The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World (Oxford Handbooks)

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9780195187311: The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World (Oxford Handbooks)

Nearly every aspect of daily life in the Mediterranean world and Europe during the florescence of the Greek and Roman cultures is relevant to the topics of engineering and technology. This volume highlights both the accomplishments of the ancient societies and the remaining research problems, and stimulates further progress in the history of ancient technology. The subject matter of the book is the technological framework of the Greek and Roman cultures from ca. 800 B.C. through ca. A.D. 500 in the circum-Mediterranean world and Northern Europe. Each chapter discusses a technology or family of technologies from an analytical rather than descriptive point of view, providing a critical summation of our present knowledge of the Greek and Roman accomplishments in the technology concerned and the evolution of their technical capabilities over the chronological period. Each presentation reviews the issues and recent contributions, and defines the capacities and accomplishments of the technology in the context of the society that used it, the available "technological shelf," and the resources consumed. These studies introduce and synthesize the results of excavation or specialized studies. The chapters are organized in sections progressing from sources (written and representational) to primary (e.g., mining, metallurgy, agriculture) and secondary (e.g., woodworking, glass production, food preparation, textile production and leather-working) production, to technologies of social organization and interaction (e.g., roads, bridges, ships, harbors, warfare and fortification), and finally to studies of general social issues (e.g., writing, timekeeping, measurement, scientific instruments, attitudes toward technology and innovation) and the relevance of ethnographic methods to the study of classical technology. The unrivalled breadth and depth of this volume make it the definitive reference work for students and academics across the spectrum of classical studies.

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About the Author:


John Peter Oleson is Distinguished Professor of Greek and Roman Studies, University of Victoria, Canada.

Review:

"A new milestone for Oxford and for the field. Each of the eight parts to the book is a stand-alone tour de force that deserves enormous praise for its organization, its comprehensiveness, and its promise for impacting future studies. This handbook has indeed set a new standard, and will leave a large and definitive intellectual footprint on a new age of scholarship." --Technology & Culture
"This is an excellent book that will serve classicists reliably as a basic work of reference. The level of scholarship is very high, the writing generally clear, the breadth of the coverage impressive. Oleson's organization and editing are something of a marvel. An important contribution is the Handbook's demonstration through repeated examples, of our ability to define, comprehend, and appreciate the scale of things in antiquity." --Journal of Roman Archaeology
"A new milestone for Oxford and for the field. Each of the eight parts to the book is a stand-alone tour de force that deserves enormous praise for its organization, its comprehensiveness, and its promise for impacting future studies. This handbook has indeed set a new standard, and will leave a large and definitive intellectual footprint on a new age of scholarship." --Technology & Culture
"Without parsing each individual contribution in detail, one can say that all chapters justify their inclusion in what is destined to become a standard in the field. To summarize the entire collection in a word, I would simply say 'magisterial.' This volume meets the lofty expectations of the Oxford University Press for its Handbooks series and the equally high standards set forth by its editor. It is not by definition a monographic treatment, but for what it is --a superb research tool intended to inform and guide scholars and advanced students approaching an unfamiliar field-- there is nothing of equal importance now available. One can purchase this handbook with confidence that it will have a long shelf life and provide an invaluable gateway to the world of engineering and ancient technology in classical antiquity for years to come. The bar of excellence has just been raised to a much higher level."--Robert L. Hohlfelder, American Journal of Archaeology


"This is an excellent book that will serve classicists reliably as a basic work of reference. The level of scholarship is very high, the writing generally clear, the breadth of the coverage impressive. Oleson's organization and editing are something of a marvel. An important contribution is the Handbook's demonstration through repeated examples, of our ability to define, comprehend, and appreciate the scale of things in antiquity." --Journal of Roman Archaeology


"A new milestone for Oxford and for the field. Each of the eight parts to the book is a stand-alone tour de force that deserves enormous praise for its organization, its comprehensiveness, and its promise for impacting future studies. This handbook has indeed set a new standard, and will leave a large and definitive intellectual footprint on a new age of scholarship." --Technology & Culture


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