Schwarz, Berthold (bĕrˈtôlt shvärts) [key], fl. 14th cent., German Franciscan monk and alchemist. It was formerly widely believed, especially in Germany, that he invented gunpowder and was the first to construct bronze cannon. It is now known, however, that gunpowder was discussed by Roger Bacon in the 13th cent. and was known to the Chinese much earlier.