Category Archives: engineering

Don Quijote’s Evil Giants

When you first see the windmills on the great hill of Consuegra you will remember Don Quijote. He thought they weren’t windmills but evil giants standing haughtily in front of him; and he bravely tilted his lance and charged. They … Continue reading

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Great Roman Engineering

One of the most impressive Roman constructions you will ever see is the aqueduct of Segovia, Spain. Aqueduct of Segovia (file photo) It still brings good water down from the mountains fifteen kilometers away. For most of that distance the … Continue reading

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Old Roman Specularis Mines

Spain used to be a kind of Eldorado. It was fabulously rich in minerals. Rome and Carthage both financied their wars with Spanish gold and silver. Roman gold mine of Las Medulas, Leon, Spain    GNFD photo by Rafael Ibez … Continue reading

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How Did They Lift Those Stones?

The Egyptians had to construct ramps and pull the blocks up with ropes and brute force. But the Greeks invented the lifting tongs, the block and tackle, and this ingenious wedge device: the Holivela Holivela Most people have never seen … Continue reading

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Your Time to Be a Hero 4

The army of Greek mercenaries was armed now and ready to march.  Xenophon had been thinking about its formation. “We’ve always marched ahead of our baggage train,” he told the officers, “and it holds us back.   Sometimes the vanguard goes … Continue reading

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The Crow: or the First Punic War (Part 2)

It wasn’t the Carthaginians that seized Messana. It was a bunch of silly mercenaries. Topography of Sicily (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license photo by Zamonin) Messana is in Sicily. And just down the island is the city of … Continue reading

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The Crow: or the First Punic War (Part 1)

What if you are a great army but your enemy is a great navy? You know how to march with fine discipline over hill and dale. You pitch a dandy camp, a real fortress with high walls and a ditch, … Continue reading

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