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Offline zorgon

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Heron of Alexandria - Ancient Machines
« on: September 03, 2012, 02:21:40 PM »
Heron of Alexandria
Heron's Eolipile - The First Steam Engine






Aeolipile

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An aeolipile (or aeolipyle, or eolipile), also known as a Hero engine, is a rocket style jet engine which spins when heated. In the 1st century AD, Hero of Alexandria described the device, and many sources give him the credit for its invention.

The aeolipile Hero described is considered to be the first recorded steam engine or reaction steam turbine. The name translates to "the ball of Aeolus"; Aeolus being the Greek god of the wind.

Pre-dating Hero's writings, a device called an aeolipile was described in the 1st century BC by Vitruvius in his treatise De architectura; however, it is unclear whether it is the same device or a predecessor, as there is no mention of any rotating parts.


An illustration of Hero's aeolipile

Description and physics

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The aeolipile consists of a vessel, usually a "simple" solid of revolution, such as a sphere or a cylinder, arranged to rotate on its axis, having oppositely bent or curved nozzles projecting from it (tipjets). When the vessel is pressurized with steam, steam is expelled through the nozzles, which generates thrust due to the rocket principle[6] as a consequence of the 2nd and 3rd of Newton's laws of motion. When the nozzles, pointing in different directions, produce forces along different lines of action perpendicular to the axis of the bearings, the thrusts combine to result in a rotational moment (mechanical couple), or torque, causing the vessel to spin about its axis. Aerodynamic drag and frictional forces in the bearings build up quickly with increasing rotational speed (rpm) and consume the accelerating torque, eventually canceling it and achieving a steady state speed.

Typically, and as Hero described the device, the water is heated in a simple boiler which forms part of a stand for the rotating vessel. Where this is the case the boiler is connected to the rotating chamber by a pair of pipes that also serve as the pivots for the chamber. Alternatively the rotating chamber may itself serve as the boiler, and this arrangement greatly simplifies the pivot/bearing arrangements, as they then do not need to pass steam.

History


Illustration from Hero's Pneumatica - Hero’s Engine, b. c. 200

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Both Hero and Vitruvius draw on the much earlier work by Ctesibius (285–222 BC), but it is not known whether or not Ctesibius himself was the inventor.

Vitruvius's description

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Vitruvius (c. 80 BC – c. 15AD) mentions aeolipiles by name:

Aeolipyae are hollow brazen vessels, which have an opening or mouth of small size, by means of which they can be filled with water. Prior to the water being heated over the fire, but little wind is emitted. As soon, however, as the water begins to boil, a violent wind issues forth."

Hero's description

Hero (c. 10–70 AD) takes a more practical approach, in that he gives instructions how to make one:

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No. 50. The Steam-Engine.

PLACE a cauldron over a fire: a ball shall revolve on a pivot. A fire is lighted under a cauldron, A B, (fig. 50), containing water, and covered at the mouth by the lid C D; with this the bent tube E F G communicates, the extremity of the tube being fitted into a hollow ball, H K. Opposite to the extremity G place a pivot, L M, resting on the lid C D; and let the ball contain two bent pipes, communicating with it at the opposite extremities of a diameter, and bent in opposite directions, the bends being at right angles and across the lines F G, L M. As the cauldron gets hot it will be found that the steam, entering the ball through E F G, passes out through the bent tubes towards the lid, and causes the ball to revolve, as in the case of the dancing figures.

Aeolipile From Wikipedia
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 03:43:39 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Heron of Alexandria - Ancient Machines
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 02:57:51 PM »
Hero of Alexandria



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Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria (c. 10–70 AD) was an ancient Greek mathematician and engineer who was active in his native city of Alexandria, Roman Egypt. He is considered the greatest experimenter of antiquity and his work is representative of the Hellenistic scientific tradition.

