Article

Inventors, Invention, and Attitudes toward Technology and Innovation

Kevin Greene

in The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199734856
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199734856.013.0033

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Inventors, Invention, and Attitudes toward Technology and Innovation

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Classical Studies
  • Greek and Roman Archaeology
  • Historical Archaeology

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This article starts by exploring a selection of analyses about invention in ancient sources. It also addresses the nature of some ancient inventors, and presents examples of Greek and Roman technology that reveal stability or change. Attitudes to invention and innovation in Greek and Roman writings are specifically considered. Individuals such as Ctesibius, Philon, and Archimedes, whose names became associated with specific inventions, were at the very least responsible for memorable innovations, whether or not the devices that they brought into practical use were their own inventions. The achievements of Vitruvius and Heron of Alexandria are then evaluated. The most interesting questions about Greek and Roman invention and innovation are not about priority or originality, but about the contexts in which such processes took place.

Keywords: Ctesibius; Philon; Archimedes; Vitruvius; Heron of Alexandria; Greek invention; Roman invention; innovation; technology

Article.  8786 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Greek and Roman Archaeology ; Historical Archaeology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.