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The first mention of this I have seen is in Aristotles De Anima:

419a15 For Democritus did not speak rightly, thinking that if the intervening space were to become a void, then even if an ant were in the sky it would be seen accurately; for this is impossible.

For seeing takes place when that which can perceive is affected by something. Now it is impossible for it to be affected by the actual colour which is seen; it remains for it to be affected by that which is intervening.

But if it were to become a void, not only should we not see accurately, but we would see nothing at all.

A goes into this in more detail in his Physics.

It's this notion thats later codified into the principle of locality, of which there are a few variants.