The so-called Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus to the Colossus of Rhodes, are well known examples of the technical skills of ancient engineers. This course will examine these and a number of other ancient technical achievements from bridges and buildings to aqueducts and artillery, with a focus on the specific nature of the technical achievement and the methods used to create it, and consider the question of why, despite these technical skills and achievements, no major jump to industrialization occurred in the ancient world.
• Grading in the course will be based on oral presentations (including leading a class discussions), two analysis essay assignments (5-6 pages), and a comprehensive research project.
Readings will be from various ancient sources in English translation, primarily Greek and Roman authors; we will also examine related monuments and manuscript illustrations.
Course Text: Greek and Roman Technology : A Sourcebook : Annotated Translations of Greek and Roman Texts and Documents, by John W. Humphrey, John P. Oleson, and Andrew N. Sherwood.