7. Experiment and Mathematics: The Study on Lenses according to Giambattista della Porta (1535-1615)’s perspectiva

Fumikazu Saito


This paper approaches some aspects concerning 16th century optics, particularly, the studies on lenses by Giambattista della Porta (1535-1615) in Magiae naturalis libri XX (1589), De refractione optices parte libri novem (1593) and De telescopio (1612). An analysis of these works shows that Della Porta sought to explain how lenses work within the traditional theoretical frameworks. Since optics was one of the fields of knowledge that a magician should take into account in his practice, in this paper we point out to the relationship between experiment and mathematics in Della Porta’s natural magic.

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