Courses: Magical Mechanisms-Early Robots,Cyborgs&Automata (HISTB364001)

Spring 2010

Class Number: 1516
This seminar examines medieval automata—artificial objects that were,
or that appeared to be, self-moving copies of natural forms. From
their ancient Greek origins to their central place in Muslim courts,
these artifacts trickled into the European consciousness and took root
in the imagination. Course explores ways westerners envisioned these
artifacts; how they were used to plumb and limn the boundaries
between natural and artificial, between life and death, between “East”
and “West.” As technological expertise in the Latin West developed,
artisans and clerics built copies of existing artifacts and invented
new ones, including monumental clocks and elaborate automata for the
glory of the Church and the court. Prerequisite: at least one course
in medieval studies, or the permission of the instructor. Cross
listed with CSTS B364. Enrollment limited to 15 students.

Fulfills: Class Nbr: 1516 Div: I or III SO


History (Web site)

Taught By



Bryn Mawr, TH102

Meeting Times

TH 1:00pm-4:00pm