Surveying Instruments of Greece and Rome

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Overview

The Greeks and Romans achieved extraordinary feats of surveying in building their aqueducts, tunnels and roads and in measuring the circumference of the earth and the heights of mountains. This book, which contains translations of all the ancient texts on surveying instruments, including major sources hitherto untapped, sets out to reconstruct the instruments and to explain how they were used. The subject has never been tackled before in this detail, and a level of technical sophistication emerges which must count as one of the greatest achievements of the ancient world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a dazzling combination of classical scholarship and pragmatic experimentation." Mechanical Engineering

"...a valuable contribution to the history of technology. The specialist will appreciate the author's boldness in the analysis of controversial issues and minutiae, while those interested in the general evolution of Greek and Roman engineering will benefit from a judicious discussion of much archaeological and literary evidence, as well as a historical overview." Classical World

"...this is a very important book....indispensible.....thoroughly researched, well referenced and brings to light a host of sources previously neglected....the most useful book on ancient surveying instruments and techniques that has come to light....a solid, straight-forward and honest...tool which will undoubtedly facilitate further advances in the field." Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"...excellent...Surveying Instruments of Greece and Rome is well written and well illustrated and serves to remind us that the science of surveying and measuring land is truly a cornerstone of civilization." Professional Surveyor

"Lewis draws on an impressive array of literary sources, plus archaeological evidence, later parallels, and his own trials with reconstructed versions of the dioptra and the libra, to trace the history, design, and capabilities of the instruments...Throughout this absorbing work, the level of scholarship is very high...Lewis writes engagingly, and his combination of first-rate scholarship and hands-on problem solving is irresistible." Isis

"Lewis's writing is clear and direct, and his explanations easily understandable...The book is an interesting and informative read...a valuable addition to the literature on Greek and Roman engineering and technology." Technology and Culture

"The work is lavishly illustrated and diagramed and includes an ancient author index, regular index, and fourteen page bibliography of sources used to compile the material for the book. This meticulously developed history of science work is strongly recommended for museum and academic libraries with classical history or surveying/geomatics engineering holdings." E-Streams

"The author has written a rich and detailed book illustrated with sixty-nine figures, but one that almost certainly will be restricted to a small readership of experts because of the need to use technical terminology and because of the detail and complexity of his discussion." Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521792974
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Pages: 410
  • Lexile: 1470L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Instruments and Methods: 1. The basic elements; 2. Background to the dioptra; 3. The dioptra; 4. The libra; 5. The groma; 6. The hodometer; Part II. Practical Applications: 7. Measurement of the earth; 8. Mountain heights; 9. Canals and aqueducts; 10. Tunnels; 11. Roman roads; 12. Epilogue; Part III. The Sources: The treatises; Other sources; Appendix. Uncertain devices.

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