Roger Bacon (c. 1214 – 1294) was an English philosopher and Franciscan friar who placed considerable emphasis on the study of nature through empirical methods. He is sometimes credited (mainly since the nineteenth century) as one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method. However, more recent reevaluations emphasize that he was essentially a medieval thinker, with much of his "experimental" knowledge obtained from books, in the scholastic tradition. He also wrote on alchemy, magic and astrology. Roger Bacon was posthumously awarded with the title "Doctor Mirabilis" ("wonderful teacher").
Roger Bacon, the friar, was laughed at as a quack, and is now generally numbered among "pretenders" to magic art; but his discoveries were nevertheless accepted, and are now used by those who ridicule him the most. Roger Bacon belonged by right if not by fact to that Brotherhood which includes all those who study the occult sciences. . . . His discoveries — such as gunpowder and optical glasses, and his mechanical achievements — were considered by every one as so many miracles. He was accused of having made a compact with the Evil One.
The Knowledge of Roger Bacon did not come to this wonderful old magician by inspiration, but because he studied ancient works on magic and alchemy, having a key to the real meaning of words.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XI (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 546.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 64-65.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 581-582.