Ancient Engineers' Inventions: Precursors of the Present

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Springer Netherlands, Mar 13, 2009 - Social Science - 340 pages
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We live in an age in which one can easily think that our generation has invented and discovered almost everything; but the truth is quite the opposite. Progress cannot be considered as sudden unexpected spurts of individual brains: such a genius, the inventor of everything, has never existed in the history of humanity. What did exist was a limitless procession of experiments made by men who did not waver when faced with defeat, but were inspired by the rare successes that have led to our modern comfortable reality. And that continue to do so with the same enthusiasm. The study of the History of Engineering is valuable for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it can help us to understand the genius of the scientists, engineers and craftsmen who existed centuries and millenniums before us; who solved problems using the devices of their era, making machinery and equipment whose concept is of such a surprising modernity that we must rethink our image of the past.

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About the author (2009)


Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum

Cesare Rossi was born in Naples on 26 July1955. In 1973 was graduated at High School focusing on Humanities.

In 1979 received the Mechanical Engineer Degree cum Laude at the University of Napoli - "Federico II"; in the same year the doctoral thesis received the Asmeccanica (Italian Mechanical Engineering Association) award.

In the first years of his career he has worked at the Istituto di Meccanica Applicata alle Macchine (Applied Mechanics Institute) of the University of Napoli "Federico II, attending researches on traction fluids for variable speed gearboxes and cooperating at several doctoral theses. In that period he was research fellow of the A.T.A. (Automobile Technicians Association) at the same University Institute.

Then he has been the technical manager of a textile industry and later designer of tools for aircraft’s tests and maintenance at an aerospace industry.

In Dec.1983 he was appointed Ricercatore Universitario (Assistant Professor) at the Applied Mechanics Institute (then Department of Mechanical Engineering - D.I.M.E.) of the University of Napoli "Federico II".

In 1992 he has been appointed Associate Professor of Applied Mechanics and from 1 nov.1993 Associate Professor of Robot Mechanics. From those years he has established a Laboratory for experimental researches on Robot Mechanics at the D.I.M.E. and is a member of G.M.A (Italian Group for Mechanics of Machinery).

From 1 nov.2000 has been appointed Full Professor of Applied Mechanics at the same University.

Presently teaches Mechanics Fundamentals and Robot Mechanics both to Mechanical and Automation Engineering students. He is supervisor of Master and Ph.D. theses and professor at the Ph.D. coursed at the same University.

He participated to many International Conferences, often with invited lectures and as Chairman.

His research activities where carried on mainly in the topics of Tribology, Rotor Dynamics, Mechanical Vibrations, Chaotic Motions of Mechanical Systems, Robot Mechanics, Video Applications for Robotics.

Since several years he is interested in studies and researches on the History of Engineering and presently he cooperates with researchers (also on the field) mainly in which the Classic Age is concerned.

He is a member of the A.I.S.I (Italian Society for the History of Engineering).


Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum

FLAVIO RUSSO was born in Torre del Greco (Naples) in 1947. He was graduated at High School focusing on Humanities and then received the Mining Engineer Degree at the University of Rome.

Has been studying military architecture and military history in general for the past thirty years, focusing especially on military technology.

For ten years he was member of Scientific Councils of the Italian Institute for the Castles and of National Committee for Studies of Fortified Architectures at the Italian Cultural Heritage Department.

He has given invited lessons and short courses at the Universities of Molise, Napoli "Federico II" and Salerno; at the same Universities he was co-supervisor of some doctoral theses.

For more than 20 years he cooperates with USSME (Historical Bureau HQ Italian Army) and is member of the committee for the editorial proposals.

He designed and built some full scale and working of Roman artilleries committed by the Cultural Heritage Department; these reconstructions are actually shown at the archaeological area of Saepinum.

He arranged several exhibitions on historical topics.

He writes for several national magazines focused on History, Technology, Achaeology and Militaria.In addition to a large number of scientific publications, he is also the author of many volumes on history and ancient technologies. Some of them were published for the Historical Bureaus of the Italian Army, Italian Navy and Italian Air Forces.

For the N.A.T.O. Allied Maritime Component Command he has recently published:

- 79 A.D. Corse for Pompeii, Inquiry on the death of an Admiral.

- POMPEI Course Toward Transformation - the forgotten contributions of roman naval technology.

Actually he is working at the reconstruction of a roman water wheel, starting from archaeological finds.


Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum

FERRUCCIO RUSSO was born in 1980 and is a student of History at the University of Napoli "Federico II". He has been working for several years with computer graphics, specifically with photo-similar three-dimensional virtual reconstructions of mechanical devices, archeological artifacts and architectural structures. His tables have also appeared in numerous national magazines.

He is autor of several illustrations and a book for the Historical Bureau of the Italian Army and for the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (Italian Mint Institute).

He arranged several exhibitions in which graphical reconstructions of historical topics where shown.

He is co-autor of several books by Flavio Russo.