Download Ancient Technology (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of by John W. Humphrey PDF

By John W. Humphrey

Since precedent days, technological advances have elevated man's percentages for survival. From the practicality of a Roman aqueduct to the artwork of the written note, guy has continually tailored his surroundings to satisfy his wishes, and to supply himself with sustenance, convenience, convenience, relaxation, a better caliber of residing, and a thriving tradition. This concise reference resource takes a better examine six technological occasions that considerably impacted the evolution of civilization, from the Palaeolithic age to the peak of the Roman Empire. As he touches at the universal components of old technology―energy, machines, mining, metallurgy, ceramics, agriculture, engineering, transportation, and communication―Humphrey asks questions relevant to knowing the effect of historical instruments at the smooth international: What activates swap? What cultural traditions inhibit switch? What impact do those alterations have on their societies and civilization?

Humphrey explores applied sciences as either actual instruments and as extensions of the human physique, starting with the discovery of the Greek alphabet and together with such accomplishments as early Neolithic plant cultivation, the discovery of coinage, the development of the Parthenon, and Rome's city water approach. particular line drawings of instruments and machines make historic mechanics extra simply obtainable. basic records, word list, biographies, and a timeline courting from the Palaeolithic age to the Roman Empire around out the paintings, making this a terrific reference resource for knowing the instruments of the traditional world.

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With his remarkable conquests and foundation of cities in lands previously tribal (many of which were named after him, including Afghan Kandahar), the young Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the eastern Mediterranean and as far eastward as the Indus River: and the benefits were reciprocal, as contact with new cultures as far away as India brought innovations and improvements to the technological level of the classical world. Alexander’s untimely death caused the disintegration of the largest empire the western world had yet seen, though its influence was to endure 7 8 ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY in a new world order fostered first by his Macedonian successors and then by a new power rising in the western Mediterranean: Rome.

As a result of their early work, we have learned more about antiquity in the past 130 years than ever was added before. Our knowledge of the Bronze Age, for the most part not the beneficiary of useful documentary evidence, has been especially advanced by excavation, though there are as well many elements of classical antiquity to which archaeology has introduced us: inscriptions that reveal the taxation system of the Athenian Empire or the traffic-calming regulations in Rome; the evolution of town planning; and the skeletal remains of ships almost miraculously preserved by the Mediterranean waters that claimed them.

We find the Assyrians and Persians controlling much of the Near East; their complex system of communications by road encouraged the spread of new ideas and technologies. The Phoenicians, a merchant people who lived on the coast of Lebanon, were the major traders of the early Iron Age, and so were responsible for spreading these new technologies throughout the Mediterranean; their most notable contribution to Western culture was the alphabet. According to some scholars, Iron-Age societies shared the benefits of progressive inventions more widely than their predecessors, as seen in three new technological advances that eventually would benefit all social classes: iron gave peasants better and cheaper tools; the alphabet encouraged the spread of literacy; and coinage made commerce easier and allowed the poor to save for the products of an advanced technology.

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