Glasses for Emperor Nero


A lot of people always carry a pair of small round pieces of glass -  glasses - with them. Nearsighted have their glasses almost all the time on the nose - some take them off only at night when they go to bed. Others need glasses when reading: they are far-sighted, mostly elderly people. Imagine for a moment that glaziers suddenly forgot how to make spectacle lenses. What would happen to millions of farsighted and shortsighted? All these completely healthy people could neither work, nor read, nor write. They would become completely helpless.

Modern Glasses for Drivers
Modern Glasses for Drivers
 Meanwhile, there was a time when people did not know the glasses. And it was not so long ago. The writers of ancient Rome, Cicero and Suetonius, in their latest books complain that they became poorly seen from old age. They can no longer read and write themselves; they have to keep special slaves with them - readers and scribes. None of the ancient writers mention glasses. But the Romans, as we know, were able to make wonderful things out of glass. Have they not noticed that convex and concave glasses can improve vision?

 Ancient Roman Glass
Ancient Roman Glass
Yes, they did not notice this and could not notice - for the simple reason that the glass at that time was cloudy, with a mass of tiny bubbles. Almost nothing was visible through such a glass. It was not good for glasses.

Over the entire long history of Rome, glasses were made only once, or rather, not glasses, but just one point - a monocle. And they made it not of glass, but of emerald: they polished the emerald so that it became smooth, flat, with slightly concave walls. Through this emerald, closing his other eye, the short-sighted Nero was watching the battle of the gladiators.

Of course, only the Roman emperor could have acquired such an emerald monocle! And it is unlikely that this emerald significantly improved vision: it was green and not transparent enough. Real - glass - glasses appeared only a thousand three hundred years after Nero.


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