It is impossible to understand the cultures and achievements of the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs, without knowing something of their technology. Rome, for example, made advances in many areas which were subsequently lost and not regained for more than a millenium. This is a knowledgeable yet lucid account of the wonderful triumphs and the limitations of ancient and medieval engineering. This book systematically describes what is known about the evolution of irrigation works, dams, bridges, roads, building construction, water and wind power, automata, and clocks, with references to the social, geographical, and intellectual context.
In this comprehensive history, Donald Hill opens a window on medieval and classical engineering. The book focuses on on Greece, Rome and medieval Western Europe, but also includes interesting information on Middle Eastern technology.
Documenting over 1800 years, Donald Hill illustrates how classical and medieval engineers designed early irrigation systems, dams, bridges, clocks and how they harnessed the power of both water and wind. Working largely without a quantified, scientific basis for their designs, these early engineers studied the properties of materials and the way in which fluids and solids behaved in certain conditions. They then applied this knowledge to efficiently solve problems. This fascinating study documents over 1800 years of early engineering.
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