Here we discuss the De Colore, one of the short scientific treatises written by Robert Grosseteste in the mid-1220s. In this treatise, Grosseteste continues the discussion on light and colours he started in the De Iride. The medieval scientist describes two manners of counting colours: one gives an infinity of tones, the other counts seven essential colours. In both cases, colours are created by the purity or impurity of the transparent medium when light is passing through it. This was the medieval explanation of colours that survived until Newtonâ€™s experiments with prisms.
History of Science, Medieval Science
- A.C. Sparavigna, On the Rainbow, a Robert Grosseteste's Treatise on Optics, The International Journal of Sciences, 2013, Volume 2, Issue 9, Pages 108-113
- N. Lewis, Robert Grosseteste, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Winter 2010 Edition, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/grosseteste/
- These six features are purity and impurity for the medium and brightness, obscurity, intensity and tenuity for light
- D. Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php
- Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, translated by John Bostock, London. Taylor and Francis, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, 1855
- The Latin text is that given by â€œThe Electronic Grossetesteâ€, http://www.grosseteste.com/, which is reporting the printed Source: Die Philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste, Bischofs von Lincoln, W. Aschendorff, 1912
- A.C. Sparavigna, The Play of Colours of Prisms, arXiv:1207.3504, arXiv, 2012
- A.C. Sparavigna, Robert Grosseteste and the Four Elements, The International Journal of Sciences, 2013, Volume 2, Issue 12, Pages 42-45
- H. Grabes, The Mutable Glass: Mirror Imagery in Titles and Texts of the Middle Ages and the English Renaissance, Cambridge University Press, 1982, pag.43
- Henricus Bate, Speculum Divinorum et Quorundam Naturalium, parts XIII-XVI, edited by Guy Guildentops, Leuven University Press, 2002
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- H. Gebelein, Alchimia, la Magia della Sostanza, 2009, Edizioni Mediterranee, Roma
- N. Silvestrini and E.P. Fischer, Colorsystem, Colour Order Systems in Art and Science, at www.colorsystem.com
- H.E. Smithson, G. Dinkova-Bruun, G.E.M. Gasper, M. Huxtable, T.C.B. McLeish, and C. Panti, A Three-Dimensional Color Space from the 13th Century, J. Opt. Soc. Am. Opt. Image Sci. Vis., 2012, Volume 29, Issue 2, Pages A346-A352
- C.C. Riedl, Robert Grosseteste On light, Marquette University Press, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1942
- D. Allchin, Newtonâ€™s Colors, SHiPS Resource Center. Retrieved 2010-10-16
- David Brewster, The Life of Sir Isaac Newton, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1840
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