Supernumerary eyes and man's search for hyper-vision: a historical review of relevant representational arts.

Abstract

In this paper we present examples of man's identification of superiority with visual hyper-efficiency. From Babylonian, Egyptian, Minoan and Biblical times, the eye was the symbol of the master or the inspector. Similarly, a being or deity that was endowed with multiple eyes--with or without multiple heads--was considered to be extra powerful. An example is the crest of the British College of Optometrists, which is surmounted by a bird with three heads and hence supernumerary eyes, linking it to the College's motto 'aequis oculis videre' denoting equal vision. We present here photographic and textual data from several historical periods extending from the fourth millennium BC to the sixteenth century AD; and from different religious sources, both Christian and non-Christian, to support this thesis. However, these are only a few examples, selected from a larger on-going study of the subject.

Cite this paper

@article{DiamandopoulouDrummond1993SupernumeraryEA, title={Supernumerary eyes and man's search for hyper-vision: a historical review of relevant representational arts.}, author={A H Diamandopoulou-Drummond and Athanasios A Diamandopoulos and Spyros G. Marketos}, journal={Ophthalmic & physiological optics : the journal of the British College of Ophthalmic Opticians}, year={1993}, volume={13 4}, pages={422-6} }