Robert Grosseteste

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Robert Grosseteste (c1175-1253), Bishop of Lincoln (1235-1253) was an English Franciscan friar, teacher and scientific writer.

He was a man of humble birth who managed to study at Oxford and, possibly, Paris before becoming head of an influential school in Oxford. Like his older contemporary, Stephen Langton he was to alienate both king (on ecclesiastical appointments) and pope (regarding papal taxation of the English church to aid the pope’s struggle against the Holy Roman Empire)

He wrote on optics and motion, on theological matters and philosophy. He was obviously a fine observer, and a gifted teacher – he taught Roger Bacon. He also wrote poetry. Attempts to have him canonised foundered on papal opposition.

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