Hero published a well recognized description of a steam-powered device called an aeolipile (hence sometimes called a "Hero engine"). Among his most famous inventions was a windwheel, constituting the earliest instance of wind harnessing on land. He is said to have been a follower of the Atomists. Some of his ideas were derived from the works of Ctesibius.

Much of Hero's original writings and designs have been lost, but some of his works were preserved in Arab manuscripts.

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A standalone fountain that operates under self-contained hydrostatic energy.

Heron studied the pressure of air and steam, described the first steam engine, and built toys that would spurt water, one of them known as Heron's fountain. Various versions of Heron's Fountain are used today in physics classes as a demonstration of principles of hydraulics and pneumatics.


Steam Fountain, b. c. 200



Heron's fountain From Wikipedia

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Another engine used air from a closed chamber heated by an altar fire to displace water from a sealed vessel; the water was collected and its weight, pulling on a rope, opened temple doors. Some historians have conflated the two inventions to assert that the aeolipile was capable of useful work.

A number of references mention dates around 150 BC, but these are inconsistent with the dates of his publications and inventions. This may be due to a misinterpretation of the phrase "first century" or because Hero was a common name.

It is almost certain that Hero taught at the Musaeum which included the famous Library of Alexandria, because most of his writings appear as lecture notes for courses in mathematics, mechanics, physics and pneumatics. Although the field was not formalized until the 20th century, it is thought that the work of Hero, his automated devices in particular, represents some of the first formal research into cybernetics.


Opening Temple-Doors by Steam, b. c. 200


Animated Image by P. Hausladen, RS Vöhringen

The first VENDING MACHINE

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The first vending machine was also one of his constructions, when a coin was introduced via a slot on the top of the machine, a set amount of holy water was dispensed. This was included in his list of inventions in his book, "Mechanics and Optics". When the coin was deposited, it fell upon a pan attached to a lever. The lever opened up a valve which let some water flow out. The pan continued to tilt with the weight of the coin until it fell off, at which point a counter-weight would snap the lever back up and turn off the valve.

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A windwheel operating an organ, marking the first instance of wind powering a machine in history.


Modern reconstruction of wind organ and wind wheel of Heron of Alexandria (1st century AD) according to W. Schmidt: Herons von Alexandria Druckwerke und Automatentheater, Greek and German, 1899 (Heronis Alexandrini opera I, Reprint 1971), p. 205, fig. 44; cf. introduction p. XXXIX

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Hero also invented many mechanisms for the Greek theater, including an entirely mechanical play almost ten minutes in length, powered by a binary-like system of ropes, knots, and simple machines operated by a rotating cylindrical cogwheel. The sound of thunder was produced by the mechanically-timed dropping of metal balls onto a hidden drum.

In optics, Hero formulated the Principle of the Shortest Path of Light: If a ray of light propagates from point A to point B within the same medium, the path-length followed is the shortest possible. It was nearly 1000 years later that Alhacen expanded the principle to both reflection and refraction, and the principle was later stated in this form by Pierre de Fermat in 1662; the most modern form is that the path is at an extremum.

Hero described a method of iteratively computing the square root.Today, though, his name is most closely associated with Heron's Formula for finding the area of a triangle from its side lengths.


The force pump was widely used in the Roman world, and one application was in a fire-engine.


A syringe-like device was described by Heron to control the delivery of air or liquids.

Hero of Alexandria From Wikipedia

The Project Gutenberg EBook of A History of the Growth of the Steam-Engine, by
Robert H. Thurston






« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 03:42:25 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Heron of Alexandria - Ancient Machines
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 03:33:35 PM »
Heron’s Odometer



