By John W. Humphrey

ISBN-10: 031308386X

ISBN-13: 9780313083860

ISBN-10: 0313327637

ISBN-13: 9780313327636

Since precedent days, technological advances have elevated man's possibilities for survival. From the practicality of a Roman aqueduct to the paintings of the written be aware, guy has regularly tailored his surroundings to satisfy his wishes, and to supply himself with sustenance, convenience, convenience, rest, the next caliber of residing, and a thriving tradition. This concise reference resource takes a better examine six technological occasions that considerably impacted the evolution of civilization, from the Palaeolithic age to the peak of the Roman Empire. As he touches at the universal components of old technology―energy, machines, mining, metallurgy, ceramics, agriculture, engineering, transportation, and communication―Humphrey asks questions significant to figuring out the impression of old instruments at the glossy global: What activates switch? What cultural traditions inhibit swap? What impression do those alterations have on their societies and civilization?

Humphrey explores applied sciences as either actual instruments and as extensions of the human physique, starting with the discovery of the Greek alphabet and together with such accomplishments as early Neolithic plant cultivation, the discovery of coinage, the development of the Parthenon, and Rome's city water method. special line drawings of instruments and machines make historic mechanics extra simply available. fundamental records, word list, biographies, and a timeline relationship from the Palaeolithic age to the Roman Empire around out the paintings, making this an amazing reference resource for figuring out the instruments of the traditional world.

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Extra resources for Ancient Technology (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of the Ancient World)

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27 28 ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY Figure 4. Donkey mill After the fall vintage, the wine was fermented for half a year in large clay vats sunk into the ground (some of them apparently lined with pine resin to avoid leakage, popularly assumed to be the origin of modern retsina); it was then filtered into large clay amphorae for local sale or export, and served always mixed with water, which helps explain the Greeks’ ability at a symposium (literally, a ‘‘drinking party’’) to carry on clever and sensible philosophical discussion while consuming many cups of wine.

But it was certainly used much earlier: even the Egyptians had 17 18 ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY discovered the usefulness of changing the direction of a force by passing a rope over a fixed horizontal bar, but it remained for the Greeks to devise a pulley system that increased mechanical advantage as well; and we credit the Greek scientist Archimedes with the invention of the compound pulley. ), applied the concept of the screw (really just an inclined plane wrapped around a shaft) to practical uses like the raising of water and crushing of olives.

But there was little hope that such a politically fragmented and competitive region could long survive: the smaller states like Rhodes and Pergamon made defensive treaties with the Romans, who by now were recognized as a world power following their successful wars against Carthage in the West. Thanks largely to its geographical position—surrounded by easily defensible hills, at the head of navigation on the Tiber, with a midstream island that made it possible to ford the river, and in control of the salt beds at the river’s mouth—Rome prospered and gradually acquired control of surrounding territories and, by the mid-third century, most of the Italian peninsula.

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Ancient Technology (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of the Ancient World) by John W. Humphrey


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