Hero, Automata

Maria Gerolemou (University of Exeter)
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Originating from the vibrant city of Alexandria during the first century CE (on question of dating, see Neugebauer 1938 and Masià 2015), Hero of Alexandria contributed a series of technical treatises to the world, about pneumatics (

Water Clocks



), artillery (


) and mechanics (




). The


includes a two-volume opus addressing the challenges of crafting


, that is, mechanized and self-operating systems (the singular form of the term is


, derived from the adjective


; for a possible etymology of the word, see Bianchi 2014: 68). Hero identifies two distinct categories of automatic performances within this framework. The first volume of

On Automata Making

explores the realm of mobile automata, revealing mechanisms that spring…

3043 words

Citation: Gerolemou, Maria. "Automata". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 April 2024 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=25869, accessed 30 May 2024.]

25869 Automata 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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