This book describes inventions and designs of ancient engineers that are the precursors of the present. The ages mainly range from 300 B.C. to 1600 A.D. with some exceptions from before and after this period.
As for the very ancient ones, the book describes inventions (documented by archaeological finds mainly from Pompei, Ercolano and Stabia) that generally are very little known and sometimes not known at all. Some inventions are in the military field. This is because (unfortunately) many inventions and technological innovations have been conceived starting from military applications.
The book is divided into five parts.
The first four parts pertain to definite fields and present inventions generally conceived up to the late Roman Empire. Inventions that are representative of the engineering genius of the ancients and that may be considered as milestones, each in their respective field.
The fifth part refers to fields of engineering (such as textiles and automation) in which important innovations were conceived also in more recent centuries.
For each of the inventions presented, even the ancient ones of many centuries past, the authors provide three elements of research and reference:
Written documents (the classics)
Iconic references (coins, bas-reliefs, etc.)
The target groups of the book are students and scholars with interest on History of Mechanical Engineering in Antiquity and Archaelogy.