Steam Engine and Alexandria Essay

Submitted By coolman1990
Words: 1055
Pages: 5

Scientific and Engineering Wonders of Alexandria
1. Alexander the Great, Alexandria and the Great Library
2. Eratosthenes and his stick
3. Magic of Science and the invention of 'inventing'
4. Birth of Anatomy

1. Alexander the Great, Alexandria and the Great Library

Alexander the Great
In 336 BC, Phillip II was assassinated and his son Alexander the III (The Great) took over
Became King of Macedonia
Started off by killing his family
In 334 BC, he invaded Persia
Had only 30,000 infantry and 5000 cavalry
By 332 BC, the Persian empire was taken testament to his prowess as a General
Whenever A.G invaded, introduced Greek civilization and style
Start of the Hellenistic Period
In 331 BC, founded new capital in Egypt; Alexandria
Was admired by the people and turned into a Pharaoh by the Egyptians.
Was the intellectual and scientific capital
Alexander died in 323 BC
Empire was divided among his generals one of these Generals was Ptolemy I

Alexandria and its Library
Ptolemy I
Proclaimed himself the King of Egypt in 305 BC
Was and accomplished writer and became the first patron of the sciences
280 BC, created first Government operated research institute
Mouseion (Museum) - Temple of the Muses and the Library of Alexandria
Because of this institute, Alexandria became the greatest centre of intellectualism.
Library has as many as half a million books
Had every important text (Greek) at the time, was a HUGE resource
Ptolemy became the greatest patron of the sciences in 325 (sic? 225?) BC
A second library was built for non-greek texts and a backup library that contained copies of important texts and some originals
Main library was set on fire/destroyed in 272 AD during civil war
Fire did not consume the enter Building
Second Library was destroyed in 391 AD destroyed when Christianity was introduced in Egypt. Seen as Pagen Knowledge
In 642 AD
Backup Library and remains of the main library were taken by the Arabs and saved by being translated into Arabic (whaddup)

2. Eratosthenes and his Sticks

Eratosthenes (284 BC - 192 BC)
Director of the Library of Alexandria
Talented Mathematician and Scientist
Found a good use for a stick used it to measure the earth
The Stick
E travelled to Syre, place south of Alexandria
Observed and recorded the angle of the sticks shadow at noon (zenith)
His assistant recorded the angle of the stick at the same time in Alexandria
Knew the distance between Alexandria and Syre. Was able to calculate the angle between the two places was able to then calculate the circumference of the Earth
Measured in Stadia
250,000 st
=39,300 km. Only 700 km off actual circumference
Biggest mystery was how he calculated the Earth's tilt (23.5 degrees)
All of this was possible because he was paid by the government
Other contributions
Introduced chronology numerical dating for historical events chronicled from the time of the Early Greeks
Created the most precise star catalogues was used for research purposes more likely than navigation
Never was recognized by his contemporaries as a great scientist shows the amount of sophistication that came out of the institution if someone like Eratosthenes wasn't even considered that great. Imagine what was then considered great at the time.

3. Heron and the Magic of Science and the invention of 'inventing'

Heron of Alexandria
Difficult to study because many Herons.
We know he is the Heron of 62 AD because he mentions witnessing an eclipse at night when he was teaching a class
Designed and actually built many inventions was humble; said he was simply continuing the work of his predecessors i.e. Archimedes part of the reason why we know what Archimedes built
Numerous Famous works
How to build cranes, lift huge objects based on Archimedes and theory of motion and of balance was likely a textbook
how to build steam, wind, water powered machines