The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World

The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World

Hardback Oxford Handbooks

Edited by John Peter Oleson

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 896 pages
  • Dimensions: 180mm x 255mm x 44mm | 1,817g
  • Publication date: 7 February 2008
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195187318
  • ISBN 13: 9780195187311
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 1,515,354

Product description

Nearly every aspect of daily life in the Mediterranean world and Europe during the florescence of the Greek and Roman cultures is relevant to the topics of engineering and technology. This volume highlights both the accomplishments of the ancient societies and the remaining research problems, and stimulates further progress in the history of ancient technology. The subject matter of the book is the technological framework of the Greek and Roman cultures from ca. 800 B.C. through ca. A.D. 500 in the circum-Mediterranean world and Northern Europe. Each chapter discusses a technology or family of technologies from an analytical rather than descriptive point of view, providing a critical summation of our present knowledge of the Greek and Roman accomplishments in the technology concerned and the evolution of their technical capabilities over the chronological period. Each presentation reviews the issues and recent contributions, and defines the capacities and accomplishments of the technology in the context of the society that used it, the available "technological shelf," and the resources consumed. These studies introduce and synthesize the results of excavation or specialized studies. The chapters are organized in sections progressing from sources (written and representational) to primary (e.g., mining, metallurgy, agriculture) and secondary (e.g., woodworking, glass production, food preparation, textile production and leather-working) production, to technologies of social organization and interaction (e.g., roads, bridges, ships, harbors, warfare and fortification), and finally to studies of general social issues (e.g., writing, timekeeping, measurement, scientific instruments, attitudes toward technology and innovation) and the relevance of ethnographic methods to the study of classical technology. The unrivalled breadth and depth of this volume make it the definitive reference work for students and academics across the spectrum of classical studies.

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Author information

John Peter Oleson is Distinguished Professor of Greek and Roman Studies, University of Victoria, Canada.

Review quote

complsory (as well as entertaining) reading for any academic, student or lay-man Francesco Trifilo, Rosetta