Imagining Technology in Ancient History

Adrienne Mayor discusses ancient origins of technology

In this lecture, Adrienne Mayor, Phd and author of Gods and Robots: Myths and Ancient Dreams of Technology discusses the origins of human ideas about technology. Long before technology made self-moving devices possible, concepts of artificial life and qualms about replicating nature were explored in ancient mythology. Beings that were “made, not born” feature in myths about Jason and the Argonauts, the bronze robot Talos, the sorceress Medea, the genius craftsman Daedalus, the fire-bringer Prometheus, and Pandora, the artificial woman created by Hephaestus, the god of technology. As some of the earliest expressions of the timeless impulse to create arctificial life, these mythologies reveal imagination as the spirit uniting myth and science.

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Marina Lenney
Location: Santa Barbara, CA Education: M. Arch, UCLA; BA Antioch College
Articles: 8

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