PUBLIUS NIGIDIUS FIGULUS (c. 98-45 B.C.), Roman savant, next to Varro the most learned Roman of the age.
The incident reawakened the interest which had early been aroused in the young Corsican by converse with the savant Volney, author of Les Ruines, ou meditation sur les revolutions des empires.
- The invention of this instrument has generally been ascribed, as in the ninth edition of this work, to the famous Neapolitan savant of the 16th century, Giovanni Battista della Porta, but as a matter of fact the principle of the simple camera obscura, or darkened chamber with a small aperture in a window or shutter, was well known and in practical use for observing eclipses long before his time.
A curious passage on the subject, by Ibn Khaldun, an Arabian medieval savant, is quoted by Mr Thomas from the printed Extracts of MSS.