Ancient Engineers& Inventions

Precursors of the Present

History of Mechanism and Machine Science Band 8

This book describes inventions and designs of ancient engineers that are the precursors of the present. The ages mainly range from 300 B.C. to 1600 A.D. with some exceptions from before and after this period.

As for the very ancient ones, the book describes inventions (documented by archaeological finds mainly from Pompei, Ercolano and Stabia) that generally are very little known and sometimes not known at all. Some inventions are in the military field. This is because (unfortunately) many inventions and technological innovations have been conceived starting from military applications.

The book is divided into five parts.

The first four parts pertain to definite fields and present inventions generally conceived up to the late Roman Empire. Inventions that are representative of the engineering genius of the ancients and that may be considered as milestones, each in their respective field.

The fifth part refers to fields of engineering (such as textiles and automation) in which important innovations were conceived also in more recent centuries.

For each of the inventions presented, even the ancient ones of many centuries past, the authors provide three elements of research and reference:

Written documents (the classics)

Iconic references (coins, bas-reliefs, etc.)

Archaeological findings.

The target groups of the book are students and scholars with interest on History of Mechanical Engineering in Antiquity and Archaelogy.

From the reviews:

“A lovingly compiled catalogue of engineering achievement, prepared most especially for young engineers, and dedicated to the appreciation of the works of pioneers. The reader is shown the problems and guided to their solutions, via all the technical detail needed to command attention. The target reader is thus served, under these terms of reference, well. … All in all, we have a collection of ingenious devices, well-described, frequently ‘reconstructed’ and lovingly commemorated.”­­­ (Michael A. B. Deakin, Metascience, Vol. 19, March, 2010)


Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum

Cesare Rossi was born in Naples on 26 July1955. In 1973 was graduated at High School focusing on Humanities.

In 1979 received the Mechanical Engineer Degree cum Laude at the University of Napoli - "Federico II"; in the same year the doctoral thesis received the Asmeccanica (Italian Mechanical Engineering Association) award.

In the first years of his career he has worked at the Istituto di Meccanica Applicata alle Macchine (Applied Mechanics Institute) of the University of Napoli "Federico II, attending researches on traction fluids for variable speed gearboxes and cooperating at several doctoral theses. In that period he was research fellow of the A.T.A. (Automobile Technicians Association) at the same University Institute.

Then he has been the technical manager of a textile industry and later designer of tools for aircraft's tests and maintenance at an aerospace industry.

In Dec.1983 he was appointed Ricercatore Universitario (Assistant Professor) at the Applied Mechanics Institute (then Department of Mechanical Engineering - D.I.M.E.) of the University of Napoli "Federico II".

In 1992 he has been appointed Associate Professor of Applied Mechanics and from 1 nov.1993 Associate Professor of Robot Mechanics. From those years he has established a Laboratory for experimental researches on Robot Mechanics at the D.I.M.E. and is a member of G.M.A (Italian Group for Mechanics of Machinery).

From 1 nov.2000 has been appointed Full Professor of Applied Mechanics at the same University.

Presently teaches Mechanics Fundamentals and Robot Mechanics both to Mechanical and Automation Engineering students. He is supervisor of Master and Ph.D. theses and professor at the Ph.D. coursed at the same University.

He participated to many International Conferences, often with invited lectures and as Chairman.

His research activities where carried on mainly in the topics of Tribology, Rotor Dynamics, Mechanical Vibrations, Chaotic Motions of Mechanical Systems, Robot Mechanics, Video Applications for Robotics.

Since several years he is interested in studies and researches on the History of Engineering and presently he cooperates with researchers (also on the field) mainly in which the Classic Age is concerned.

He is a member of the A.I.S.I (Italian Society for the History of Engineering).



Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum

FLAVIO RUSSO was born in Torre del Greco (Naples) in 1947. He was graduated at High School focusing on Humanities and then received the Mining Engineer Degree at the University of Rome.

Has been studying military architecture and military history in general for the past thirty years, focusing especially on military technology.

For ten years he was member of Scientific Councils of the Italian Institute for the Castles and of National Committee for Studies of Fortified Architectures at the Italian Cultural Heritage Department.

He has given invited lessons and short courses at the Universities of Molise, Napoli "Federico II" and Salerno; at the same Universities he was co-supervisor of some doctoral theses.

For more than 20 years he cooperates with USSME (Historical Bureau HQ Italian Army) and is member of the committee for the editorial proposals.

