Gears pp 7-19 | Cite as

The First Pre-scientific Age: From the Down of Technological Man to the Bird of Science

  • Vincenzo VulloEmail author
Part of the Springer Series in Solid and Structural Mechanics book series (SSSSM, volume 12)


In this chapter, the long period of the early pre-scientific age is considered, which ranges from the dawn of the technological man to the birth of ancient science to the beginning of Hellenism. The main evolutionary stages of the gears in this historical period are described. Some news wrapped in the legend are examined in the light of the historical documents available and the following two myths are unmasked: the first concerns the reckless claim that Aristotle provided the first literary description of the gears; the second concerns the groundlessness (at least until proven otherwise) of the exaggerated backdating of the very ingenious Chinese south-point chariot, unmotivably dated back to the twenty-seventh century B.C., when instead its first historical documentation dates back to the third century A.D.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly

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