Friday, August 08, 2003

Greeks using technology as far back as 1800 B.C.E.

Greek Technology
"Long before Galileo changed the course of history in the 1600s with his astronomical discoveries, ancient Greeks were calculating the circumference of the earth, gauging lunar eclipses, pumping water, making steam engines and even building toy automatons for lack of another purpose in pre-industrial antiquity.
'Greeks had been using technology to carry out engineering feats as far back as 1800 BC,' says Theodossios Tassios, president of the Ancient Greek Technology Studies Association and engineering professor at Athens Polytechnic. 'The persisting inclination of ancient Greeks for robots and automatons and their veneration of the god of engineering, Hephaistos, proves that these tribes were very, very open to technology,' he says. "

Even the jet engine lay within the grasp of Hero of Alexandria (100 BC or 1st Century AD), a great mathematician, physicist and mechanical engineer. He developed an aeolipile, a steam-powered engine which had much in common with a jet engine, transformed steam into rotary movement by forcing steam through a small opening in a boiler.