College of Arts and Sciences - News
Oct 19 2012
Abstract of Kevin LaGrandeur's Article

The article, “Robots, Moving Statues, and Automata in Ancient Tales and History”, was published in Critical Insights: Technology & Humanity, Ed. Carol Colatrella, Salem Press, 2012.  Pp. 99-111.

Here’s an abstract of the article:

What is really significant when we look at technology in the ancient world is that technology is not limited to Classical mythology, but in the literature of other cultures as well. These other accounts include quasi-mythological tales like The Iliad, tales from ancient cultures in India and China, and non-fictional accounts of real instances of technological innovation by ancient inventors. The devices made by ancient Greek engineers—such as the Antikythera mechanism, or the devices of Ctsebius and Hero of Alexandria, and Philon of Byzantium—are especially notable because they reflect, and are reflected by, the various fictional accounts. Chief in importance among technological innovations that appear in all three realms (stories, myths, and reality) are automata, especially humanoid automata. Their main significance is their ability to enhance and project the power and status of their makers or owners, who were sometimes the same individuals.

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