Engineering in the Ancient World by J. G. Landels

2019 Limelight Reviews

Engineering in the Ancient World is a detailed but easy to read work that was published in 1978, written by Dr Landels of the University of Reading.

He explores and explains the great engineering achievements of the ancient Greek and Roman engineers. This work, appreciably, fits the needs of the interested lay person who wants more detailed information about how the great aqueducts (and catapults, water pumps, boats etc) were designed and constructed. The book is generously supplied with line diagrams and engineering terms in both Greek and Latin.

Dr Landels’ prose is quite representative of the slightly dry British lecturing style, gently humorous when required and refreshingly able to compare the ancient world’s culture to our modern world.  At one point, when describing the roles of oxen cattle to horses, the former are described as lorries and the latter as Lamborghinis!

Find Engineering in the Ancient World in the SMSA Library Catalogue


Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Mystery and Crime Reading Group