LINGUIST List 13.3192

Wed Dec 4 2002

Disc: Roger Bacon Quote

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Michael A. Covington, Disc: Roger Bacon

Message 1: Disc: Roger Bacon

Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 19:53:12 -0500
From: Michael A. Covington <>
Subject: Disc: Roger Bacon

Re: Linguist 31.2985

A reader named Karen, a.k.a. kmdavis, reminds me that Roger Bacon
definitely knew some Hebrew and may well have known some Arabic. This
was very uncommon in northern medieval Europe; Hebrew and Arabic
linguistic data had no impact on subsequent medieval philosophical
grammar as far as I know, and Greek had precious little (they
overestimated its similarity to Latin). But Bacon himself had more
than the usual amount of acquaintance with foreign languages -- as
well as many other kinds of out-of-the-way knowledge, such as optics
and alchemy.

Michael A. Covington - Associate Director
Artificial Intelligence Center, The University of Georgia
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