Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Random Proposal

You know what really needs to be made into some kind of comic or anime? Greek inventors.

Archimedes is purported to have singlehandedly been responsible for the defense of his home city, Syracuse, against the freaking Roman legions. Obviously, not through feats of physical prowess or any such thing, but by means of "toys" which had no "scientific value." Some of these supposed devices and tricks include the famous "heat ray" and the less well known but in some ways more impressive (and awesomely named) Claw of Archimedes. What was... The Claw? (Imagine that in the Little Green Man voice chorus from Toy Story.) It was, based on contemporary descriptions, a massive crane arm that tipped over attacking ships. Incidentally, the defenses, impressive as they were, were eventually overwhelmed, and Archimedes was stabbed and killed by a Roman soldier who had been sent to capture him, according to report because he was busy contemplating a mathematical diagram he was poring over. (His last words were supposedly "Do not disturb my circles [mathematical diagrams]!" although there's no mention of such in the earliest account of his death.) On a less exciting note, he was also supposed to have designed a number of implements, mathematical formulae, etc., including a massive ship which was supposed to have been the biggest of the era.

Then there's the amusingly named Hero (or Heron), regarded as perhaps the greatest inventor of the ancient world. He's supposed to be the originator of many useful inventions, such as the siphon (which he apparently applied in the world's first fire-extinguishing water pump). Of course, many of his inventions are probably improvements on the earlier inventor Ctesibius (AKA the hardest to spell Greek inventor), who made a number of things, including the predecessor of the pipe organ.

Then, there's the probably purely fictional Greek Inventor, Daedalus. He's most famous for designing the wax wings which Icarus flew too close to the Sun with. He also did a ton of other things, including, according to one myth, shove his brilliant nephew off of a cliff because his nephew was too smart. (His nephew was called Talos in some accounts. Also according to these accounts, Talos [also known as Perdix and Calos] was responsible for creating a way of housing human souls in machinery to make them immortal, which is an eerie and possibly intentional parallel to the other Talos, a giant made of bronze that defended the island of Crete, upon which Daedalus lived for many years, and for whose ruler he built the Labyrinth.)

How could an adaptation of these guys' lives, preferably a horrifically historically inaccurate one, not be totally awesome?

-Signing off.

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