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An odometer is a device used for indicating distance traveled by a vehicle. Vitruvius around 27 and 23 BC describes such a device although the actual invention may have been by Archimedes during the First Punic War. Hero also describes an odometer in chapter 34 of his Dioptra. Chariots with wheels of 4 feet diameter turns exactly 400 times in one Roman mile. For each revolution, a pin on the axle engage a 400 tooth cogwheel, thus making one complete revolution per mile. This engages another gear with holes along the circumference, where pebbles (calculus) are located, that drop one by one into a box. The number of miles travelled is given simply by counting the number of pebbles. Whether this instrument was actually built is disputed. Leonardo da Vinci tried to build it according to the description, but failed. (Real Audio Video of the Odometer ) In Greek


André Wegener Sleeswyk, "Vitruvius' Odometer", Scientific American 245(4) October, 1981, pp. 188-200

Heron of Alexandria by Michael Lahanas

Heron’s Automatons


Reconstruction of one of many “automata” of Heron by Giovanni Battista Aleoti 1589. Hercules and the Dragon. When Hercules hits the head of the dragon the dragon shoots water on his face.




MARVELOUS ALTAR (According to Heron).

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"Fire being lighted on an altar, figures will appear to execute a round dance. The altars should be transparent, and of glass or horn. From the fire-place there starts a tube which runs to the base of the altar, where it revolves on a pivot, while its upper part revolves in a tube fixed to the fire-place. To the tube there should be adjusted other tubes (horizontal) in communication with it, which cross each other at right angles, and which are bent in opposite directions at their extremities. There is likewise fixed to it a disk upon which are attached figures which form a round. When the fire of the altar is lighted, the air, becoming heated, will pass into the tube; but being driven from the latter, it will pass through the small bent tubes and ... cause the tube as well as the figures to revolve."


Automaton featuring Hercules and a snake (from Pneumatics, p. 189; used with the permission of K. G. Saur).


Automatic theatre featuring Dionysus and Nike (from Automaton-construction, p. 351; used with the permission of K. G. Saur).


This lifting device from the Mechanics, II.29, combines a windlass, a screw, five pulleys, and a lever (hand-drawn copy of the manuscript illustration from Drachmann (1963), p. 90).


Heron's Sequential Automaton of Singing Birds.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 03:58:44 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Heron of Alexandria - Ancient Machines
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 04:03:59 PM »
Heron of Alexandria

Heron of Alexandria, also called Hero (flourished c. ad 62, Alexandria, Egypt), Greek geometer and inventor whose writings preserved for posterity a knowledge of the mathematics and engineering of Babylonia, ancient Egypt, and the Greco-Roman world.



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Heron’s most important geometric work, Metrica, was lost until 1896. It is a compendium, in three books, of geometric rules and formulas that Heron gathered from a variety of sources, some of them going back to ancient Babylon, on areas and volumes of plane and solid figures.

Book I enumerates means of finding the area of various plane figures and the surface areas of common solids. Included is a derivation of Heron’s formula (actually, Archimedes’ formula) for the area A of a triangle,

A = ?(s(s?a)(s?b)(s?c))

in which a, b, and c are the lengths of the sides of the triangle, and s is one-half the triangle’s perimeter. Book I also contains an iterative method known by the Babylonians (c. 2000 bc) for approximating the square root of a number to arbitrary accuracy. (A variation on such an iterative method is frequently employed by computers today.)

Book II gives methods for computing volumes of various solids, including the five regular Platonic solids.

Book III treats the division of various plane and solid figures into parts according to some given ratio.

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Other works on geometry ascribed to Heron are Geometrica, Stereometrica, Mensurae, Geodaesia, Definitiones, and Liber Geëponicus, which contain problems similar to those in the Metrica. However, the first three are certainly not by Heron in their present form, and the sixth consists largely of extracts from the first. Akin to these works is the Dioptra, a book on land surveying; it contains a description of the diopter, a surveying instrument used for the same purposes as the modern theodolite. The treatise also contains applications of the diopter to measuring celestial distances and describes a method for finding the distance between Alexandria and Rome from the difference between local times at which a lunar eclipse would be observed at the two cities.

