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 "He made an instrument to know if the moon shine at full or no."
– Samuel Butler

Game Info[]

Optics, the development of tools that allow humans to see much farther away than normally possible, enables a number of technological advancements in seafaring. The most important of them is embarkation, which allows land units to travel in the sea.

Optics also allows construction of the Lighthouse, an important building for coastal cities. If you are playing as the Venetian civilization, it spawns a Merchant of Venice upon discovery.

Civilopedia entry[]

Optics is the study of light and vision. The earliest and most important optical challenges were centered upon aiding the perception of the human eye - letting it see greater distances, or allowing it to look at very small objects, or in darkness. The first lenses were developed by the ancient Egyptians and the Mesopotamians. The oldest lenses, made from polished crystal, date back to 700 BC. The Greeks and Romans created crude lenses by filling glass spheres with water. In "Optics," Euclid described the mathematical rules of perception and examined refraction. In the eighth century AD Islamic scholars studied optics in depth, writing learned treatises on refraction and the construction of lenses and mirrors.

The first wearable eyeglasses were invented in Italy in the 12th century, and the first primitive telescopes in the 15th, as was the first microscope. Though not very good by today's standards, these instruments greatly expanded man's ability to perceive the world around him and to navigate the world's uncharted oceans.

Civilization V Technologies [edit]
Ancient Agriculture Animal Husbandry Archery Bronze Working Calendar Masonry Mining Pottery Sailing The Wheel Trapping Writing
Classical Construction Currency Drama and Poetry GodsKings5 clear.png Engineering Horseback Riding Iron Working Mathematics Optics Philosophy
Medieval Chivalry Civil Service Compass Education Guilds GodsKings5 clear.png Machinery Metal Casting Physics Steel Theology
Renaissance Acoustics Architecture GodsKings5 clear.png Astronomy Banking Chemistry Economics Gunpowder Metallurgy Navigation Printing Press
Industrial Archaeology Biology Dynamite Electricity Fertilizer Industrialization GodsKings5 clear.png Military Science Rifling Scientific Theory Steam Power Telegraph1
Modern Ballistics GodsKings5 clear.png Combustion Electronics Flight Mass Media1 Plastics Radio Railroad Refrigeration Replaceable Parts
Atomic2 Atomic Theory Combined Arms GodsKings5 clear.png Computers Ecology Nuclear Fission Penicillin Radar Rocketry
Information2 Advanced Ballistics Future Tech Globalization Lasers Mobile Tactics GodsKings5 clear.png Nanotechnology Nuclear Fusion Particle Physics Robotics Satellites Stealth Telecommunications GodsKings5 clear.png The Internet BNW-only.png
1Vanilla only 2Atomic and Information eras are Future Era in Vanilla
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BNW-only.png Valid only in the Brave New World expansion pack.