Born in England. He travelled to Tours and Laon in France to study c.1100. Travelled to southern Italy and Sicily c.1116, to Tarsus and Antioch c.1123 returning 1126.
In his De Eodem te Diverso (on the Same and the Different), an exhortation to the study of philosophy, he advocates the seven liberal arts: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic (the trivium) Mathematics, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy (the quadrivium). These constituted the medieval university curriculum.
His Questiones Naturales (Natural Questions) discusses 76 questions about natural science. He has been called "The first English Scientist".
He made translations from Arabic to Latin of the astronomical tables and arithmetic of al-Khwarizmi, which helped to bring the Hindu-Arabic numerals in use in Europe. This was before the work of Fibonacci (c.1170-c.1250). He also translated Euclid's Elements.