Αρχύτας ο Ταραντίνος

Archytas und das unendliche Universum

invented "the most compelling argument ever produced for the infinity of space" Richard Sorabji

Archytas (Αρχύτας ο Ταραντίνος) (428-350 BC) born in .

The of Tarentum experimented with kites and toy flying machines, including a wooden dove that flew by "the secret blowing of air enclosed inside," perhaps a primitive compressed-air mechanism. The pigeon in one of the experiments was able to fly 200 meters! Archytas of Tarentum was a Greek mathematician, political leader and philosopher, active in the first half of the fourth century BC (i.e., during Plato's lifetime).

The only mechanical device that can with some probability be assigned to Archytas, apart from the children's toy known as a “clapper” is an automaton in the form of a wooden bird connected to a pulley and counterweight, which “flew” up from a lower perch to a higher one, when set in motion by a puff of air. The complicating factor here is that Diogenes Laertius reports that there was a book on mechanics in circulation, which some thought to be by a different Archytas, so that it is possible that the flying dove is, in fact, the work of a separate Archytas.