Scientific Technology

  • Lucio Russo


In this chapter we will try to verify in the case of Hellenistic civilization the relationship between exact science and scientific technology that we have characterized theoretically. The consequences of this new technology to production and the economy will be considered in Chapter 9.


Water Mill Hellenistic Period Pneumatic Engineer Archimedean Screw Hellenistic Time 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 4.
    Vitruvius, De architectura, VII, preface §14.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, XIV, 634b.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Heron, Mechanica, II §5.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    Proclus, In primum Euclidis Elementorum librum commentarii, 105:1–6, ed. Friedlein.Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    Reduction gears (also called demultiplier gears) and their mechanical advantages are examined in Heron, Mechanica, II §§21–28.Google Scholar
  6. 20.
    Aristotle, Atheniensium respublica, lxvii §§2–3.Google Scholar
  7. 22.
    Vitruvius, De architectura, I,viii §§2–14.Google Scholar
  8. 31.
    Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, XIII, 567c-d (Gulick translation).Google Scholar
  9. 32.
    Polybius, Historiae, VIII, v–vii.Google Scholar
  10. 33.
    Plutarch, Vita Marcelli, xv §§1–3 (Dryden translation).Google Scholar
  11. 34.
    Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, XX, xci §§1–6 (Geer translation).Google Scholar
  12. 35.
    Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, XX, xciii §5 (Geer translation).Google Scholar
  13. 36.
    Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, XX, xcvi §3-xcvii §2 (Geer translation).Google Scholar
  14. 37.
    Vitruvius, De architectura, X, xiii §5.Google Scholar
  15. 38.
    For designing such a machine Callias got the post of public engineer in Rhodes (Vitruvius, De architectura, X,xvi §3).Google Scholar
  16. 39.
    Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, XIV, xlii §§1–2; XIV, 1 §4.Google Scholar
  17. 63.
    It is interesting that Philostratus attributes the discovery of techniques for windward sailing to the Phoenicians (Philostratus, Heroicus, i §2).Google Scholar
  18. 70.
    Strabo, Geography, I, iv §§2–3; II, iv §1.Google Scholar
  19. 72.
    Strabo, Geography, I,i §8.Google Scholar
  20. 74S.
    trabo, Geography, IV,i §5.Google Scholar
  21. 75.
    Strabo, Geography, XIV,ii §5.Google Scholar
  22. 79.
    Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, V, 206–209.Google Scholar
  23. 82.
    Strabo, Geography, XIV,ii §5.Google Scholar
  24. 83.
    Flavius Josephus, Bellum judaicum, IV,x, 613.Google Scholar
  25. 93.
    Vitruvius, De architectura, X,iv §§1–2. The same wheel is cited in Chapter 61 of the Arabic version of Philo of Byzantium’s Pneumatica.Google Scholar
  26. 104.
    Strabo, Geography, XII,iii §30.Google Scholar
  27. 114.
    Heron, Pneumatica, I, xliii,204:16.Google Scholar
  28. 115.
    Strabo, Geography, XIV,v §3; XIV, v §5.Google Scholar
  29. 116.
    Heron, Pneumatica, II, xi; I, xxxviii.Google Scholar
  30. 123.
    Heron, Pneumatica, I, xxi.Google Scholar
  31. 124.
    The cam (eccentric wheel) and camshaft convert circular motion into reciprocating (alternating linear) motion. They were used, for example, in the pipe-organ already discussed on page 126 (Heron, Pneumatica, I, xliii). They were long thought to have been invented in medieval Europe or in China.Google Scholar
  32. 133.
    Vitruvius, De architectura, IX,viii §§4–5.Google Scholar
  33. 134.
    Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, V, 198f.Google Scholar
  34. 140.
    Pliny, Naturalis historia, XXXIV §145; Orosius, Adversus paganos, VI,xiii §2.Google Scholar
  35. 144.
    Roger Bacon, Epistola de secretis operibus, IV (a very loose translation is given in [Bacon/Davis], pp. 26–27).Google Scholar
  36. 148.
    Heron, Automata, i §7, 340:23–342:4 (ed. Schmidt, in [Heron: OO], vol. I).Google Scholar
  37. 149.
    Heron, Automata, i §5, 340:13–15.Google Scholar
  38. 150.
    Heron, Automata, xxi §2, 410:15.Google Scholar
  39. 151.
    Heron, Automata, xxiii, 416–420; xxv–xxvi, 426–436.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucio Russo
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di MatematicaUniversità di Roma “Tor Vergata” Via della Ricerca ScientificaRomaItaly

Personalised recommendations