Scot, Michael

, of Balwirie, a learned Scotch author of the fifteenth century, made the tour of France and Germany, and was received with some distinction at the court of the emperor Frederick II. Having travelled enough to gratify his curiosity, he returned to Scotland, and gave himself up to study and contemplation. He was skilled in languages; and, considering the age in which he lived, was no mean proficient in philosophy, mathematics, and medicine. He translated into Latin from the Arabic, the history of animals by the celebrated physician Avicenna. He published the whole works of Aristotle, with notes, and affected much to reason on the principles of that great philosopher. He wrote a book concerning “The Secrets of Nature,” and a tract on “The nature of the Sun and Moon,” in which he shews his belief in the philosopher’s stone. He likewise published what he called “Mensa Philosophica,” a treatise replete with astrology and chiromancy. He was much admired in his day, and was even suspected of magic, and had Roger Bacon and Cornelius Agrippa for his panegyrists. 1


Encycl. Britannica. Mackenzie’s Lives.