Skip to comments.Secrets of Antikythera Mechanism, world's oldest calculating machine, revealed
Posted on 07/31/2008 8:14:49 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
The secrets of the worlds oldest calculating machine are revealed today, showing that it had dials to mark the timing of eclipses and the Olympic games.
Ever since the spectacular bronze device was salvaged from a shipwreck after its discovery in 1900 many have speculated about the uses of the mechanical calculator which was constructed long before the birth of Christ and was one of the wonders of the ancient world.
The dictionary sized crumbly lump containing corroded fragments of what is now known to be a marvellous hand cranked machine is known as the 'Antikythera Mechanism' because it was discovered near the tiny island of Antikythera, between Crete and mainland Greece.
"We knew that this 2,100 year-old ancient Greek mechanism calculated complex cycles of mathematical astronomy. It really surprised us to discover that it also showed the four-year cycle of ancient Greek games," reports Dr Tony Freeth of Images First, a TV company, and three academic colleagues today in the journal Nature.
"The Antikythera Mechanism is of crucial importance for the history of science and technology," he adds. " It tells us of a revolution in human thought in ancient Greece - the earliest known example of a machine for making calculations, of a machine for predicting the future."
The first clues that suggested a link with Greek games came when the word 'NEMEA' was read by the team near a small subsidiary dial.
This was a reference to the site of the Nemean Games, one of the prominent 'crown' games, which were part of a four year cycle that climaxed with the Olympic Games, the most ancient and prestigious of all.
Other names followed, 'ISTHMIA' for the games at Corinth, 'PYTHIA' for the games at Delphi and finally the hard-to-read 'OLYMPIA' for the Olympics.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
History Channel stuff
Prof Edmunds said: "It makes you wonder what they would have achieved if the Romans hadn't taken over and put a stop to things. Would they have had a man on the Moon by AD300?
Maybe the "Prof" is not a professor in History, or maybe he's just a typical Marxist professor with an antipathy to anything "Roman"; yet, he is in error to impute that after Rome conquered Phillip the Macedonian and made Greece a province that they "put a stop to things"; it's simply not true. Whatever "science" the Greeks quit advancing in had taken place before the Roman's "took over" and whatever science the Greeks were still advancing in continued afterward. The Roman's may have considered the Greeks as weak and as a threat, politically and militarily, but the Greek Language and its arts and sciences were held in high esteem by the Romans.
Consider also the purpose and motive behind the fantastically engineered device - what the Greek inventor designed it for. It, the design, may have demonstrated great engineering, but, to modern humans it also would appear to lack practical priorities in terms of what such an accomplishment could achieve. I think the purpose of the device demonstrates that regardless of its engineering, the impetus for amassing that feat in superbly practical ways did not exist in Greek motives, and therefore, as great as it was it lacked the kind of purpose from which technological advances to spaceflight would develop.
Good points all around. I’d add, though, that, given the character of the Attic Greeks, if they could have developed a rocket to take them to the moon, they would have, though they may never have taken the flight. Just developing it for the intellectual exercise and amusement would have sufficed.
The Romans did not put a stop to Greek thought. They admired the Greeks and adopted their intellectual culture for their own. What killed Greek development was infighting among the states. By the time Plato was discussing the ideal state, theirs was already at the threshold of being conquered from without because of their fighting from within. Such internal strife kills enthusiasm and progress. Much as we are beginning to see within our own country between the left and the right. The fighting, while appearing dynamic and energetic, actually has a stagnating effect. The Left knows this. That is why they constantly push the leftist envelope, knowing that when the right lives up to their reactionary reputation, they are so busy with the tug of war, the masses give up hope of any real progress.
Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
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yeah,but it is amazing in its construction.
The mechanism has been available for almost 100 years.
It has been examined, X-rayed and viewed from every possible angle and yet...
No one has yet attempted, or even suggested that the entire mechanism be reproduced by modern methods, and actually to see what it can do, rather than spin fanciful and increasingly moonbat theories about it...
My great, great, great, great grand son dropped that thing during one of his time trips to study Greek history. The truth will be headlined in every news outlet on Feb 10, 2118. Y’all just wait and see!