Print
Chinese Bronze Mirror (CC BY-SA 1.0)

Unraveling the Miracle of Chinese Magic Mirrors

An ancient oriental miracle, far removed from the religious sphere, and from the western concept of ‘miracle,’ manifested around first century AD China to those who 'had faith', where explanations were not immediately ascribable to the scientific knowledge of the time. However, “Try and try again” the motto of the Academia del Cimento, founded in Florence in 1675 by Evangelista Torricelli and Vincenzo Viviani, students of Galileo Galilei, prevailed over centuries to finally unravel the mystery of the Chinese magic mirrors.

Shen Kuo’s Explanation

"... there are certain light-penetrating mirrors that have about 20 engraved characters, in an ancient style, that cannot be interpreted. If a mirror of the genus is exposed to sunlight - although the characters are all on the back - they are reflected on the wall, where one can read them extremely clearly..." is how Shen Kuo (1031-1095 AD), an official and scientist at the court of the Chinese Emperor Shengzon of the Song Dynasty, described the mirrors just under a thousand years ago in his work entitled, Brush Talks from Dream Brook published in 1088.

Shen Kuo (1031-1095 A.D.) Chinese scientist, author of writings on Chinese "magic" mirrors (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Shen Kuo (1031-1095 A.D.) Chinese scientist, author of writings on Chinese "magic" mirrors (CC BY-SA 3.0)


Become a member to read more OR login here

Ancient Origins Quotations