The use of glasses to correct eyesight began with ancient variations of magnifying glass.
The earliest written record of magnification dates back to the 1st century AD, when Seneca the Younger, a tutor of Emperor Nero of Rome, wrote: “Letters, however small and indistinct, are seen enlarged and more clearly through a globe or glass filled with water”.
Nero, who reigned from 54-68 AD, was said to have used an emerald as a corrective lens whilst watching the gladiatorial games.
By 1270, spectacles were known to have been used by the rich and elderly in China in 1270, although the Chinese credit their invention to Arabia in the 11th century. Others claim they were first invented in Italy.
Johannes Kepler, the German scientist, discovered how the retina in the eye creates vision in 1604.
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