He designed and built some full scale and working of Roman artilleries committed by the Cultural Heritage Department; these reconstructions are actually shown at the archaeological area of Saepinum.

He arranged several exhibitions on historical topics.

He writes for several national magazines focused on History, Technology, Achaeology and Militaria.In addition to a large number of scientific publications, he is also the author of many volumes on history and ancient technologies. Some of them were published for the Historical Bureaus of the Italian Army, Italian Navy and Italian Air Forces.

For the N.A.T.O. Allied Maritime Component Command he has recently published:

- 79 A.D. Corse for Pompeii, Inquiry on the death of an Admiral.

- POMPEI Course Toward Transformation - the forgotten contributions of roman naval technology.

Actually he is working at the reconstruction of a roman water wheel, starting from archaeological finds.


Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum

FERRUCCIO RUSSO was born in 1980 and is a student of History at the University of Napoli "Federico II". He has been working for several years with computer graphics, specifically with photo-similar three-dimensional virtual reconstructions of mechanical devices, archeological artifacts and architectural structures. His tables have also appeared in numerous national magazines.

He is autor of several illustrations and a book for the Historical Bureau of the Italian Army and for the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (Italian Mint Institute).

He arranged several exhibitions in which graphical reconstructions of historical topics where shown.

He is co-autor of several books by Flavio Russo.

