Essay on roger bacon

Submitted By Elliemae18
Words: 419
Pages: 2

One of the first figures to be associated with the invention of spectacles was the thirteenth century English, friar Roger Bacon who was based in Paris and outlined the scientific principles behind the use of corrective lenses in his Opus Majus(c.1266), of which the College possesses an early printed edition prepared from Bacon's manuscripts in 1733. The idea that monks or friars possessed a secret knowledge of spectacles that they later unleashed on the world found currency with several writers, notably William Molyneux in his Dioptrica Nova (1692). Unfortunately no evidence survives to suggest that Bacon ever applied his theoretical knowledge ofperspectiva (optics) despite the fact that, as a Franciscan, he was part of a practically-minded religious order. A recent biographer of Bacon, Brian Clegg, insists that for Bacon the fledgling notion of ‘science’ was entirely concerned with the accumulation of practical knowledge with a specific end in mind. This is evident in his less well-known work of the 1260s or 1270s on burning glasses, De speculis comburentibus. The Opus Majus is, of course, only a summary proposal addressed to Pope Clement IV for a still larger work that Bacon was fated never to complete. Had the main work ever materialised the corpus of original practical experimentation that scholars now agree underpinned the summary might well have resulted in some form of binocular mounted lens. Perhaps the man himself had produced one already, or it may have been amongst the thousands of pounds worth of equipment that Bacon was in the privileged position to purchase in furtherance of his studies? It is dangerous to assume, however, that the 'inventor' of…