The following article by the expert scholar Lutfallah Gari surveys the historical sources to uncover the ancient history of the invention of spectacles. To the question "where and when were they invented?", and after a close investigation in the some original sources and a survey of secondary literature, the author shows the evidence in favor of the determining role played by Arabs and Muslims in the early history of this tremendous tool.
The Invention of Spectacles between the East and the West
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Figure 1. The Tabula Rogeriana, drawn by al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily in 1154, one of the most advanced ancient world maps. Modern consolidation, created from the 70 double-page spreads of the original atlas. (Source)
Figure 1: Muslim expansion by the end of Umayyad rule in 750. (Source).
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