Technologies of Ancient Greek Metrology
30 December 2021

Within the framework of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina's celebration of the Day of the Mediterranean and as a parallel event of the Exhibition IDEA- Ancient Greek Science and Technology, held in the new ALEXploratorium at Planetarium Science center.
The Planetarium Science Center, BA Outreach, in cooperation with The Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies, BA Academic Sector and Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum NOESIS in Greece, and under the auspices General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic.
organize a lecture entitled

“Technologies of Ancient Greek Metrology”

Lecturer: Prof. Sobhy Ashour
Professor of Graeco-Roman Art and Archaeology, Helwan University

Thursday, 30 December 2021; 2:00–3:00 pm
Bibliotheca Alexandrina Main Entrance, Auditorium


• Open to the public until the maximum number of hall capacity is reached.
• Please adhere to all covid-19 precautionary measures
• Please note that it is not allowed to enter the Library without proof of COVID-19 vaccination and this through presenting a QR code or Vaccination certificate before entering the library.
• Participants who would like to take a tour of the exhibition “Idea: Ancient Greek Science and Technology” after the end of the lecture, need to register their names at the registration desk before entering the lecture hall.

Greek measures, weights, and balances were an important aspect of a largely commercial active society. The control of such daily life tools was verified by the polis authorities. The making of a measure’s standard was a matter of scientific calculation that was popularized via a model or an inscription displayed in public spaces in the polis. In this lecture, two case studies will be examined: a Thasian inscription specifying the dimension of a specific measure of liquids metron and a measuring table from the Cyrenaica Agora displaying three different standards of the foot unit, Roman, Attic, and Ptolemaic, indicating conversion technologies.
Greek balances, as elsewhere, began their life very simple and manual, but in course of time, they became more mechanically developed. A central scientific work is the Mechanical Problems: Μηχανικά attributed to Aristotle, which is the cornerstone of a Greek balance based on the lever techniques and anticipate the Statera Romana. The chain of development was likely via a transitional balance known as  Statera Campana and the Greek influence of Magna Graecia.



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Technologies of Ancient Greek Metrology