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date: 05 December 2023

robots and cyborgs in antiquitylocked

robots and cyborgs in antiquitylocked

  • Rocki Wentzel


Centuries before the popularization of robots in the fiction of the mid-20th century, the ancient Greeks were already dreaming up similar technological creatures and forms of artificial life. Ancient and modern views of technological beings offer a lens to consider what it means to be human by questioning the boundaries between natural and artificial, human and non-human, enslaved and free, mortal and immortal. Accounts of real-life automata, such as those of Philo and Heron of Alexandria demonstrate that such creations were noth, merely products of the imagination. Long before science fiction depicted dystopian worlds brought about by technological humanoids, the ancient Greeks and Romans already exhibited anxiety about such creations. In literary accounts, robots range from the useful, such as Hephaestus’ golden maiden assistants, to the destructive, such as Pandora and Talos. Pygmalion’s statue (Galatea), who is closely aligned with Pandora, has also inspired much reception in films such as Ex Machina and Her. Themes from the stories of Pandora and Galatea emerge frequently in the fiction of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as in the writings of Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick and the numerous films based on their work.


  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Reception

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