The Light of the Eyes and the Enlightened Landscape of Vision


This work is a noteworthy treatise on optics that covers such basic topics as direct vision, reflection and refraction, and the length of shadows. It discusses convex and concave mirrors and the physiology of vision, and has a section on optical illusions. It is a cogent work on geometrical optics. It is particularly significant because it was written under the Ottoman sulṭān, Murāt ibn Selīm (reigned 1574-95 [982-1003 A.H.]). The name of the author is illegible on the front page, and seems to have been deliberately wiped off for reasons that are not clear. In the opening part of the treatise, the author notes that he had spent his life, from his youthful years to old age, in pursuit of mathematical and physical sciences. He mentions the works of Ibn al-Haytham (10th-11th [4th-5th A.H.] centuries) and al-Fārisī (13th-14th [7th-8th A.H.] centuries) and notes that in addition to Euclidian optics, the nature of vision, and lenses and burning mirrors, he also had studied books on theology and illuminationist philosophy.

Last updated: September 29, 2014