Alexanders telescope / spyglass

Discuss the culture of Alexander's world and his image in art

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Coffeecup
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Alexanders telescope / spyglass

Post by Coffeecup »

Hi guys I'm looking for any info on whether Alexandee used a telescope / spyglass to look across the lands on his travels. Not sure if he did but it would make sense. Was hoping for any information regarding this. Thanks in advace.
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rocktupac
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Re: Alexanders telescope / spyglass

Post by rocktupac »

I've never heard of Alexander having anything like that.
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derek
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Re: Alexanders telescope / spyglass

Post by derek »

I came across this picture one time. Its title was "Babylonian with a Single Lens Telescope". So things like that did exist.
telescope.png
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rocktupac
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Re: Alexanders telescope / spyglass

Post by rocktupac »

Very simple single lenses did exist, and a few of them have been found. Aristophanes and Pliny the Elder both talk about lenses. However, they are hardly anything like a telescope. I think the Nimrud lens was something like 3x magnification, so hardly anything that one would use to look into the distance.
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Jeanne Reames
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Re: Alexanders telescope / spyglass

Post by Jeanne Reames »

This sounds like something out of the Alexander Romance.

Alexander did not have a telescope of any kind. Aristotle did have some magnifying glasses, but that's about it.
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m.jr
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Re: Alexanders telescope / spyglass

Post by m.jr »

Ancient mesopotamians were famous for studying the stars, weren't they? I think it's quite possible (if not certain) they used some kind of lenses or arcaic telescope of some sort. Considering the persians were successors of the early mesopotamians, it's not impossible Alexander had access to some of their lenses.
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Jeanne Reames
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Re: Alexanders telescope / spyglass

Post by Jeanne Reames »

We have the Chaldean Astronomical Diaries, but they were using fairly simple tools to map the movements of planets (and stars). Ephimerides (where the planets were located on any given day) was their chief interest. They did not need even primitive telescopes; they were using much simpler instruments, which we've found. Aristotle had small magnifying classes, but not for the stars.

The Spyscope is, indeed, from the Alexander Romance. :-)
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