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Research theme on ancient science and technology

Riding the Snail

Published on: Author: Ian 2 Comments

As part of the project on Hero of Alexandria and his Theatrical Automata, I’ve been looking at the history of automata in Greek and Roman antiquity. As well as Hero’s treatise, there are occasional brief references to devices that may (or perhaps may not be) automata. The evidence is tantalising and gives hints about how… Continue reading

Hero’s Automata: First Moves

Published on: Author: Ian Leave a comment

Since October 2014, I’ve been working with a team to investigate Hero (Heron) of Alexandria’s treatise On Making Automata (peri automatopoiētikēs). It’s not a very well known or well studied  text, but it’s our best detailed evidence for a recognisable sub-field within ancient mechanics and engineering. The devices that Hero describes are powered mainly by… Continue reading