The Letter Of Peregrinus

is known save that he studiedprobably at the University of Paris, and that he gradua ted with the highest scholastic honors. He owes his surname to the village of Maricourt, in Picardy, and the appellation Peregrinus, or Pilgrim, to his having visited the Holy Land as a member of one of the crusading expeditions of the time.

In i 269 we find him in the engineering corps of the French army then besieging Lucera, in Southern Italy, which had revolted from the authority of its French master, Charles of Anjou. To Peregrinus was assigned the work of fortifying the camp and laying mines as well as of constructing engines for projecting stones and fireballs into the beleaguered city.

It was in the midst of such warlike preoccupations that the idea seems to have occurred to him of devising a piece of mechanism to keep the astronomical sphere of Archimedes in uniform rotation for a definite time. In the course of his work over the new motor, Peregrinus was gradually led to consider the more fascinating problem of perpetual motion itself with the result

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