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Roger of Swyneshed


English Benedictine, logician, and natural philosopher; d. Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset, shortly before May 12, 1365. He has been confused with the Merton mathematician, richard of swyneshed. Roger had no known connection with Merton College, but he attended Oxford early in the 1330s. He was probably a regent in arts (133035) and then became a master of theology, presumably of Oxford. Since it is not known when he became a Benedictine monk, he may have incepted as a secular master. He wrote De obligationibus et insolubilibus, two treatises on logic often found together, some time before 1335. These were used as textbooks at some Continental universities in the late Middle Ages (see logic, history of). Between 1328 and 1338 he wrote a work on physics, De motibus naturalibus, concerned in part with "the possible proportions of velocities in moving bodies," which had an importance in medieval science that is not yet fully appreciated. He is supposed to have written a work entitled De consequentiis, on the logic of consequences. If he wrote any works on theology they have not yet been identified. Friar Richard Trevytlam, in his defense of the mendicant friars against the monks, De laude universitatis oxoniae (c. 136770), upholds Roger, "subtilis Swynyshed" of good memory, as an ideal monk.

Bibliography: j. a. weisheipl, "R. Swyneshed, O.S.B., Logician ," Oxford Studies Presented to Daniel Callus (Oxford 1964) 231252, differentiates between Richard, John, and Roger Swyneshed and corrects a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the Scholars of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 3:1837.

[f. d. blackley]

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