Glasses as prostheses for the human eye were produced in Europe since the thirteenth century, probably in Venice, the contemporary center of glass blowing. Centuries before, however, glasses of a special kind existed in China. These glasses did not allow the wearer to see better, but instead prevented his eyes from being seen. Judges at the imperial Chinese courts had such glasses made, with lenses of cloudy gray quartz, so that the counsels for the prosecution and the defense could not make any deductions from the judge’s reaction to anything said during the course of the trial. Thus, long before dark glasses were used to shield the eyes from bright light, they served to hide that feature of the human face which reveals the most about the soul within. – deep time of the media, siegfried zielinski