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Adelard of Bath

(fl. Early 12th century)

English scholastic philosopher and early interpreter of Arabic scientific knowledge.

Adelard translated into Latin an Arabic version of Euclid's Elements, which for centuries served as the chief geometry textbook in the West. He studied and taught in France and travelled in Italy, Cilicia, Syria, Palestine and perhaps also Spain (c. 1110-25) before returning to Bath, England, and becoming a teacher of the future King Henry II. In his Platonizing dialogue De eodem et diverso ("On Sameness and Diversity"), his atomism and his attempt to reconcile the reality of universals with the individuals distinguish him from other Platonists. His Quaestiones naturales (76 discussions of human nature, meteorology, astronomy, botany and zoology) are based on Arabic science. His other writings include works on the abacus and the astrolabe and a translation of an Arabic astronomical table.

Source: Encyclopaedia Brittanica


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