for creating them.
ROGER BACON made a great contribution to human knowledge, especially in scientific matters. Yet this great philosopher and scientist was generally regarded as "Friar Bacon," a mad monk who played with magic and dealt with the powers of darkness. This myth persisted even though Bacon contemporaries had bestowed upon him the title of "Doctor Mirabilis." Studies made in the 19th century and the first part of this century have tended to confirm him in his proper high place in history.
Roger Bacon was born at Ilchester in Somersetshire, England, about 1214, the year before the Magna Charta was signed. In those days serious education began early. When Bacon was 12 or 13 he was sent to Oxford. Later on he continued his studies at Paris. In his youth Bacon's family gave him the considerable sums he needed for his education.
After completing his studies, Bacon was a professor at Oxford and then entered the Franciscan Order. As a monk he found the pursuit of learning somewhat more difficult even though the libraries of the religious orders were the best of the period and most of the learned men were ecclesiastics. After having taken a vow of poverty Bacon had difficulty in obtaining from some of his superiors money to buy pens and pay copyists. Certain authorities did not look with complete satisfaction on his experi-