It ends with the description of an odometer for measuring the distance a wagon or cart travels. Catoptrica (“Reflection”) exists only as a Latin translation of a work formerly thought to be a fragment of Ptolemy’s Optica. In Catoptrica Heron explains the rectilinear propagation of light and the law of reflection.         Of Heron’s writings on mechanics, all that remain in Greek are Pneumatica, Automatopoietica, Belopoeica, and Cheirobalistra. The Pneumatica, in two books, describes a menagerie of mechanical devices, or “toys”: singing birds, puppets, coin-operated machines, a fire engine, a water organ, and his most famous invention, the aeolipile, the first steam-powered engine. This last device consists of a sphere mounted on a boiler by an axial shaft with two canted nozzles that produce a rotary motion as steam escapes. The Belopoeica (“Engines of War”) purports to be based on a work by Ctesibius of Alexandria (fl. c. 270 bc). Heron’s Mechanica, in three books, survives only in an Arabic translation, somewhat altered. This work is cited by Pappus of Alexandria (fl. ad 300), as is also the Baroulcus (“Methods of Lifting Heavy Weights”). Mechanica, which is closely based on the work of Archimedes, presents a wide range of engineering principles, including a theory of motion, a theory of the balance, methods of lifting and transporting heavy objects with mechanical devices, and how to calculate the centre of gravity for various simple shapes.

Both Belopoeica and Mechanica contain Heron’s solution of the problem of two mean proportionals—two quantities, x and y, that satisfy the ratios a:x = x:y = y:b, in which a and b are known—which can be used to solve the problem of constructing a cube with double the volume of a given cube. (For the discovery of the mean proportional relationship see Hippocrates of Chios.)
Only fragments of other treatises by Heron remain. One on water clocks is referred to by Pappus and the philosopher Proclus (ad 410–485). Another, a commentary on Euclid’s Elements, is often quoted in a surviving Arabic work by Abu’l-‘Abb?s al-Fa?l ibn ??tim al-Nayr?z? (c. 865–922).

Heron of Alexandria - Timeline of World History




Offline zorgon

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Re: Heron of Alexandria - Ancient Machines
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 05:34:09 PM »
Alexandria's Famous Library


Part of a column from a payrus roll containing Aeschines'
"Against Ctesiphon"


Who Destroyed Alexandria's Famous Library?



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The Library of Alexandria was one of the best-known of the libraries of the ancient world. One of the interesting facts about the ancient world that seems to be missing from many history books is that there were many great collections of books and literature in ancient times and most were open to any scholar from anywhere in the world.

The library at Alexandria actually competed with that at Pergamum in amassing the most complete collection of books in the world. This went on in the 200's B. C., and it is interesting to note that there were already so many works in existence that obtaining a copy of each would have been an impossible undertaking even then. The destruction of this priceless treasure was a stroke of the most unimaginable bad luck. If Byzantine Egypt had been taken by one of the later Islamic conquerors, this irreplaceable collection would have been counted amongst the finest of the spoils of war to fall into a victor's hands.

Early in the year A. D. 642, Alexandria surrendered to Amrou, the Islamic general leading the armies of Omar, Caliph of Baghdad. Long one of the most important cities of the ancient world and capital of Byzantine Egypt, Alexandria surrendered only after a long siege and attempts to rescue the city by the Byzantines. On the orders of Omar, Caliph of Baghdad, the entire collection of books (except for the works of Aristotle) stored at the Library of Alexandria were removed and used as fuel to heat water for the city's public baths.

This is not the first time the library was damaged or destroyed. Originally built to house the massive collection of books accumulated by the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt, the library had been devastated by fire several times. During Julius Caesar's Alexandrian campaign in 47 B. C., Caesar set fire to ships in the port. The fire spread to the library, which was called the Museum at that time.

