Color-coordinate system from a 13th-century account of rainbows.
Smithson HE., Anderson PS., Dinkova-Bruun G., Fosbury RAE., Gasper GEM., Laven P., McLeish TCB., Panti C., Tanner BK.
We present a new analysis of Robert Grosseteste's account of color in his treatise De iride (On the Rainbow), dating from the early 13th century. The work explores color within the 3D framework set out in Grosseteste's De colore [see J. Opt. Soc. Am. A29, A346 (2012)], but now links the axes of variation to observable properties of rainbows. We combine a modern understanding of the physics of rainbows and of human color perception to resolve the linguistic ambiguities of the medieval text and to interpret Grosseteste's key terms.