Ancient Spells

Topics: Al-Jazari, Water clock, Elephant clock Pages: 4 (579 words) Published: October 8, 2014

The clepsydra {klәp·sә·drå} is, along with the sun dial, one of the oldest ways to tell time passing. In Greek, the word clepsydra means to “steal water” or “water thief”. The amount of time passing was often measured by the regulated dripping flow of water from the top pot and into the lower pot and then measured. The clock, in ways was better than the sun dial because it could be used on cloudy days as well as inside; this also made it much more popular. There are many variations of the water clock. The clepsydra is more commonly known as a water clock.

The exact time and place of the clepsydras origin is unknown. Although, it has been found in Greece, Korea, Japan, Rome, China, Europe, Egypt, Babylon, India and the Islamic world. The clocks from China supposedly show up around 4000 B.C.E. and the ones from Babylon and Egypt came from the 16th cent. B.C.E. The exact dates of Indian clepsydras are not certain.

In Ancient Greece, water clocks were placed in many different public locations. They would be used to time the speeches of orators. You would also often find them in the Greek court to monitor and limit speech time. In Egypt, for the temple rites and sacrifices to be performed at the correct hour, the water clocks were often used by their priests to know the correct time during the night. In Korea, timekeeping was both a

royal duty and a royal prerogative. They had some of best and most elaborate clepsydras ever. The Chinese water clocks were not quite as embellished or elaborate, but considerably more accurate. They accomplished this by taking in to consideration the evaporation and freezing of water. In Babylon, clepsydras were of the outflow type and were cylindrical in shape. They used their clepsydras as an aid for astronomical calculations. The increment indicators were unique by being measured by the weight of water flowing from them. In the Islamic world, the use of water clocks had its roots from Archimedes during the rise of...
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