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Michael Scott
(c. 1175-c. 1234)


A Borders-born European scholar, Scott joined Emperor Frederick the Great’s glittering court at Palermo. Through his Arabic translations, many works which had been lost to or were unknown in Christendom were reintroduced and discovered. Scott’s own interests lay more in astrology and the occult, including alchemy, sorcery, physiognomy and prophesy. He was said to have magical powers, and was respected and feared. Scott appeared among the enchanters in the eighth circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno; he was mentioned by Boccaccio; and Walter Scott wrote about him.