The Silver Triton: Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-6: Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-16

Alan Dorin, Evangelina Anagnostou-Laoutides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article assesses the imperial Roman technological options and cultural impetus for constructing and displaying an automaton Triton. Suetonius reports that such a figure announced the commencement of a staged sea battle organised by Emperor Claudius to entertain the Roman citizens in 52CE. This automaton, whose feasibility we assess, fits neatly as an application of the pneumatic techniques summarised by Heron of Alexandria, who was probably alive at the time. By drawing attention to this little discussed passage of Suetonius, our article corroborates the idea that these techniques were useful - here contributing to the "media-image" and audio-visual culture of Claudius' imperial agenda - and that their wondrous effects provided an intellectual bridge between their practical utility and their ability to contribute to the philosophy of science and technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalNuncius
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Heron of Alexandria
  • pneumatic automata
  • Roman spectacle

Cite this

Dorin, Alan ; Anagnostou-Laoutides, Evangelina. / The Silver Triton: Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-6 : Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-16. In: Nuncius. 2018 ; Vol. 33, No. 1. pp. 1-24.
@article{776717310855499d95ab23227f4e6f83,
title = "The Silver Triton: Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-6: Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-16",
abstract = "This article assesses the imperial Roman technological options and cultural impetus for constructing and displaying an automaton Triton. Suetonius reports that such a figure announced the commencement of a staged sea battle organised by Emperor Claudius to entertain the Roman citizens in 52CE. This automaton, whose feasibility we assess, fits neatly as an application of the pneumatic techniques summarised by Heron of Alexandria, who was probably alive at the time. By drawing attention to this little discussed passage of Suetonius, our article corroborates the idea that these techniques were useful - here contributing to the {"}media-image{"} and audio-visual culture of Claudius' imperial agenda - and that their wondrous effects provided an intellectual bridge between their practical utility and their ability to contribute to the philosophy of science and technology.",
keywords = "Heron of Alexandria, pneumatic automata, Roman spectacle",
author = "Alan Dorin and Evangelina Anagnostou-Laoutides",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1163/18253911-03301001",
language = "English",
volume = "33",
pages = "1--24",
journal = "Nuncius",
issn = "0394-7394",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "1",

}

The Silver Triton: Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-6 : Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-16. / Dorin, Alan; Anagnostou-Laoutides, Evangelina.

In: Nuncius, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2018, p. 1-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Silver Triton: Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-6

T2 - Suetonius Claud. 21.6.13-16

AU - Dorin, Alan

AU - Anagnostou-Laoutides, Evangelina

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - This article assesses the imperial Roman technological options and cultural impetus for constructing and displaying an automaton Triton. Suetonius reports that such a figure announced the commencement of a staged sea battle organised by Emperor Claudius to entertain the Roman citizens in 52CE. This automaton, whose feasibility we assess, fits neatly as an application of the pneumatic techniques summarised by Heron of Alexandria, who was probably alive at the time. By drawing attention to this little discussed passage of Suetonius, our article corroborates the idea that these techniques were useful - here contributing to the "media-image" and audio-visual culture of Claudius' imperial agenda - and that their wondrous effects provided an intellectual bridge between their practical utility and their ability to contribute to the philosophy of science and technology.

AB - This article assesses the imperial Roman technological options and cultural impetus for constructing and displaying an automaton Triton. Suetonius reports that such a figure announced the commencement of a staged sea battle organised by Emperor Claudius to entertain the Roman citizens in 52CE. This automaton, whose feasibility we assess, fits neatly as an application of the pneumatic techniques summarised by Heron of Alexandria, who was probably alive at the time. By drawing attention to this little discussed passage of Suetonius, our article corroborates the idea that these techniques were useful - here contributing to the "media-image" and audio-visual culture of Claudius' imperial agenda - and that their wondrous effects provided an intellectual bridge between their practical utility and their ability to contribute to the philosophy of science and technology.

KW - Heron of Alexandria

KW - pneumatic automata

KW - Roman spectacle

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041213577&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1163/18253911-03301001

DO - 10.1163/18253911-03301001

M3 - Article

VL - 33

SP - 1

EP - 24

JO - Nuncius

JF - Nuncius

SN - 0394-7394

IS - 1

ER -