Museums of Ancient Greek Technology

Ancient Greek Technological achievements is a subject relatively unknown for the majority of people. Everyone knows or at least have heard something about the Greeks’ contribution to Philosophy, Art, Theatre and the like, but hardly ever heard anything about their Technological achievements. In NovoScriptorium we have already presented (and we will continue doing so) relative information mostly through publications from respected scientists of our time. Fewer posts on the subject come (and will come) from our personal study of ancient Greek texts. This post aims to inform all interested people of the existence of three museums of ancient Greek Technological acievements, founded and created in Greece by Mr. Kostas Kotsanas.

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The achievements of ancient Greek technology can be admired in the centre of Athens by visitors from Greece and abroad at the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology “Kostas Kotsanas” at 6, Pindarou Street in Kolonaki.

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In the 700m² area of the museum the visitor will find approximately 300 operating models of ancient Greek inventions. The ancient Greek technological marvel (from the robot – servant of Philon to the cinema of Heron and from the automatic clock of Ktesibios to the analog computer of Antikythera) covers the period from 2000 BC until the end of the ancient Greek world.

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All were constructed by Kostas Kotsanas, through decades of extensive research and study. It is the most credible (since it is based solely on the thorough study of the ancient Greek, Latin and Arabic literature, vase painting information and minimal relevant archeological finds) and the most comprehensive exhibition of its kind worldwide.

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All the exhibits and their supporting material have been created by the creator of the museums without any subsidy from any public or private institution and are permanently housed at the homonymous Museum of Ancient Greek Technology and the Museum of Ancient Greek Musical Instruments and Toys & Games operating in Katakolo under the auspices of the Municipality of Pyrgos, Greece.


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The “heart and soul” of the enterprise is a Patras mechanical engineer, graduate of the Polytechnic School of the University of Patras, Kostas Kotsanas, who for more than three decades has studied and reproduced the impressive constructions of ancient Greek engineers, of both the Classical and Hellenistic period, that cover a wide range, from automation and the recording of time to mapping, astronomy and encryption.

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Every exhibit in the New Museum of Athens is accompanied by an explanation on how it works, so that visitors understand what they are looking at. Among other things, Heron’s aeolosphere (humanity’s first steam engine), the Ptolemy astrolabe, Heron’s “automatic vendor” (an automatic vessel with a coin-box, into which the devotees dropped a coin to receive holy water), the signalling beacons, the first sonic/audio alert mechanism in history, the first autonomous flying machine of the Pythagorean Archytas of Taranto, the first automatic humanoid servant (a kind of robot) by Philo of Byzantium, Heron’s automatic-puppet theatre vehicle, the automatic hydraulic clock of Ctesibius and, of course, a copy of the Antikythera mechanism, believed to be the world’s first computer.

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On another floor in the new Museum of Athens, visitors can also see the exhibition of Kostas Kotsana’s ancient Greek musical instruments which include 42 functioning reconstructed instruments, such as the elikon and syntonon of Pythagoras, Herme’s lyre, Apollo’s kithara, Homer’s phorminx, Sappho’s pektis, Ptolemy’s elikon, Pan’s syrinx, the hydraulis of Ctesibius et al.


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Archimedes’ Museum is permanently hosted in the center of Ancient Olympia in a two floor building that was granted by the municipality of Ancient Olympia.

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Archimedes was a unique and tiptop genius in the spiritual world of all times. He passed on to the global culture great theses in the fields of all the ancient sciences and most of all, he became the springboard for the development of the modern science, while at the same time he made a lot of inventions.

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The exhibits are accompanied by rich audio-visual material (in Greek and English), such as explanatory labels and giant posters with a lot of information, detailed diagrams, photos and complete bibliographical references, while many of the exhibits are interactive.


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Opposite the central square in Katakolo, (under the auspices of the Μunicipality of Pyrgos), the Museum of Ancient Greek Musical Instruments and Toys & Games “Kostas Kotsanas” houses approximately 50 (reliably operating) reconstructed musical instruments and toys & games of the ancient Greeks.

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The exhibits are accompanied by rich audio-visual material (in Greek and English), while many of them are interactive.


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Research-Selection for NovoScriptorium: Philaretus Homerides


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