The Letter Of Peregrinus

In the Spanish code of laws, begun in 1256, during the reign of Alfonso el Sabio, and known as Las Siete Partidas, we read:

"Just as mariners are guided during the night by the needle, which replaces for them the shores and pole star alike, by showing them the course to pursue both in fair weather and foul, so those who are called upon to advise the King must always be guided by a spirit of justice."

Brunetto Latini, in his Tresor des Sciencess 1260, writes:

"The sailors navigate the seas guided by the two stars called the tramontanes, and each of the two parts of the lode-stone directs the end of the needle to the star to which that part itself turns."

Brunetto Latini (1230-1294) was a man of great eminence in the thirteenth century; Dante was among his pupils at Florence. For political reasons, he removed to Paris, where he wrote his Tresor and also his Tesoretto. He visited Roger Bacon at Oxford about 1260.

In his treatise De Contemplatione, begun in 1272, Raymond Lully writes:

"As the needle, after having touched the lodestone, turns to the north, so the mariner's needle (acus nautica) directs them over the sea."

Lully was born at Paima in the Island of Majorca in 1236; he joined the Third Order of St. Francis, dying in 1315.

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