Ancient optics: THE CRYSTAL SUN by Robert Temple (links)
- Salvete omnes!
I followed up a few more leads on the topic of optical science in the
ancient world -- and again, I am so very glad the topic was raised. It's
sent me off into a whole branch of ancient science that I'd never thought to
*The Crystal Sun* by Robert Temple (approx us$70 and up on Amazon)
Review from Amazon:
*Archaeologists have always insisted most strenuously that lenses did not
exist in ancient times. Robert Temple�s real-life detective story proves
them wrong. His research began with the discovery that an ancient artifact
in the British Museum, believed to be a piece of rock crystal, had, in fact,
been ground to form a lens.
In this fascinating book, one of the most revolutionary studies in the
history of science and civilization to be published for decades, Robert
Temple reconstructs the story of light technology in ancient civilization.
Dating back at least to 2600 BC to Old Kingdom Egypt, but unknown to modern
archaeologists and historians, a science of optics and a sophisticated
technology for the manufacture of lenses was widespread and fundamental in
ancient times. It inspired awe in cultures who used it, so became encoded in
their mythologies and religions. *
Comment by Arthur C. Clarke:
*Robert Temple's fascinating book should be read by all who have an interest
in the history of science, and may well cause a revolution in this subject.
Robert Temple describes his "detective hunt" through the realm of ancient
Irene, this is why I appreciate Roman History Books so very much -- I always
learn something new. In this particular case, it's going to keep me awake
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]