CLCV 2305 V - Ancient Science and Technology

Full credit course
The evaluation for this course does not include formal seated exams, so no distance proctoring arrangements are required.

The development and application of ancient science and technology in the fields of ancient engineering, machinery, metallurgy, transport, building, agriculture and Hippocratic medicine; the social position of craftsmen and artisans, the attitude of intellectuals to science and manual labour, the effects of slavery. This course is suitable for students with no previous knowledge of Greece or Rome. Also listed as TSES 2305. Prerequisite(s): second-year standing or permission of the Department.

During the first part of the course, we will look primarily at technological innovations of the ancient Mediterranean peoples, principally the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. The second part of this two term course will focus primarily on advances of knowledge of the ancient Mediterranean peoples. Each week will explore a different topic as an introduction to the material. There is the expectation that one or another of these topics will form the basis of the term essay. My writ is that advances in knowledge (science) and technology are cross-fertilising, cross-substantiating and are the most decisive factors in historical, religious, and political events and changes in society. I am particularly aware, and encourage students to pursue in their term essays, that periods of great technological innovation, such as the rise of Muhammadism, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, and the Computer Age, are also periods of great advances in knowledge. This course examines this phenomenon for the three main Mediterranean ancient cultures, particularly through topics with contemporary ramifications.

CRN for section V: 35255 (Fall term)
CRN for section V: 15109 (Winter term)

CRN for section VOD (optional Video On Demand service): 35256 (Fall)
CRN for section VOD (optional Video On Demand service): 15110 (Winter)

In-class lecture time & location:
Fall: Time & location TBA
Winter: Tuesdays, 5:35pm to 7:25pm, 103 SC

Instructor: George Harrison

George Harrison

About the instructor: Ancient Science and Technology is not just about antiquity. It speaks directly to and potentially suggests solutions to contemporary issues, such as producing, storing, and transporting food, population crisis, climate change, reproductive rights, deforestation, and intergovernmental diplomacy, among many others.

I have contributed 'white papers' to International Congresses of the International Commission on the Anthropology of Food, an umbrella organization of UNESCO, and so I am very aware that sometimes when grappling with current issues, it can be productive to pull back and examine them through the safe lens of antiquity.

More about taking courses through CUOL

Registration and Course Section information

For more information, please contact: 613.520.4055 or email CUOL at