In A. D. 391, riots instigated by fanatical Christians damaged the collection heavily. During the years between disastrous events, the library collection had been gradually restored. In 641, the Caliph of Baghdad exhibited the same spirit of religious fanaticism in ordering Amrou to burn the books stored there. The loss of the library at Alexandria was a particularly grievous blow because the works of so many Roman scholars. literary geniuses, and historians were destroyed.

Source: San Jose State University

The Burning of the Library of Alexandria


Library of Alexandria A 19th-century German engraving depicting a hall in the ancient Library of Alexandria

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The loss of the ancient world's single greatest archive of knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, has been lamented for ages. But how and why it was lost is still a mystery. The mystery exists not for lack of suspects but from an excess of them.

Alexandria was Ptolemy'sfounded in Egypt by Alexander the Great. His successor as Pharaoh, Ptolomy II Soter, founded the Museum or Royal Library of Alexandria in 283 BC. The Museum was a shrine of the Muses modeled after the Lyceum of Aristotle in Athens. The Museum was a place of study which included lecture areas, gardens, a zoo, and shrines for each of the nine muses as well as the Library itself. It has been estimated that at one time the Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India and many other nations. Over 100 scholars lived at the Museum full time to perform research, write, lecture or translate and copy documents. The library was so large it actually had another branch or "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis.

The first person blamed for the destruction of the Library is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In 48 BC, Caesar was pursuing Pompey into Egypt when he was suddenly cut off by an Egyptian fleet at Alexandria. Greatly outnumbered and in enemy territory, Caesar ordered the ships in the harbor to be set on fire. The fire spread and destroyed the Egyptian fleet. Unfortunately, it also burned down part of the city - the area where the great Library stood. Caesar wrote of starting the fire in the harbor but neglected to mention the burning of the Library. Such an omission proves little since he was not in the habit of including unflattering facts while writing his own history. But Caesar was not without public detractors. If he was solely to blame for the disappearance of the Library it is very likely significant documentation on the affair would exist today.

The second story of the Library's destruction is more popular, thanks primarily to Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". But the story is also a tad more complex. Theophilus was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412 AD. During his reign the Temple of Serapis was converted into a Christian Church (probably around 391 AD) and it is likely that many documents were destroyed then. The Temple of Serapis was estimated to hold about ten percent of the overall Library of Alexandria's holdings. After his death, his nephew Cyril became Patriarch. Shortly after that, riots broke out when Hierax, a Christian monk, was publicly killed by order of Orestes the city Prefect. Orestes was said to be under the influence of Hypatia, a female philosopher and daughter of the "last member of the Library of Alexandria". Although it should be noted that some count Hypatia herself as the last Head Librarian.

Alexandria had long been known for it's violent and volatile politics. Christians, Jews and Pagans all lived together in the city. One ancient writer claimed that there was no people who loved a fight more than those of Alexandria. Immediately after the death of Hierax a group of Jews who had helped instigate his killing lured more Christians into the street at night by proclaiming that the Church was on fire. When the Christians rushed out the largely Jewish mob slew many of them. After this there was mass havoc as Christians retaliated against both the Jews and the Pagans - one of which was Hypatia. The story varies slightly depending upon who tells it but she was taken by the Christians, dragged through the streets and murdered.

Some regard the death of Hypatia as the final destruction of the Library. Others blame Theophilus for destroying the last of the scrolls when he razed the Temple of Serapis prior to making it a Christian church. Still others have confused both incidents and blamed Theophilus for simultaneously murdering Hypatia and destroying the Library though it is obvious Theophilus died sometime prior to Hypatia.

The final individual to get blamed for the destruction is the Moslem Caliph Omar. In 640 AD the Moslems took the city of Alexandria. Upon learning of "a great library containing all the knowledge of the world" the conquering general supposedly asked Caliph Omar for instructions. The Caliph has been quoted as saying of the Library's holdings, "they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous." So, allegedly, all the texts were destroyed by using them as tinder for the bathhouses of the city. Even then it was said to have taken six months to burn all the documents. But these details, from the Caliph's quote to the incredulous six months it supposedly took to burn all the books, weren't written down until 300 years after the fact. These facts condemning Omar were written by Bishop Gregory Bar Hebræus, a Christian who spent a great deal of time writing about Moslem atrocities without much historical documentation.



