Ancient Greek technology - Hydraulics techniques - Military machines - Spinning and weaving - Agriculture

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The history of Greek technology begins in the 6th century and ends with the Roman conquest of Greece in the 2nd century B.C. in the classical period, the abundance and cheapness of slave labor hardly encourage the development of mechanization. The educated class encouraged the development of mechanization. The educated class encourages philosophy and mathematics. Their contempt for manual work impeded the technical progress. The few mechanics, they invented were interesting only from the theoretical point of view, and no thought was given to their actual construction and practical utility. On the other hand their feeling for plastic beauty enables them to attain a remarkable technological level in architecture and sculpture.

 Hydraulics techniques of ancient Greek

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            Supply of water to great cities was a pressing problem in Greece which was a dry country. For long, water was drawn from wells by means of the shadoof which is Egyptian and Mesopotamian in origin. Later the water screw of Archimedes was used for irrigation and to clear the mines. The screw was enclosed in a wooden cylinder, which was inclined to 30o. When the screw was rotated by a crank, it drew the water into the cylinder.

Military machines of ancient Greek


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            It was especially in the military domain, and particularly with the advent of the age of Alexander that Greek science was translated into concrete achievements. This period witnessed the invention of most of the military machines that were to remain in use until the invention of gunpowder. There was machines were based on two different principles of dynamics tension and torsion, using the former principle they developed gastraphetes and the petrobolos for hurling arrow and stones respectively. Euthytonon was a ballistic engine which could hurl arrows to a distance of five hundred paces.

Spinning and weaving of ancient Greek


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Geographical conditions being favorable for sheep raising wool was the principal textile of the ancient Greeks. Flax fiber was imported from Egypt. Silk was unknown. Cotton was introduced after Alexander’s campaign in the Indus valley. The spinning and weaving techniques of the Greeks continued to be primitive.

Agriculture of ancient Greek

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By comparison with the agriculture practice of Egypt and Mesopotamia, Greek agriculture presented no new features. Their plough was primitive. Their principal products were the grape, the olive and cereal grains. So mills and presses played a significant role in their economy.


Coinage and parchment are the two major inventions credited to the Greek genius. Coinage was invented by the kings of Lydia in the seventh century B.C. when they stamped gold ingots of known weight and purity. Drachma was their principal coin.

            The characteristic feature o the Greek technology is its concern with the study and control of motion. Their engineers succeeded in working out its fundamental theories when proved adequate for many centuries. The five simple machines and their elementary motions were closely analyzed by them. Thus this period was highly important in the history of technology, because it marks a transition from the engineering based upon man and his hand tools to exploiting animal and mechanisms. Their achievements mark the beginning of a technical revolution that was eventually fulfilled during the middle ages in the west. 
  
Ancient Greek technology - Hydraulics techniques - Military machines - Spinning and weaving - Agriculture Ancient Greek technology - Hydraulics techniques - Military machines - Spinning and weaving - Agriculture Reviewed by knowledge people creators on June 14, 2019 Rating: 5
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