Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/462

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This catalogue of Albertus Magnus's works shows very well his own interest and that of his generation in physical science of all kinds. There were eight treatises on Aristotle's physics and on the underlying principles of natural philosophy and of energy and of movement; four treatises concerning the heavens and the earth, one on physical geography which also contains, according to Pagel, numerous suggestions on ethnography and physiology. There are two treatises on generation and corruption, six books on meteors, five books on minerals, three books on the soul, two books on the intellect, a treatise on nutritives, and then a treatise on the senses and another on the memory and on the imagination. All the phases of the biological sciences were especially favorite subjects of his study. There is a treatise on the motion of animals, a treatise in six books on vegetables and plants, a treatise on breathing things, a treatise on sleep and waking, a treatise on youth and old age and a treatise on life and death. His treatise on minerals contains, according to Pagel, a description of ninety-five different kinds of precious stones. Albert's volumes on plants were reproduced with Meyer, the German botanist, as editor (Berlin, 1867). All of Albert's books are available in modern editions.

Pagel says of Albertus Magnus that

His profound scholarship, his boundless industry, the almost incontrollable impulse of his mind after universality of knoweldge, the many-sidedness of his literary productivity, and finally the almost universal recognition which he received from his contemporaries and succeeding generations, stamp him as one of the most imposing characters and one of the most wonderful phenomena of the middle ages.

In another passage Pagel has said:

While Albert was a Churchman and an ardent devotee of Aristotle, in matters of natural phenomena he was relatively unprejudiced and presented an open mind. He thought that he must follow Hippocrates and Galen, rather than Aristotle and Augustine, in medicine and in the natural sciences. We must concede it a special subject of praise for Albert that he distinguished very strictly between natural and supernatural phenomena. The former he considered as entirely the object of the investigation of nature. The latter he handed over to the realm of metaphysics.

Roger Bacon is, however, the one of these three great teachers who shows us how thoroughly practical was the scientific knowledge of the universities and how much it led to important useful discoveries in applied science and to anticipations of what is most novel even in our present-day sciences. Some of these indeed are so startling, that only that we know them not by tradition but from his works, where they may be readily found without any doubt of their authenticity, we should be sure to think that they must be the result of later commentators' ideas. Bacon was very much interested in astronomy, and not only suggested the correction of the calendar, but also a method by