The ancient engineers
From the dawn of history to the rise of the scientific method in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, invention and technology advanced with painful slowness. The reason was not that men were stupid during those thousands of years-it was the fact that most people were simply too busy trying to keep alive. The imagination and daring that leisure and security could divert to other ends were limited to a tiny group. It is about these brave men-whose genius enabled the Egyptians to build their pyramids, the Phoenicians to cross stormy seas, the Romans to erect magnificent public buildings-that this carefully researched and fascinatingly written account of the advance of early technology has been written. Mr. de Camp describes the methods used by early irrigators, architects, and military engineers to build and maintain structures to serve their rulers' wants. He tells, for example, how the Pharaohs erected obelisks and pyramids, how Nebuchadnezzar fortified Babylon, how Dionysios' ordnance department invented the catapult, how the Chinese built the Great Wall, and how the Romans fashioned their roads, baths, sewers, and aqueducts. He recounts many intriguing anecdotes: an Assyrian king putting up no-parking signs in Nineveh; Plato inventing a water clock with an alarm to signal the start of his classes; Heron of Alexandria designing a coin-operated holy-water fountain; a Chinese emperor composing a poem to be inscribed on a clock invented by one of his civil servants. The Ancient Engineerswill delight students of technology and invention for its accurate portrayal of the foundations of modern engineering as well as lovers of history for its penetrating look at the material background of civilization and its unusual explanations of the world's social evolution.
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One The Coming of the Engineers
Two The Egyptian Engineers
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Ages Agrippa Alexandria ancient aqueducts Arabs arch Archimedes architect Aristotle armor army Assyrian Athens became brick bridge bronze builders building built Byzantine called canal catapult centuries chariot China Chinese civilization classical clock columns Demetrios Demetrios Poliorketes dome early Egypt Egyptian emperor Empire engineering feet ﬁeld ﬁght ﬁgures ﬁlled ﬁnd ﬁnished ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂat ﬂoat ﬂood ﬂow fortiﬁed Frontinus galleys gear Greece Greek Hadrian harbor Hellenistic Hence Heron Heron of Alexandria horse houses invention iron kings Ktesibios Lake land later Leonardo Lysippos mechanical medieval Mediterranean Mesopotamian miles mill modern Mongols Muslim oars oﬁ Persian Philon Philon of Byzantium piers pipes probably Ptolemaios pyramid river roads Roman Rome roof rowers sail scientiﬁc Sennacherib shaft ships side siege statue stone structure temples took tower traﬂic Trajan treadwheel tunnel turned vault vessel Vitruvius wall water clock water wheel wind wooden Xerxes ziggurat