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The Pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria. A facsimile of the 1851 Woodcroft Edition. Introduced by Marie Boas Hall. [Translated . by Joseph Gouge Greenwood.]

HERO of ALEXANDRIA [WOODCROFT, Bennet 1803-1879] (ed.):

ISBN 10: 0444196234 / ISBN 13: 9780444196231
Published by London: Macdonald/ New York: American Elsevier, 1971., 1971
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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First Edition. xiv + Facsimile Reprint [xix, 117, [1] pp; illus.]; pp. 119-41 contain 78 illus. Original cloth. Near Fine, in near fine dust jacket. History of Science Library: Primary Sources. 'The contents have always been a source of puzzlement and despair for serious-minded scholars. Certainly Hero describes some useful implements - a fire pump and a water organ - but the rest are playthings, puppet shows, or apparatuses for parlor magic. Trick jars that give out wine or water separately or in constant proportions, singing birds and sounding trumpets, puppets that move when a fire is lit on an altar, animals that drink when they are offered water - how can one respect an author who takes all these frivolities in earnest? But Hero's treatment of these childish entertainments is quite matter-of-fact; he is interested in the way they work. . . . Hero was a teacher of physics, of which pneumatics is part. The book is a text for students, and Hero describes instruments students need to know . . . Playthings take up so much of the book because such toys were very much in vogue at the time and the science of pneumatics was used for very little else. . . . There is a slightly different text, found only in four manuscripts, that is generally designated Pseudo-Hero. . . . This text cannot have been written later than A. D. 500 . . . Since Pseudo-Hero has the same figures as Hero, the figures cannot have been changed after A. D. 500; and there is every reason to believe that they were drawn by Hero himself. A complete set of these illustrations has been published in a reprint of Woodcroft's translation of the Pneumatics [offered here]. The Pneumatics was by far the most read of Hero's works during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; more than 100 manuscripts of it have been found' (A. G. Drachmann in D. S. B. VI: 311-12). Bookseller Inventory # 18941

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria. A ...

Publisher: London: Macdonald/ New York: American Elsevier, 1971.

Publication Date: 1971

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


This edition of The Pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria incorporates a facsimile of the extremely elegant Woodcroft edition published in 1851. If we exclude the Aristotelian Mechanical Problems, the Woodcroft edition represents the only English translation of any Greek technological work. The appearance of this translation in 1851 illustrates an important stage in Victorian sensitivity to the technological achievements of the Nineteenth century, and, of yet further interest to historians, the translation reveals an attempt during Roman times by a Greek inventor and mathematician to intermingle science and technology.The present volume is introduced by Marie Boas Hall in which she explains the circumstances surrounding the English translation, discusses the interest aroused during the Renaissance by Latin translations of this work, and gives a resume of the pneumatic devices described by Hero in his original treatise.At the end of the compilation, there is an additional section explaining the derivation of the illustrations in the 1851 edition, and for comparison, the illustrations from the earliest surviving Greek manuscript are reproduced. Captions indicate the corresponding illustrations in the facsimile; this is a very necessary tabulation, since the diagrams have been greatly transformed by successive copyings.

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CREDIT CARD ORDERS MAY ONLY BE ACCEPTED ON BEHALF OF ABE. Personal/bank/traveler's checks (made payable to Ted Kottler), money orders, international money orders are fine. All books are First Editions, in original cloth bindings, and in Very Good or better condition, unless otherwise noted. Returns: with prior notice and within 10 days. I am always interested in purchasing First Editions of scholarly, hardcover books in the history of science and the history of medicine, as well as First Edition...

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