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By Donald R. Hill

During this entire heritage, Donald Hill opens a window on medieval and classical engineering. The booklet makes a speciality of on Greece, Rome and medieval Western Europe, but additionally contains fascinating details on center japanese technology.

Documenting over 1800 years, Donald Hill illustrates how classical and medieval engineers designed early irrigation platforms, dams, bridges, clocks and the way they harnessed the ability of either water and wind. operating mostly with no quantified, clinical foundation for his or her designs, those early engineers studied the homes of fabrics and how during which fluids and solids behaved in convinced stipulations. They then utilized this data to successfully clear up difficulties. This attention-grabbing learn files over 1800 years of early engineering.

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Extra resources for A History of Engineering in Classical and Medieval Times

Sample text

The available evidence does indeed indicate that engineering workers formed a distinct group in classical and medieval times. Frontinus tells us, for example, that there were two gangs of slaves allocated to the maintenance of Roman water 38 installations, one numbering about 240 men, the other 460. Both were divided into several classes of workmen: overseers, reservoir-keepers, inspectors, pavers, 13 plasterers and other workmen. 14 In either case, it is probable that the same men were employed on a single site for a period of some years.

It had a crossbar that could be turned with two hands. The earliest illustration of the brace-and-bit occurs in an illustration of about AD 1425. The only early machine tool was the lathe, which was introduced into Europe by the Greeks in the seventh century BC, probably from the wood-producing areas of the Middle East. Most early machines were pole-lathes. This consisted of a bed with uprights in which bearings were installed; the work, roughly hewn to a cylindrical shape, was revolved in these bearings.

125), they enabled him to calculate, for example, the number of pulleys needed for lifting a given weight with a given force. 3 There can be no doubt that the results of Archimedes and his successors such as Hero of Alexandria (fl. middle of first century AD) were applied to lifting devices, war machines, steelyards and so on. The difficulty with so many other problems in engineering is that their solution almost always demands the use of differential or integral calculus, which was not invented until the seventeenth century.

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