Download e-book for iPad: Ancient Technology by John W. Humphrey

By John W. Humphrey

ISBN-10: 0313327637

ISBN-13: 9780313327636

Since precedent days, technological advances have elevated man's percentages for survival. From the practicality of a Roman aqueduct to the paintings of the written be aware, guy has continually tailored his setting to fulfill his wishes, and to supply himself with sustenance, convenience, convenience, relaxation, a better caliber of dwelling, 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 historical technology—energy, machines, mining, metallurgy, ceramics, agriculture, engineering, transportation, and communication—Humphrey asks questions vital to figuring out the influence of historical instruments at the glossy international: What activates swap? What cultural traditions inhibit swap? What influence do those adjustments 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 construction of the Parthenon, and Rome's city water method. precise line drawings of instruments and machines make old mechanics extra simply available. basic files, thesaurus, biographies, and a timeline relationship from the Palaeolithic age to the Roman Empire around out the paintings, making this an incredible reference resource for figuring out the instruments of the traditional world.

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It was in part thanks to this device that in the Hellenistic and Roman periods the water wheel was used both as a lifting device and to power other kinds of machines like mills and (at the end of the ancient world) even saws. It was the Hellenistic Greeks, too, who invented the water pump with automatic inlet and outlet valves. Still, it remained for humans and animals to power most of the machines of antiquity: animal-powered mills, for example, are always more common than their water-powered cousins.

But internal dynastic and administrative squabbling, combined with pressures from the northern warlike tribes that lived beyond the empire’s fluvial boundaries (the Rhine and the Danube), caused such great civil disruption and economic decline in the third century that military Emperors like Diocletian and Constantine were compelled to clamp rigid regulations on the lives of their subjects, as the Roman world was gradually transformed into the feudal system of the Middle Ages in the West. , when the capital of the empire was transferred from Rome to Constantinople (Istanbul), heralding the start of the Byzantine Christian world in the eastern Mediterranean.

1 hp, the output of a human). One of its principal limitations was the absence of a cheap, efficient, and portable source of heat: though coal and petroleum were recognized in antiquity, only charcoal was extensively used, in pottery kilns and smelting furnaces, for example. Mechanical Devices It is seldom possible to determine exactly when a particular mechanical device was discovered or invented, but in general the chronological development was as follows. The principle of the lever was certainly known as early as the Upper Paleolithic Age, when it was employed in such composite tools as the spear-thrower; at the same time the concept of rotary power is evident in the use of the bow drill.

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Ancient Technology by John W. Humphrey

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