Michael Scot and the Four Rainbows

Tony Scott


We apply a physical and historical analysis to a passage by the medieval scholar Michael Scot concerning multiple rainbows, a meteorological phenomenon whose existence has only been acknowledged in recent history. We survey various types of physical models to best decipher Scot’s description of four parallel rainbows as well as a linguistic analysis of Scot’s special etymology. The conclusions have implications on Scot’s whereabouts at the turn of the 13th century.


Meteorology; Multiple rainbows; Optical dispersion; Middle-ages

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24117/2526-2270.2017.i2.18


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Copyright (c) 2017 Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science

ISSN: 2526-2270

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