15 May 2015

Indistinguishable from magic

Most things [the natives] sawe with vs, as Mathematicall instruments, sea compasses, the vertue of the loadstone in drawing yron, a perspectiue glasse whereby was shewed manie strange sightes, burning glasses, wildfire woorkes, gunnes, bookes, writing and reading, spring clocks that seeme to goe of themselues, and manie other thinges that wee had, were so straunge vnto them, and so farre exceeded their capacities to comprehend the reason and meanes how they should be made and done, that they thought they were rather the works of gods then of men, or at the leastwise they had bin giuen and taught vs of the gods.
from A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia by Thomas Harriot (1588)


Image: drawing of moon by Thomas Harriot (1610)

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