Ancient Engineers' Inventions - Precursors of the Present by Cesare Rossi

By Cesare Rossi

This publication describes innovations and designs of historic engineers which are the precursors of the current. The a while quite often variety from three hundred B.C. to 1600 A.D. with a few exceptions from sooner than and after this era. As for the very historic ones, the ebook describes innovations (documented via archaeological unearths frequently from Pompei, Ercolano and Stabia) that in most cases are little or no identified and occasionally no longer recognized in any respect. a few innovations are within the army box. the reason is, (unfortunately) many innovations and technological ideas were conceived ranging from army purposes. The publication is split into 5 components. the 1st 4 components pertain to sure fields and current innovations as a rule conceived as much as the overdue Roman Empire. innovations which are consultant of the engineering genius of the ancients and that could be regarded as milestones, each one of their respective box. The 5th half refers to fields of engineering (such as textiles and automation) during which very important strategies have been conceived additionally in additional contemporary centuries. for every of the innovations awarded, even the traditional ones of many centuries previous, the authors supply 3 components of analysis and reference: • Written records (the classics) • Iconic references (coins, bas-reliefs, etc.) • Archaeological findings.

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The Romans divided their day, or rather the interval between two consecutive sunrises and two consecutive sunsets, into 24 h, 12 for the day and 12 for the night, exactly as we do today. But contrary to our system, they believed that the day was the interval between dawn and sunset and, by obvious symmetry, night the period between sunset and dawn, events that varied in the course of the year. The day, in fact, reaches its briefest duration on the winter solstice, December 21 and the longest duration on the summer solstice, 21 June, while night is the exact opposite.

The Roman abacus demonstrates that, for computing purposes, the Romans used decimal numeration. Moreover, the ninth slot of the abacus shows that also fractions were used during computations. It must also be observed that, by using Greek or Roman notations it was very difficult to obtain the product of two numbers. Suppose, for example, to compute: 15 × 31 = 465; in Roman notation it becomes: XV × XXXI = CCCCXLV. The computing was carried out, using the abacus, by means of the procedure described as follows.

8 Reconstruction of the dials. The only dial that is clearly understandable is the one located on the front panel. Its reconstruction is based on a fragment as big as about one fourth of the entire circle; on it there is a circular scale about 45° wide. 9. On the external scale the months are recorded while on the inner the constellations of the zodiac. The marks are not precisely spaced: the mean error is about 1/3°. The front dial clearly shows the motions of the sun and of the moon with respect to the constellations of the zodiac; it also shows the rising and setting of stars and important constellations.

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