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HIS 122 — Ancient Engineering: Remarkable Feats of Technology from Ancient Greece, Rome, and Beyond

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Oct 9—Dec 4
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 22
Unit: 1
Tuition: $445
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 20
7:00—9:05 pm
Oct 9—Dec 4
8 weeks
Drop By
Oct 22
1 Unit
Patrick Hunt
Please Note: No class on November 20
Many of the world’s most famous, monumental, and staggering engineering projects or inventions are in fact ancient, some even prehistoric. Stonehenge and related megaliths date back thousands of years. Found off Greece in a shipwreck, the enigmatic Antikythera bronze is an astonishing invention dating before the Roman empire. Even if Hero of Alexandria’s 1st-century CE steam engines were only theoretical, they deserve mention alongside his pneumatics and mechanics innovations. Some of the most remarkable achievements in antiquity include Roman roads and bridges and the advent of concrete and hydrological technology such as aqueducts. Add to this the qanat canals and irrigation system of Persia, the pyramids of Egypt, the stone cities and road networks of the Incas and their ancestors in South America, and the urban and sculptural stoneworking of the Aztecs in Central America. All of these feats of engineering, occurring long before the Industrial Revolution in Europe, will be the subject of this course.

Patrick Hunt, Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project

Patrick Hunt is the author of twenty books, including Hannibal, Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History, When Empires Clash: Twelve Great Battles in Antiquity, Wine Journeys: Myth and History, and Caravaggio (Life & Times). He is also a National Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America, as well as an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council. Hunt received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) J. G. Landels, Engineering in the Ancient World, Revised Edition (2000) (ISBN 978-0520227828)
(Recommended) John Peter Oleson , The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World by Peter Oleson, John [Oxford University Press, 2009] (ISBN B00LMSTD5M)