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o who did burn the Library of Alexandria? Unfortunately most of the writers from Plutarch (who apparently blamed Caesar) to Edward Gibbons (a staunch atheist or deist who liked very much to blame Christians and blamed Theophilus) to Bishop Gregory (who was particularly anti-Moslem, blamed Omar) all had an axe to grind and consequently must be seen as biased. Probably everyone mentioned above had some hand in destroying some part of the Library's holdings. The collection may have ebbed and flowed as some documents were destroyed and others were added. For instance, Mark Antony was supposed to have given Cleopatra over 200,000 scrolls for the Library long after Julius Caesar is accused of burning it.

It is also quite likely that even if the Museum was destroyed with the main library the outlying "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis continued on. Many writers seem to equate the Library of Alexandria with the Library of Serapis although technically they were in two different parts of the city.

The real tragedy of course is not the uncertainty of knowing who to blame for the Library's destruction but that so much of ancient history, literature and learning was lost forever.

Selected Sources:

    "The Vanished Library" by Luciano Canfora
    "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbons

SOURCE: The Burning of the Library of Alexandria


The Library of Alexandria


A reconstruction of the main hall of the Museum of Alexandria used in the series Cosmos by Carl Sagan. The wall portraits show Alexander the Great (left) and Serapis (right).

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The Royal Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt was once the largest library in the world. It is generally assumed to have been founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt, after Ptolemy's father had raised what would become the first part of the library complex, the temple of the Muses - the Musaeum (which is the source of the word "museum").

At its peak, the Royal Library is believed to have held about half of a million books and was initially organized by Demetrius Phalereus. It has been reasonably established that the library was destroyed by fire, but to this day the details of the destruction (or destructions) remain a lively source of controversy. The loss of the library is widely considered a great loss to humanity. It contained the compiled history of generations, not just of Egypt. The five hundred thousand or so volumes were not codices but scrolls, made of papyrus and written by hand. Scientists and learned men of the time would visit the library from all over to study, and add to the great collection. It is said that Archimedes once visited Alexandria, studying for hours in the library and museum. Often, scientists would re-write old scrolls that were badly written or growing brittle with age. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2003 near the site of the old library .

One story holds that the Library was seeded with Aristotle's own private collection, through one of his students, Demetrius Phalereus. Another story concerns how its collection grew so large: By decree of Ptolemy III of Egypt, all visitors to the city were required to surrender all books and scrolls in their possession; these writings were then swiftly copied by official scribes. The originals were put into the Library, and the copies were delivered to the previous owners. While encroaching on the rights of the traveler or merchant, the process also helped to create a reservoir of books in the relatively new city.

The Library's contents were likely distributed over several buildings, with the main library either located directly attached to or close to the oldest building, the Museum, and a daughter library in the younger Serapeum, also a temple dedicated to the god Serapis.

In 2004 a Polish-Egyptian team claimed to have discovered a part of the library while excavating in the Bruchion region. The archaeologists claimed to have found thirteen "lecture halls", each with a central podium. Zahi Hawass, president of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said that all together, the rooms uncovered so far could have seated 5000 students.


In this reconstruction, the doors from the Museum lead to storage rooms for the Library. Most of the books were probably stored in armaria, closed, labeled cupboards that were still used for book storage in medieval times.

