Constructing ancient mechanics

McCourt, Finlay (2013) Constructing ancient mechanics. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

It is frequently said that the field of mechanics in the ancient world can be neatly divided into the theoretical and the practical. However, the division between these two aspects of mechanics is heavily influenced by our own modern conception of the field. This thesis explores both the nature of theoretical mechanics in the ancient world, and the extent to which it can be considered a distinct field in the available textual evidence. The scope, nature and perception of mechanics in a variety of sources are explored in the initial chapters. The rest of the thesis then examines those sources which seem to provide the most significant content on theoretical mechanics, namely, the Pseudo-Aristotelean Mechanica, Archimedes’ De Planorum Aequilibris, Heron’s Mechanica, and the final book of Pappus’ Synagoge. The primary focus of this investigation being the specific mechanical theories that each of these texts propose and explore.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Greek, Latin, mechanics, inclined plane, lever, Pappus, Heron, Aristotle, Archimedes, Vitruvius, Philon
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Classics
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Ruffell, Dr. Ian
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Mr Finlay McCourt
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-5129
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 May 2014 11:10
Last Modified: 09 May 2014 11:21
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5129

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