A History of Engineering in Classical and Medieval Times by Donald R. Hill

By Donald R. Hill

During this accomplished heritage, Donald Hill opens a window on medieval and classical engineering. The publication makes a speciality of on Greece, Rome and medieval Western Europe, but additionally comprises fascinating info on heart jap 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 facility of either water and wind. operating principally with no quantified, clinical foundation for his or her designs, those early engineers studied the houses of fabrics and how during which fluids and solids behaved in yes stipulations. They then utilized this information to successfully remedy difficulties. This interesting learn files over 1800 years of early engineering.

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

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Symonds 45 ‘Furniture: Post-Roman’, pp. G. Thomson, ‘The Medieval Artisan’, pp. 383–96, both in A History of Technology, ed. , vol. 2 (Oxford, 1956 reprinted 1979); the section on metalworking tools in Theophilus, pp. 81–95 is of the greatest importance. 46 47 Part One: Civil Engineering 48 2 Irrigation and Water Supply History We are concerned here with the study of the engineering elements in the two related technologies of irrigation and water supply. Indeed, so closely are they related that several of their constituents are identical.

These processes were discovered early and were fully utilised by Roman times. The basic kit of iron tools was available to Assyrian craftsmen in the eighth century BC and remained in use through classical and medieval times — the only major addition was the plane. But tools, within a given tool type, became very specialised. For percussion tools, for example, there was a complete range, from the heavy hammers used in quarrying and forging to the delicate hammers of the goldsmiths and jewellers.

13 In the south of Iraq, due to the influence of the tides on the Shatt al-‘Arab and the lower reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates, there is a particularly favourable situation for irrigation. Thanks to a system of canals specially adapted to the situation, there is no need to use machines to raise the water to the fields, since there is always sufficient raised by the tides to irrigate the fields. The cleansing of the canals is done automatically by the movement of the tides, and drainage is effected during the ebb tide.

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