Name: Ktesibios



Son of:

    Occupation: Barber

Dates: fl. 270 BC

Brief biography: First machines invented for use in his father's barber shop. Lived in Alexandria. Made machine for Arsinoe, sister and wife of Ptolemy II Philadelphos (this fixes his dates). May have worked with Strato on pneumatics, since Strato in Alexandria till c.288. Invented many air and water powered machines: catapault, organ, pump which bears his name (and was used in Roman fire engines) and clock. Only fragments of his writings remain.


Works: On inventions, On pneumatics (Vitr. had copies of both: 1.1.7, 9.8.2-4, 10.7.5).

References: A G Drachmann DSB 3.491-2.


T E Rihll

Last modified: 12 July 2004