Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science - Vol. 2

By Roshdi Rashed; RÉgis Morelon | Go to book overview

19

Geometrical optics

ROSHDI RASHED


INTRODUCTION

Arabic optics is derived from Hellenistic optics and, one could even say, only from it. Arabic optics has borrowed from Hellenistic optics its questions, its concepts, its results, and even the different traditions into which it divided in the Alexandrian era. One could say that the first Arab scholars who worked on optics joined the school of Hellenistic authors-Euclid, Hero, Ptolemy, Theon, and plenty of others-and them only. Optics distinguishes itself for this reason from other sectors of Arabic mathematical sciences, astronomy for example, in the sense that it received no other legacies, non-Hellenistic, so minute was it, that pushed with some weight on its development.

This very narrow dependence, however, did not hold up the relatively precocious emergence of innovative research. Very quickly after the massive transmission of Greek writings, the history of the discipline became that of the rectification of these writings, the accumulation of new results and the renewing of the principal chapters. Two centuries sufficed to prepare for what was finally a true revolution, which marked for ever the history of optics, indeed, more generally, that of physics. It is this dialectical movement between a solid continuity and a profound rupture that it is our duty to describe, in order to grasp the progress of Arabic optics between the ninth and the sixteenth centuries.

Let us place ourselves in the ninth century, in the mid-ninth century, more exactly. The Arabic translations of Greek texts on optics appear side by side with the first researches written directly in Arabic in this discipline. This simultaneity-which has not been sufficiently emphasized-of translation and research is not the privilege of optics; it can be seen through all the mathematical disciplines, if not for the totality of ancient heritage. The simultaneity is for us of major importance if we want to understand the nature of the movement of the translation and elaboration of optics. Never passive, the translation seemed on the contrary linked to the most advanced

-643-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • 10 - Numeration and Arithmetic 331
  • 11 - Algebra 349
  • Notes 370
  • 12 - Combinatorial Analysis, Numerical Analysis, Diophantine Analysis and Number Theory 376
  • 13 - Infinitesimal Determinations, Quadrature of Lunules and Isoperimetric Problems 418
  • 14 - Geometry 447
  • Notes 494
  • 15 - Trigonometry 495
  • 16 - The Influence of Arabic Mathematics in the Medieval West 539
  • 17 - Musical Science 581
  • 18 - Statics 614
  • 19 - Geometrical Optics 643
  • 20 - The Emergence of Physiological Optics 672
  • 21 - The Western Reception of Arabic Optics 716
  • Notes 728
  • Bibliography 730
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 751

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.