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The Ancient Engineers First Thus Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Now and then I'll remember the discussion of the walls around Babylon, said to be 40' high and 25' wide. Just imagine what sort of attacks they were preparing for. And I can still recall the discussion of the tactics, including chemical warfare, used by Roman ships.
One day in October, 2009, the book came to mind again, and I thought: I wonder if it still exists. I should have known! Amazon lists several editions, some quite cheap. There are 11 reviews, most enthusiastic, some with sophisticated quibbles. I second all of these reviews.
A clever teacher, in late high school or college, could build quite a course around this book. History, technology, culture, finance, and sociology intersect here. It's not history from the top (kings and such, which some say is dry), nor history from the bottom (average people, which is necessarily endless and perhaps not very revealing). It's history from the nuts-and-bolts middle--how structures were built, how materials were transported, how wars were fought. When you know this sort of foundational information, everything else becomes more real.
This book has particular resonance for education now, when we hear so much chatter about the supposed wonders of Critical Thinking. Typically, this means a bunch of kids who know nothing are supposed to have useful discussions about said nothing. Our so-called educators have a genius for doing everything backward. But let us suppose a group of people has read this book. Ah, then you could see the fireworks of genuine Critical Thinking. Real history, real facts, real technology--that is what students need to know first, then let the discussions begin.
He uses an odd notation system for dates: Roman numerals for centuries, -xx for before common era, and +xx for common era. I found that I was translating the centuries to numbers to make it understandable to me.
The writing is more interesting than Sir Burton’s “The Book of the Sword”. There are quite a lot of good ideas and his explanations for the quirks of the ancient people, is really good.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
There are people in this world who choose to believe that things like how the Egyptians built the prymaids or how the Romans built roads are totally unknown to modern historians. This book shows that we do indeed know how the Egyptians built the prymaids. It shoulds that we know a lot more about ancient peoples that some would like you to believe.
This is a good book to own.
profession. He explains how the first engineers were irrigators,
architects and inventors of simple machines. Memphis,Egypt
is cited as one of the initial engineering project sites.
The engineer, Imhotep is cited as an important architect
and mathematician in the building of the first pyramids. The
author explains how stones were sledded to the building site
over miles of roadways. Next, the author explains how
the Mesopotamian engineers built great temples. i.e. Marduk
The Chinese are credited with inventing cast iron.
The Greeks are extolled for inventing catapults, refinements
to temple architecture and mechanical engineering.
The Helenistic engineers are credited with the lever waterclock,
museums and advanced hulls on ships. The Roman engineers
are credited with their artful use of concrete, lead pipes
and lighthouses. Oriental engineers perfected the first pendentive dome, stone temples, the wheelbarrow and the
curved roof. European engineers improved metallurgical
processes, pirotechnia, statics, mechanics and kinetics.
The work is a good reference for any student contemplating
a science project in the engineering art. The book is
recommended highly for anyone desiring to trace the history
and evolution of the engineering sciences throughout key
periods of human history.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good coverage of Western engineering history, and well written. Does not cover Eastern developments, such as China.Published 13 months ago by Bud
Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Medieval and Oriental engineering and science, inventions and monuments, are reviewed in a highly readable volume. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Matthew J. Brennan
I remember reading this gem in the early 70's after reading von Däniken's book and putting me on the path of reason. Yes. people were always clever.Published 19 months ago by Brian J. Halgas
This book is rather long and does get kind of monotonous at times. I rated it four stars because there is really nothing out there that looks at history from the point of... Read morePublished on January 18, 2014 by Alba
I had read this book at a friend's house some years ago. For some reason I decided I wanted it again. Not a disappointment. Read morePublished on December 26, 2013 by Richard Sallee
A wonderful (filled with wonder) history of engineering in the long ago and far away. Mostly covering Europe, the Near East, North Africa and some of Asia. Read morePublished on November 7, 2013 by W. B. Abbott
I have always been interested in the giants of engineers as pointed out on various History Channel programs. Read morePublished on October 24, 2013 by Ralph E. Falkenburg Jr.
This book is a great introduction to ancient engineering and science. BUT it is SERIOUSLY dated (From 1960) and it shows. He covers the Middle east and western Europe well. Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by Chris
This is a well written book about a complex subject and I think it was well researched. I can't be too sure of that since there are too many things mentioned to verify them all. Read morePublished on March 4, 2012 by John D. Swallow