Roger Bacon - Works - Optics

The study of optics in part five of Opus Majus draws heavily on the works of both Claudius Ptolemy (his Optics in Arabic translation) and the Islamic scientists Alkindus (al-Kindi) and Alhazen (Ibn al-Haytham). He includes a discussion of the physiology of eyesight, the anatomy of the eye and the brain, and considers light, distance, position, and size, direct vision, reflected vision, and refraction, mirrors and lenses. His research in optics was primarily oriented by the legacy of Alhazen through a Latin translation of the latter's monumental Kitab al-manazir (De aspectibus; Perspectivae; The Optics), while the impact of the tradition of al-Kindi (Alkindus) was principally mediated through the influence that this Muslim scholar had on the optics of Robert Grosseteste. Moreover, Bacon's investigations of the properties of the magnifying glass partly rested on the handed-down legacy of Islamic opticians, mainly Alhazen, who was in his turn influenced by Ibn Sahl's 10th century legacy in dioptrics.

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