… weiterlesen
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  • Preface; PART I : MEASURING THE ENVIRONMENT: Introduction; Ancient Greek units; Length units; Area units; Volume units; Weight/mass units; Roman units; Length units; Area units; Volume units; Weight/mass units;
    Chap. 1 - MEASURING MASS: Introduction; 1.1 The balance scale; 1.2 The steelyard balance; Observations;
    Chap. 2 - MEASURING DISTANCE : Introduction; 2.1 Jacobs' staff, Astrolabe; 2.2 Range finders; 2.2.1 Groma; 2.2.2 Surveyors' cross; 2.2.3 Chorobate; 2.3 The dioptre by Heron; 2.4 The ancient odometer; 2.4.1 The odometer by Vitruvius; 2.4.2 The odometer by Heron; Observations;
    Chap. 3 - MEASURING TIME : Introduction; 3.1 The sundial; 3.1.1 Fixed sundials; Equatorial sundials; Horizontal sundials; Vertical sundials; Non-planar sundials; 3.1.2 Portable sundials; 3.2 Water clocks; 3.2.1 Early water clocks; 3.2.2 The water clock by Ctesibius; Observations;
    Chap. 4 - COMPUTATION DEVICES: Introduction; 4.1 The abacus; 4.2 The mesolabio; 4.2.1 The mesolabio of Heratostenes; 4.2.2 The solution by Hippocrates and the Mesolabio by Dürer; 4.3 The mechanism of Antikitera; 4.3.1 The history of the finding; 4.3.2 Description of the mechanism; 4.3.3 Technological aspects; 4.3.4 Planetariums in ancient literature; 4.3.5 A recent interesting finding; Observations; PART II - USING NATURAL ENERGY:
    Chap. 5 - WIND MOTORS: Introduction; 5.1 The wind mills; 5.1.1 TheAfghan mill; 5.1.2 The Cretan mill ; 5.2 Wings on the sea: the sails; 5.2.1 Evolution of the sail rig; 5.2.2 The Chinese junk; 5.2.3 The Flettner rotor; Observations;
    Chap. 6 - HYDRAULIC MOTORS: Introduction; 6.1 Water wheels with vertical axis; 6.1.1 The Greek mill; 6.1.2 Vertical axis rotor with oblique blades; 6.2 Water wheels with horizontal axis; 6.2.1 Undershot water wheels; 6.2.2 Overshot water wheels; The wheel of Venafro; 6.3 The floating mill; 6.4 Water wheels in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; Observations; PART III - USING WATER:
    Chap. 7 - LIFTING WATER: Introduction; 7.1 The early devices; 7.2 The Archimedes' screw; 7.3 Norias; 7.3.1 Scoop wheel; 7.3.2 Chain norias; 7.4 Pumps; 7.4.1 Chain pumps; 7.4.2 Reciprocating pumps; Observations;
    Chap. 8 - ADDUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF WATER: Introduction; 8.1 Open ducts; 8.2 Penstocks; 8.3 The great cistern; 8.3.1 The Piscina Mirabilis at Miseno; 8.4 Water distribution systems ; 8.4.1 Piezometric turrets; 8.5 Pipes; 8.5.1 Dimensions of the lead pipes; 8.6 Valves; 8.6.1 Shut-off valves; 8.6.2 Single control mixers; 8.7 Hydraulic mining; 8.7.1 The technique "Ruina Montium"; 8.7.2 Historical references; Observations;
    Chap. 9 - UNDERWATER ACTIVITIES: Introduction; 9.1 Scuba divers; 9.2 Diving bell;
    PART IV - COMMUNICATION AND TELECOMMUNICATION: Introduction; The capstan; Telecommunication devices;
    Chap. 10 - LIFT AND TRANSPORTS: Introduction; 10.1 Cranes and tackle; 10.2 Gravity driven elevators; 10.3 Roman charts; 10.4 Railed cargo; 10.5 The rails of Pompei; 10.6 Ancient self propelled vehicles; 10.7 Early ball bearings; 10.8 Transport on water; 10.8.1 Early paddle wheeled boats; 10.8.2 Pneumatic boats; 10.9 Cableways; 10.10 The dawn of flight in antiquity; 10.10.1 Legends and tales; 10.10.2 Ancient gliders; 10.10.3 Ancient rockets; Observations;
    Chap. 11 - TELECOMMUNICATIONS : Introduction; 11.1 Acoustic; 11.2 Carrier pigeons; 11.3 Optical telecommunication systems; 11.3.1 Systems based on image modification; 11.3.2 Systems based on brilliancy modification; 11.4 Lighthouses; 11.5 The water telegraph; Observations; PART V - TOWARDS THE MODERN AGE:
    Chap. 12 - SECONDARY MOTORS : Introduction; 12.1 Flexion elastic motors; 12.1.1 Metal spring flexion elastic motors, 12.2 Torsion elastic motors; 12.3 Pneumatic motors; 12.3.1 The air spring ballista; 12.4 Small spring motors; 12.4.1 Locks and padlocks; 12.5 Counterweight motors; 12.5.1 The trebuchet; 12.6 Ancient steam engines; 12.6.1 Heron's steam turbine; 12.6.2 The architronitro; Observations;
    Chap. 13 - SPINNING AND WEAVING: Introduction; 13.1 The dawn of spinning and weaving; 13.2 The spinning wheel; 13.3 The mechanical spinning wheel; 13.3.1 The spinning jenny; 13.3.2 The spinning frame by Arkwight; 13.3.3 The mule by Crompton; 13.3.4 The ring frame; 13.4 Automatic weaving; 13.4.1 The first programmable loom; 13.4.2 The programmable looms of the XVIIIth century; 13.4.3 The automatic loom; Observations;
    Chap. 14 - SOME APPLICATIONS OF FIRE: Introduction; 14.1 Fire ignition; 14.1.2 Optical flints; 14.2 Marine fire - the Roman candle; 14.3 Wind lanterns; 14.4 Fire for warming; 14.4.1 Domestic heating; 14.4.2 Thermal heating systems; 14.4.3 Ancient samovar; 14.5 Fire for warfare; 14.5.1 Burning mirrors; 14.5.2 Flamethrowers; The flamethrower by Thucydides; A probable single cylinder pump flamethrower; Incendiary projectiles; 14.6 Protection from fire: asbestos;
    Chap. 15 - AUTOMATA (Towards Automation and Robots): Introduction; 15.1 The Hellenistic Age; 15.1.1 Heron of Alexandria; 15.1.2 The Roman Empire: the repeating catapult; 15.2 The Middle Ages; 15.2.1 Al-Jazari and the Arabs; 15.2.2 The astronomic clock of Strasbourg; 15.3 The Renaissance; 15.4 The XVIIIth Century; 15.5 The XIXth Century; 15.6 Automata of the Far East; 15.7 Between the two millenniums; Observations; PART VI - SOME ANCIENT BUILDING TECHNIQUES: Stone buildings; Opus siliceum - opus poligonalis; Opus quadratum; Concrete buildings; Opus caementitium; Opus incertum; Opus quasi reticulatum; Opus reticulatum; Opus latericium; Opus spicatum; Opus mixtum; Opus vittatum - opus listatum;
    Chap. 16 - CONSIDERATIONS ON SOME ANCIENT BUILDING TECHNIQUES: Introduction; 16.1 Poligonal work; 16.1.1 Building criteria; 16.1.2 Theories on the reasons for polygonal work; 16.2 Concrete;
    References; Index.
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Format PDF i
Kopierschutz Ja i
Erscheinungsdatum 13.03.2009
Sprache Englisch
EAN 9789048122530
Verlag Springer
Dateigröße 113679 KB
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