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Chapter 7:
The Inception of Modern Optics
By the Ninth Century, towns such as Venice and Naples (later Pisa and Genoa, as well) were carrying on trade throughout the eastern Mediterranean. The Crusades began at the end of the eleventh century. Marco Polo visited the Mogul Empire of Kublai Khan in the thirteenth century. These peripatetic adventures brought men into closer contact with their neighbors. At the same time, a renaissance of learning spread through Europe. Moreover, these contacts enabled Europe to become aware of Arabian discoveries and those Hellenistic achievements maintained in their repository.
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