A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I- J - K - L - M -

N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Radiation weapon

First use of radiation weapon with burning mirrors. Focal property of the parabola recognized by about 250 BC. Problem of finding a mirror surface to reflect the sun’s rays to a point was solved by Dositheus and applied by Archimedes.


500-600 BC at Corinth for moving boats.(Diolkos)

A very interesting article :

by Dr M J T Lewis:

Research Center

The Library and the Mouseion in Alexandria is the first research center.

The chambers of the great library were spacious and bright ... Across the hall, doctors carried out research in vast laboratories and dissecting rooms. In still another chamber, inventors gathered to assemble their new contraptions. Day and night the library pulsed with activity. At dusk, astronomers met on the rooftop observatory to map the constellations. At dawn, botanists could be seen ambling through terraced gardens where they observed new varieties of fruit trees and crops behind the library walls, animal keepers tended the world’s first known zoo. Open walkways, bordered by lovely fountains and lotus flowers, divided the courtyards from the library chambers. Along these walks stood the bibliothekai, the name given to the niches, or cubbyholes, filled with scrolls. The library stored 500,000 scrolls, and none of them ever left the library. Scholars sat on small stools near the niches to read, unrolling the papyrus sheets on their laps to view the columns of writing. Some of the scrolls were twenty feet long!
Anne Nolting, The Ancient Library of Alexandria

River Deflection, Water Control

The first known deflection of a river is found in Greek mythology when Hercules changed the flow of a river to clean the stables of Aygeias. Herodotus reports the deflection of the Halys (or Alios) river from Thales from Miletus for king Croesus of Lydia.

When he (Croesus) reached the river Halys, he transported his army across it, as I maintain, by the bridges which exist there at the present day; but, according to the general belief of the Greeks, by the aid of Thales the Milesian. The tale is that Croesus was in doubt how he should get his army across, as the bridges were not made at that time, and that Thales, who happened to be in the camp, divided the stream and caused it to flow on both sides of the army instead of on the left only. This he effected thus:—Beginning some distance above the camp, he dug a deep channel, which he brought round in a semicircle, so that it might pass to rearward of the camp; and that thus the river, diverted from its natural course into the new channel at the point where this left the stream, might flow by the station of the army, and afterwards fall again into the ancient bed. In this way the river was split into two streams, which were both easily fordable. It is said by some that the water was entirely drained off from the natural bed of the river. But I am of a different opinion; for I do not see how, in that case, they could have crossed it on their return.

Herodotus, History I

Around the 14th century BC there is a report of channels build to the sea and the lake Kopais that was used to control the water level of the lake. The channel was around 9 km long. It was used to reduce the size of the lake, use the water for agriculture and to avoid floods in the region. The channel was destroyed around 1100 BC by an earthquake. Draining projects in the lake Kopaida

At Kopais, according to KNAUSS (1991), works such as drainage channels and polders were first constructed at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. The important point is that, very probably, around the 12th century BC the Mycenaean civilisation attempted to cross the mountain ridge closing the basin with an artificial emissary discharging the water toward the sea. To accomplish this, 16 shafts were dug across the Kephalari pass, covering a distance of 2230 m and with depths up to 63 m. For some mysterious reason, the work was stopped when all the vertical shafts were already completed, and the cuniculi connecting the bottom of the shafts had just been started. Curiously, there is evidence of three levels of the emissary. It appears that the project was stopped just when proceeding to lower the shafts to reach the third and deepest level. One can interpret this enigmatic (but not unique) fact as evidence of progressive changes made to the project, although other hypotheses are possible, such as the building of a complex emissary capable of carrying exceptional flows, or (much more probably) which could resist strong earthquakes (TOLLE-KASTENBEIN, 1993). One important feature is that the levels of these cuniculi sloped gently and evenly downhill. Thus it is very likely that around the 12th century BC (or even earlier) there were people in central Greece who not only could dig perfectly rectangular shafts 63 m deep, but who had also mastered the topographic techniques needed to reach the precision observed in the levelling of the cuniculi. If this is true, did this expertise originate there and then, or was it imported from elsewhere? Vittorio Castellani and Walter Dragoni Ancient tunnels: from Roman outlets back to the early Greek civilization (PDF File)

The prehistoric water management and land reclamation system in the Kopais – basin. ( PDF File. )

Christina A. Salowey about the Lernea Hydra in “ Herakles and Healing Cult in the Peloponnesos”:

The Lernean Hydra Labor is a case in point. It is not difficult to discover the refracted image of the multiple sources of a marshy area in the polykephalic form of the Hydra; a multitude of writhing snakes is enough to suggest a swamp, but the nature of her destruction is specified as agricultural and her blood is poisonous (Eur. Her. 422, 1188; Soph. Trach. 572 - 577), both qualities are apt metaphors for the stagnant and invasive waters of a swamp. Herakles cannot kill the monster with ordinary weapons but must resort to the use of firebrands, fire being the antithesis of water, and Apollodoros (Bibl. 2.5.2) preserves a version of the myth that Herakles could not kill one immortal head of the Hydra but had to bury it underground, a description which sounds like retraining of a watercourse. Later scholiasts , Lactantius and Servius, are explicit about the interpretation of the myth, that the Lernean Hydra was a swamp (Si veram quaeramus historiam, Lerna palus fuit), the waters of which Hercules dried up. The Lernean Hydra is characterized as the bane of Argos (Eur. Phoen. 1137) and it is likely that the marshy geology of the entire Argive plain contributed to the creation of a legendary swamp creature.

