384 // Basement / The Demetrios Snail

As I am working on a big car fair project at the moment, I was wondering where all this madness started… Have a look:

The Demetrios snail

During the Great Dionysia of the year 308 BC it is mentioned that the Greek statesman Demetrios of Phaleron astonished the public with an unsual automaton.

For the procession in honor of the God Dionysus, Demetrios provided a large mechanical crawling snail, moved by ‘the hand of God’.

In 1937 the German philologist Albert Rehm wrote an essay about the mechanism of these machines, translating and analysing old fragments and antique letters.

He came to a rather surprising conclusion…

Source: Albert Rehm: “Antike Automobile”, Philologus 92, p. 317ff, 1937


~ by Henning M. Lederer on February 22, 2012.

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