In this volume the authors translate and annotate key passages from ancient authors to provide a history and an analysis of the origins and development of technology. Among the topics covered are:
* basic mechanical devices
* food processing and diet
* mining and metallurgy
* construction and hydraulic engineering
* household industry
* transport and trade
* military technology.
The sourcebook presents 150 ancient authors and a diverse range of literary genres, such as, the encyclopedic Natural Histories of Pliny the Elder, the poetry of Homer and Hesiod, the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle and Lucretius and the agricultural treatise of Varro.
Humphrey, Oleson and Sherwood provide a comprehensive and accessible collection of rich and varied sources to illustrate and elucidate the beginnings of technology. Glossaries of technological terminology, indices of authors and subjects, introductions outlining the general significance of the evidence, notes to explain the specific details, and a recent bibliography make this volume a valuable research and teaching tool.