CLST 11: Engineering and Technology in the Ancient World

Prof. Roger B. Ulrich, Dept. of Classics, 318 Reed Hall tel. 6-3491
Office Hours: listed on the BlackBoard website

This course offers an introduction to the most important machines and processes of Greek and Roman technology.  Emphasis will be on the practical implications and applications of ancient technology.  Within the broad range of technologies surveyed, class sessions will include specific case studies to provide deeper analysis and understanding of a given technology.  Reading assignments will be based on selected chapters and articles from both primary (Greek and Latin texts in translation) and secondary sources, the majority of the latter drawn from our textbook, The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World.  Classes will include visits to the Hood Museum for close examination of Greek and Roman objects.

Evaluation will be based upon attendance, class participation, a quiz, a midterm test, oral presentations, and a final term paper or project (the project may include, for example, a computer simulation or a physical working model, but even in such cases the project will be accompanied by a final paper).
Attendance and Participation (see notes below): 15%
First Quiz: 5%
Midterm: 30%
Oral Report(s) (including handout and/or slides): 15%
Final Paper/Project: 35%

This course has been kept small in order to encourage class discussion.  If more than two classes are missed for any reason other than medical or family emergency your final grade will be lowered up to 15% of your  final average, and at least one full step (i.e., B+ lowered to B).  Please note the days when X-hours will be used.  These are mandatory classes; most testing during the term will occur during X-hours.  Medical school interviews, corporate interviews, etc. are not considered “emergencies.”  If you think you will miss more than two classes you should sign up for another course.

Dartmouth has a system set up to accommodate students with disabilities (physical, learning, those both “visible” and “invisible”).  The Dartmouth system works well, as long as the students in question let their teachers know about the situation well in advance of tests and due-dates.  Don’t wait until the day of a scheduled test—tell me now.  All Dartmouth faculty are used to working with students to make whatever accommodations are needed.  You’re here in this class to learn, so if there’s any sort of disability that could make it harder for you to do so, let me know and we’ll figure out how to deal with it, in conjunction with the Student Disabilities Coordinator at the Academic Skills Center (301 Collis Center).  All discussions between students and faculty concerning disabilities will remain confidential.

CLST 11: Topics and Reading Assignments:
“Textbook” = The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World, edited by J. P. Oleson.

Introduction I: The Nature of the Evidence; Methods of Study: Classical Writers, Archaeology, Modeling.
Reading: Textbook: Chapt. 1: S. Cuomo, “Ancient Written Sources for Engineering and Technology.” 

Introduction II-III: Evidence (cont): Ancient Education and Ancient Representations of Technology.
Reading: Textbook: Chapter 2: R. Ulrich, Representations of Technical Processes and Vitruvius, Book 1, Chapter 1 (“The Education of the Architect”), sections 1-17; Book 10, Chapter 1: “A machine is a combination of materials . . .” (translations of Vitruvius are also available online).

Measuring: Time, Weight, Volume, Physical Objects and Distances (Surveying).
Reading: Texbook: Chapters 29: R. Hannah, “Timekeeping” and 30: Witkander, Meadows, and Tybjerg, “Technologies of Calculation.”
J.-P. Adam (1994), Roman Building (pp. 8-19)

Technical Drawing (e.g., plans) and Proportional Systems: The Evidence:
Case Studies: The Canon of Polykleitos, Forma Urbis Romae
Reading: J. J. Coulton (1977), Ancient Greek architects at work. pp. 51-73.
R. Tobin (1975), “The Canon of Polykleitos, AJA 79 307-321.
A. S. Stewart (1978), “The Canon of Polykleitos,” JHS 98 122-131.
L. Haselberger, “Architectural likenesses: models and plans of architecture in classical antiquity” Journal of Roman Archaeology vol. 10 (1997) 77-94.
Online Source: Stanford’s Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project.

Mechanical Concepts: Levers, Screw Presses, Pulleys, Cranes, Cantilevers, Catapults
Case Study: Moving and Lifting the Obelisks.
Reading: Texbook: Chapter 13: A. Wilson, “Machines in Greek and Roman Technology.”
Vitruvius, Book 10, Chapter 2 (Cranes), Chapter 10-11.


Power and Energy Resources: Man, Animal, Water, Wind, and Fire.  Managing Large Projects.
Case Study: Draining the Fucine Lake
Reading: Texbook: Chapter 6: Ö. Wikander, “Sources of Energy and Exploitation of Power” and M.K. and R.L. Thornton, Julio-Claudian Building Programs, pp. 3-13; 57-76.

Resources and Tools: Wood
Case Study: Wooden Structures and Techniques on the Column of Trajan in Rome.
Reading: Texbook: Chapter 17: R. Ulrich, “Woodworking.”

Working Metal: Mineral Extraction, Casting Bronze, Blacksmithing.
Case Study: Ancient Bronzes in the Hood Museum.
Reading: Texbook: Chapters 4: P. Craddock, “Mining and Metallurgy” and 16: C. Mattusch, “Metalworking and Tools.”

Stone: quarrying, cutting and carving:
Reading: Texbook: Chapters 5: J. C. Fant: “Quarrying and Stonecutting.”
G. Richter (1933), “Note on the Running Drill,” AJA 37 573-577; Marble in Antiquity (Collected Papers of J. B. Ward-Perkins), “Materials, Quarries and Transportation,” pp. 13- 22.

Ceramics: Firing and Glazing of Greek and Roman Pottery.
Case Studies: Ancient Ceramics in the Hood Museum of Art.
Class Visit: Hood Museum Study-Storage Area.
Reading: Texbook: Chapter 20: M. Jackson and K. Greene: “Ceramic Production.”

Textiles: Spinning, Weaving. Looms, Treatment of Cloth. 
Reading: Texbook: Chapter 18: J. P. Wild, “Textile Production.”


Covering Spaces: Vaults and Roofing Systems, and Bridges
Case Studies:
The dome of the Pantheon
Trajan’s bridge over the Danube
The Basilica of Vitruvius at Fanum
Reading: Texbook: Chapter 10: L. Lancaster, “Roman Engineering and Construction.”
Vitruvius: on the basilica at Fanum: Book 5, Chapter 1.

Big Projects: Harbor Construction, Tunnels, Road systems
Case Studies:
The Harbor at Caesarea (including hydraulic concrete)
Reading: Texbook: Chapters 22: L. Quilici, “Land Transport, Part 1: Roads and Bridges” and 25: D. Blackman, “Sea Transport, Part 2: Harbors.”

Moving Water: Aqueducts, Reverse Siphons, Water Screws, Pumps and Valves
Case Study: The water distribution systems at Pompeii
Reading: Texbook: Chapter 11: A. J. Wilson, “Hydraulic Engineering and Water Supply.”
Vitruvius, Book 10, Chapters 6 and 7.


Moving Goods: Technology of the Wheel, Shipping, Navigation
Reading: Texbook: Chapters 23: G. Raepsaet, “Land Transport 2: Riding, Harnesses, and Vehicles” and 24: S. McGrail, “Sea Transport.”

Fantastic Inventions: Hero of Alexandria and Archimedes of Syracuse
Including Steam-powered toys and Burning Mirrors
Reading: Texbook: Chapter 32: “Inventors, Invention, and Attitudes toward Innovation;”
D. L. Simms (1977), “Archimedes and the Burning Mirrors of Syracuse,” Technology and Culture 18 1-24.


Final Oral presentations.

WEEK 10:

Final Presentations.