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Science and Technology in Homeric EpicsInterpreting the Representations on the Shield of Achilles

Science and Technology in Homeric Epics: Interpreting the Representations on the Shield of Achilles [In Book XVIII of the Iliad, Homer describes the construction of Achilles' shield by Hephaestus, god of technology. This shield is the symbol of Achilles, the central hero of the Homeric epic. At the same time, the shield constitutes a totality, wider than the epic itself. In a poetic and descriptive way, it sums up the whole of human knowledge in the Homeric era. The shield itself is a universal model of the world, human and natural, a model of the very structure of the physical world. In fact, a model of the universe, which deeply affected the perception of nature by the Presocratic philosophers — Anaximander, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, and later on, Plato and Aristotle. Moreover, it is a model of the social structure of the Greek cities, which also influenced classical philosophers. At the same time, the shield constitutes an introduction to the Platonic philosophical method of dichotomy and to the Aristotelian digital analysis of the world into categories. In this way, Homer paves the way to the ensuing developments in science and technology.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Science and Technology in Homeric EpicsInterpreting the Representations on the Shield of Achilles

Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science Book Series (volume 6)
Editors: Paipetis, S. A.

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
© Springer Netherlands 2008
ISBN
978-1-4020-8783-7
Pages
443 –450
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4020-8784-4_35
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[In Book XVIII of the Iliad, Homer describes the construction of Achilles' shield by Hephaestus, god of technology. This shield is the symbol of Achilles, the central hero of the Homeric epic. At the same time, the shield constitutes a totality, wider than the epic itself. In a poetic and descriptive way, it sums up the whole of human knowledge in the Homeric era. The shield itself is a universal model of the world, human and natural, a model of the very structure of the physical world. In fact, a model of the universe, which deeply affected the perception of nature by the Presocratic philosophers — Anaximander, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, and later on, Plato and Aristotle. Moreover, it is a model of the social structure of the Greek cities, which also influenced classical philosophers. At the same time, the shield constitutes an introduction to the Platonic philosophical method of dichotomy and to the Aristotelian digital analysis of the world into categories. In this way, Homer paves the way to the ensuing developments in science and technology.]

Published: Jan 1, 2008

Keywords: Natural World; Planetary System; Human World; Genealogical Tree; Classical Philosopher

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