New work in the Argive plain also provides the possibility that the myth has its origins in a geographical reality. Eberhardt Zangger (née Finke), in a geomorphological study of the plain, has been able to demonstrate that a large lagoon existed to the north of ancient Lerna, reaching its maximum size in the 5th millenium, almost completely disappearing by 1100 B.C, and swelling again between the Helllenistic and Roman periods, persisting in the area until recently This decrease in the level of Lake Lerna in the Late Bronze Age may have been natural or may have been due to the construction of a Mycenaean water control system. Mycenaean dikes and dam installations have been described by Jost Knauss in the Kopaic Basin, the Pheneatike, and Stymphalia and closer to Lerna, Zangger has recently published the dam at Tiryns which protected the lower town from flooding. If this decrease in the level of Lake Lerna was accompanied by a remission of deadly fevers and an increase in agricultural production, perhaps the myth of Herakles’ destruction of the Lernean Hydra was created to celebrate the draining of part of the swamp. It seems unlikely, however, that a gradual natural phenomenon occurring over hundreds or thousands of years would provide a marked enough change to be observed within one or two generations and immortalized in legend. However, a technological improvement in the drainage of such a waterlogged area would be noted and preserved in song. Curtius first postulated such an effort as the motivation for the myth and even recognized blocks and walls in the town of Myloi as components of a Mycenaean drainage canal system. Unfortunately, none of those features exists today. Another possible inspiration for the myth is the Mycenaean dam at Tiryns. The dam at Tiryns was probably constructed to prevent flooding in the lower town. Finke found an alluvial deposit to the north of the citadel which indicated a shift in the stream from its EBA position south of Tiryns. The dam diverted the stream to the south again, and alluvial deposits demonstrate its efficacy. The Tiryns dam is probably not the inspiration for the veiled reference to hydraulic efforts in the Lernean Hydra, but it may be one of many such Mycenaean water control installations that, when working together, improved the drainage conditions in the entire Argive Plain. A grandiose hydraulic project that would have improved the lives of many people is one worthy of assignment to Herakles. It is possible that Herakles swamp draining efforts preserve in mythological form the memory of actual Mycenaean hydraulic projects. In the Classical and Hellenistic periods, as the connection between pooled, stagnant water and fevers began to be realized, it may well be that Herakles became a symbol and patron deity of the eradication of the plagues and epidemics that swamps engender. The traces of his curative abilities in the Alexikakos epithet, healing springs and association with Asklepios may all stem from the realization of his mythic abilities in water control.

Selinunte Didrachm, Heracles with a bull (river god), the Rivergod Hypsas, c. 450 BC

In commemoration of draining swamps by connecting two streams after the advice of Empedocels according to Diogenes Laertius

See also the Tunnel of Eupalinos



Talos according to Ray Harryhausen in the movie Jason and the Argonauts.

Talos (i.e. Sun Cretan) was a giant metallic robot in Greek Mythology that was build by the God Hephaestus to protect the island of Crete. It was able of touring the island of Crete three times each day. Images from Coins and Pottery exist but Harryhausen probably provided the best reconstruction and one of the story of that it was destroyed by the Argonauts, by opening a valve from which Talos lost his hydraulic fluid or blood.

Homer in the Iliad describes Robots for the first in history (as mentioned also in one of Isaac Asimov's books). When Thetis visits Hephaistus except various automatic machines she sees 2 of his golden “robot” girls that he constructed. The first robots were developed by Heron of Alexandria.

Known as Michanikos, the Machine Man, Heron invented the world's first steam engine, developed some sophisticated surveying tools, and crafted handy gizmos like a self-trimming oil lamp. Technically speaking, Heron's clever inventions were particularly notable for their incorporation of the sorts of self-regulating feedback control systems that form the bedrock of cybernetics; like today's toilets, his "inexhaustible goblet" regulated its own level with a floating mechanism. But what really stirred Heron's soul were novelties: pneumatic gadgets, automata, and magic theaters, one of which rolled itself before the audience on its own power, cranked through a miniature three-dimensional performance, and then made its own exit. Another staged a Dionysian mystery rite with Apollonian precision: Flames lept, thunder crashed, and miniature female Bacchantes whirled madly around the wine god on a pulley-driven turntable.
Erik Davis - Techgnosis: Myth, Magic & Mysticism In The Age Of Information

Leonardo’s lost robot

Roof Tiles (marble type)

Pausanias about the Zeus Temple in Olympia 5.10.3

The temple is in the Doric style, and the outside has columns all around it. It is built of native stone.

Its height up to the pediment is sixty-eight feet, its breadth is ninety-five, its length two hundred and thirty. The architect was Libon, a native. The tiles are not of baked earth, but of Pentelic marble cut into the shape of tiles. The invention is said to be that of Byzes of Naxos, who they say made the images in Naxos on which is the inscription:--
To the offspring of Leto was I dedicated by Euergus,
A Naxian, son of Byzes, who first made tiles of stone.

This Byzes lived about the time of Alyattes the Lydian , when Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, reigned over the Medes.

Greek Inventions

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I- J - K - L - M -

N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Ancient Greece

Science, Technology , Medicine , Warfare, , Biographies , Life , Cities/Places/Maps , Arts , Literature , Philosophy ,Olympics, Mythology , History , Images

Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire

Science, Technology, Arts, , Warfare , Literature, Biographies, Icons, History

Modern Greece

Cities, Islands, Regions, Fauna/Flora ,Biographies , History , Warfare, Science/Technology, Literature, Music , Arts , Film/Actors , Sport , Fashion



Greek-Library - Scientific Library




Hellenica World