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Engineering in the Ancient World, Revised Edition

Engineering in the Ancient World, Revised Edition

Engineering in the Ancient World, Revised Edition
By J. G. Landels

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(18 customer reviews)

Book Description

In his classic book, J. G. Landels describes the technological advances of the Greeks and Romans with erudition and enthusiasm. He provides an important introduction to engineering, writing about power and energy sources, water engineering, cranes, and transportation devises. From aqueducts to catapults, he attempts to envision machines as they may have worked in the ancient world. He then traces the path of knowledge taken by early thinkers—including Plato, Pliny, and Archimedes—in developing early theories of engineering and physics.

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #528405 in Books
  • Published on: 2000-09-04
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.25" h x .75" w x 5.50" l, .65 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 240 pages

Editorial Reviews

"[Landels] has given a new dimension to our appreciation of Greek and Roman civilization. We are accustomed to appreciate what Greek and Roman artists, writers, and philosophers accomplished. We have not really understood what they achieved as engineers."--"Classical Outlook"

About the Author

J. G. Landels, now retired, was a Senior Lecturer in Classics at Reading University. His work, in collaboration with the Engineering Department, involved making working replicas of ancient machines and testing them in the field.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
5Surprisingly good
By Flexpicker
I ordered this book because I needed to understand the beginnings of technology better in order to understand its progress. I expected either a childish book or one of the typical books with many dates and misconceptions about technology that tend to be prevalent in books written by history professors. Professor Landels, however, has done a great job with the subject. Despite being a history professor, he shows a great understanding of the intricacies of engineering and has built some of the devices himself. In building the devices, he has gained great insight into the problems and solutions that ancient engineers faced, and it is this insight that I find particularly interesting. There are no equations, per se, but he does explain some of the physics involved. Additionally, there are a number of illustrations that make the book easy to read. Rather than many dates, he talks about the period in general. Rather than when, the main focus of the book is how. Analyses of text from Vitruvius show that Professor Landels is a very intelligent man. The book rarely gets tedious, though, with a new problem and solution being posed every few pages. Of the several books I have read of this nature (history of technology...see other reviews), this is one of the best.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
4Good, Balanced Non-Engineer Book
By R. keller
I'm not an engineer, but I enjoyed the non-technical language and sketches used in this book to describe Engineering in the Ancient World. It was listed in the references of a book I read about Saint Paul's biblical travels by sea. That chapter in the book was brief but insightful as were the chapters on wheels and fresh water distribution. This is a short book, an easy read, historically interesting. It is not an in-depth study, but contains sufficient math and engineering that may be of interest to technical readers as well.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5Best if you read 'Vitruvius
By P. D. Wolfgram
Clearly written. Best if you read 'Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture' first.

See all 18 customer reviews...
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