Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Adelard of Bath

Reference work entry

Bornprobably Bath, England, circa1080

Diedcirca 1152

Adelard of Bath, Arabic scholar and humanist, was a pioneer in introducing Arabic science into the Latin curriculum of the liberal arts.

Originally from Bath in the west of England, Adelard went abroad to study – first to France, and then, probably following in the wake of the First Crusade, to the Principality of Antioch, and to Magna Graecia (southern Italy) and Sicily. After 7 years of absence he returned to England, probably spending most of his time in Bath, but during the troubled years of the civil war (1135–1154) he may have joined the household of the Duke of Normandy, since he dedicated his last work, De opere astrolapsus, to Henry, the son of the duke, and the future King Henry II. His works were well known both in northern France (e.g., at Mont-St-Michel and Chartres) and in England, where several students and followers of his can be identified.

Adelard regarded “philosophy” (the seven liberal arts that were the backbone...

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Selected References

  1. Adelard of Bath (1998). Conversations with His Nephew: On the Same and the Different, Questions on Natural Science, and On Birds, edited and translated by Charles Burnett, with the collaboration of Italo Ronca, Pedro Mantas España, and Baudouin van den Abeele. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (A biography and list of works of Adelard is provided in the introduction.)Google Scholar
  2. Burnett, Charles (ed.) (1987). Adelard of Bath: An English Scientist and Arabist of the Early Twelfth Century. London: Warburg Institute. (The essays most relevant to astronomy are: Raymond Mercier, “Astronomical Tables in the Twelfth Century,” pp. 87–118; Emmanuel Poulle, “Le Traité de l’astrolabe d’Adélard de Bath,” pp. 119–132; Charles Burnett, “Adelard, Ergaphalau and the Science of the Stars,” pp. 133–145; and J. D. North, “Some Norman Horoscopes,” pp. 147–161.)Google Scholar
  3. Dickey, Bruce G. (1982). “Adelard of Bath: An Examination Based on Heretofore Unexamined Manuscripts.” Ph.D. diss., University of Toronto. (Edition of the text on the astrolabe.)Google Scholar
  4. Suter, Heinrich, A. Bjørnbo, and R. O. Besthorn (1914). Die astronomischen Tafeln des Muhammed ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī in der Bearbeitung des Maslama ibn Ahmed al-Madjrītī und der lateinischen übersetzung des Adelhard von Bath. Copenhagen: Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab. (Reprinted in Suter, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Mathematik und Astronomie im Islam. Vol. 1, pp. 473–751. Frankfurt am Main, 1986.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Warburg Institute, University of LondonLondonUK