The Destruction

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In 391, Emperor Theodosius I ordered the destruction of all pagan temples, and Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria complied with this request. Socrates Scholasticus provides the following account of the destruction of the temples in Alexandria in the fifth book of his Historia Ecclesiastica:

"At the solicitation of Theophilus bishop of Alexandria the emperor issued an order at this time for the demolition of the heathen temples in that city; commanding also that it should be put in execution under the direction of Theophilus. Seizing this opportunity, Theophilus exerted himself to the utmost to expose the pagan mysteries to contempt. And to begin with, he caused the Mithreum to be cleaned out, and exhibited to public view the tokens of its bloody mysteries. Then he destroyed the Serapeum, and the bloody rites of the Mithreum he publicly caricatured; the Serapeum also he showed full of extravagant superstitions, and he had the phalli of Priapus carried through the midst of the forum. Thus this disturbance having been terminated, the governor of Alexandria, and the commander-in-chief of the troops in Egypt, assisted Theophilus in demolishing the heathen temples. These were therefore razed to the ground, and the images of their gods molten into pots and other convenient utensils for the use of the Alexandrian church; for the emperor had instructed Theophilus to distribute them for the relief of the poor. All the images were accordingly broken to pieces, except one statue of the god before mentioned, which Theophilus preserved and set up in a public place; 'Lest,' said he, 'at a future time the heathens should deny that they had ever worshiped such gods.'"


5th century scroll which illustrates the destruction of the Serapeum by Theophilus
(source: Christopher Haas: Alexandria in late antiquity, Baltimore 1997)


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The Serapeum housed part of the Library, but it is not known how many books were contained in it at the time of destruction. Notably, Paulus Orosius admitted in the sixth book of his History against the pagans: "[T]oday there exist in temples book chests which we ourselves have seen, and, when these temples were plundered, these, we are told, were emptied by our own men in our time, which, indeed, is a true statement." Some or all of the books may have been taken, but any books left in the Serapeum at the time would have been destroyed when it was razed to the ground.

As for the Museum, Mostafa El-Abbadi writes in Life and Fate of the ancient Library of Alexandria (Paris 1992): "The Mouseion, being at the same time a 'shrine of the Muses', enjoyed a degree of sanctity as long as other pagan temples remained unmolested. Synesius of Cyrene, who studied under Hypatia at the end of the fourth century, saw the Mouseion and described the images of the philosophers in it. We have no later reference to its existence in the fifth century. As Theon, the distinguished mathematician and father of Hypatia, herself a renowned scholar, was the last recorded scholar-member (c. 380), it is likely that the Mouseion did not long survive the promulgation of Theodosius' decree in 391 to destroy all pagan temples in the City."


Inscription referring to the Alexandrian library, dated AD 56

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Plutarch blamed Julius Caesar for the burning of the Library, whereas Edward Gibbon blamed Theophilus. According to Ibn al-Kifti's (History of the wise), whose story was repeated by Bishop Gregory Bar Hebraeus, the remaining books were destroyed by general Amrouh following orders of Caliph Umar (see Luciano Canfora "The vanished Library"). The collection may have ebbed and flowed as some documents were destroyed and others were added. For instance, Mark Antony was supposed to have given Cleopatra over 200,000 scrolls for the Library long after Julius Caesar is accused of burning it. It is also quite likely that even if the Museum was destroyed with the main library the outlying "daughter" library at the Temple of Serapis continued on. Many writers seem to equate the Library of Alexandria with the Library of Serapis although technically they were in two different parts of the city. The tragedy of course is not the uncertainty of knowing who to blame for the Library's destruction but that so much of ancient history, literature and learning was lost forever.

References:

    Alexander Stille: The Future of the Past (chapter: "The Return of the Vanished Library"). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002. 246-273.
    Uwe Jochum, "The Alexandrian Library and its aftermath" from Library History vol 15 (1999), pp 5-12.
    Edward Parsons: The Alexandrian Library. London, 1952.
    Edward Gibbon: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (chapter: "Destruction of Paganism", "The temple of Serapis at Alexandria" and "Its final destruction, A.D. 389" subchapters)
    Ellen Brundige: The Decline of the Library and Museum of Alexandria, December 10, 1991
    Canfora, Luciano (trans. Martin Ryle) (1989). The Vanished Library. A Wonder of the Ancient World, Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0520072553.
    El-Abbadi, Mostafa (1992). Life and fate of the ancient Library of Alexandria, Paris: UNESCO, 2nd edition. ISBN 9231026321.
    Orosius, Paulus (trans. Roy J. Deferrari) (1964). The seven books of history against the pagans, Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America.


