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As Machiavelli once said "Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results." It is these passions that we search for while delving into our history, a way of connecting to the great men and women who came before us. We reach back and learn from their mistakes and victories and gain a sense of belonging to the great cycle of life. For History Lovers is a place to explore our past and debate on the significance of major and minor historical events.

What do you think is the greatest architectural accomplishment of the ancient world?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Temple Magic in Ancient Greece

Monday, July 5, 2010
Ancient Greece was a mixing pot of different cultures, and thus also different religions. Each temple in a city was on its own and the more worshipers you could attract the richer the temple and the priests would become. Therefore to attract more devotees the priests would use a variety of machines to inspire awe and earn donations. Because machines like these were only available at the temples, people would believe that that particular temple was supported by the god that it represented. Many of these machines used complex principles that are not uncommon in the modern world, such as automation, magnetics, hydraulics and pneumatics. Some of the known devices include talking statues, thunder machines, automatic doors, floating chariots, an amphora that turned water into wine, and statues that performed a great array of apparent miracles. So who built all these machines? Some of the greatest scholars of their time, however, the two most prominent temple magicians were Heron of Alexandria and Phylo of Byzantium.

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