Was magnification technology in use in Egypt in 3300 BC.? How about telescopes in ancient Greece?…
Robert Temple reconstructs the wholly forgotten story of light technology in ancient civilisation. Dating back to at least 2600 BC in Old Kingdom Egypt, but unknown to archaeologists and historians, a science of optics and a sophisticated technology for the manufacture of lenses was widespread and fundamental in ancient times.
“The ancient Greek Pythagoreans of the 5th century BC believed that the sun was a gigantic crystal ball larger than the earth, which gathered the ambient light of the surrounding cosmos and refracted it to earth, acting as a giant lens.
A giant lens? In the 5th century BC? Perhaps it was because nobody until now has been willing to recognise that lenses existed in antiquity, and that the crystal sun idea was overlooked, and has never been described in any books on the history of science or philosophy. However, it appears in my latest book The Crystal Sun, the paperback of which is published by Arrow (London) in Britain and Australia on 1 February. The hardback, from Century (London), has been available in Australia since May, 2000.
What, then, is all this about ancient lenses? Surely some mistake?!…”
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