SOURCE: Shekpvar.net


The final individual to get blamed for the destruction is the Moslem Caliph Omar. In 640 AD the Moslems took the city of Alexandria. Upon learning of "a great library containing all the knowledge of the world" the conquering general supposedly asked Caliph Omar for instructions. The Caliph has been quoted as saying of the Library's holdings, "they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous." So, allegedly, all the texts were destroyed by using them as tinder for the bathhouses of the city. Even then it was said to have taken six months to burn all the documents. But these details, from the Caliph's quote to the incredulous six months it supposedly took to burn all the books, weren't written down until 300 years after the fact. These facts condemning Omar were written by Bishop Gregory Bar Hebræus, a Christian who spent a great deal of time writing about Moslem atrocities without much historical documentation.

On the orders of Omar, Caliph of Baghdad, the entire collection of books (except for the works of Aristotle) stored at the Library of Alexandria were removed and used as fuel to heat water for the city's public baths.


Offline Aemilius

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Re: Heron of Alexandria - Ancient Machines
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 04:09:53 PM »
"Tinkering", in the ancient sense of the word (actually I was there), was definitely one of the most wonderful and noble of all pursuits, and really, if one thinks about it, it's how we got where we are today (the edge of extinction, think Fukushima).... not a very nice place, but that's the way it is.

Even if it never amounts to anything, when it comes to the world of science, it turns out that the road truly is all.... and the end is nothing (as I've discovered to be true on so many levels it's ridiculous)! It's all about the art of science, the science of life, the art of life and the life of science? Science, art and life.... All rolled into one?

I don't know, it all sounds very complicated, but realy.... Who cares?

All one really needs (in order to stay out of jail) is to just sit calmly at any average kitchen table with two pairs of needle nose pliers, a screwdriver (philips preferably), a file, a hack saw, some old used sandpaper, a pile of old coat hangers, some scrap plastic, some discarded bicycle parts, an enourmous amount of otherwise useless spare time (while my soulmate is ignoring me) and.... Viola (I think that's Italin)! A perfectly (and to date) perfectly useless and superiorly efficient example of an extraordinarily balanced exploratory mechanical gravitational reasearch mechanism in action is born. I give you....

AN EXPLORATORY RESEARCH MECHANISM

 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 06:11:00 PM by Aemilius »

Offline thorfourwinds

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Re: Heron of Alexandria - Ancient Machines
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 06:12:33 PM »
Greetings:

Wuz waiting for 'the device' to make an appearance.    ;)

Good on you, Mate.    ;D



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Offline Aemilius

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Re: Heron of Alexandria - Ancient Machines
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2015, 06:53:16 AM »
Quote from: thorfourwinds
Wuz waiting for 'the device' to make an appearance.

Good on you, Mate.

Hah! Thanks man.... How you doing? Just having a bit of fun there (after a couple of drinks). It was a hell of a lot of fun coming up with that one (took years), all "freehand" so to speak, no measurements or plans. All the drawings/animations I sketched to describe whats moving where and why were done afterwards....

http://thecolemechanism.blogspot.com/

The reactions were interesting too, I used to carry iy around with me once in a while when I was working on it. People thought it was metronome, a clock, part of a UFO (a lttle kid), reminded one guy of a Russian dancer when they squat and kick their legs out, and once I was even stopped by the police because they thought it might be some sort of weapon!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2015, 07:22:15 AM by Aemilius »

 


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