By Guglielmo Ferrero
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Extra info for Ancient Rome and Modern America
Ancient world recognises at once in these dictators a which constantly appears in ancient history, the Greek rv/aawos, the Roman Pisistratus and Augustus, not Nero and princeps. modern incarnation of a figure Napoleon, are the prototypes of these dictators. States based on an electoral system which is not controlled by organised parties ofT^y other social forces calculated to ensure its working in conformity with precise and certain rules, are subject to eruptions of disorder, which end ual in establishing the personal who power of that individ- succeeds in making the political and adminis- machine work with comparative regularity.
So they had no requirement for machines, whether steam- or elecThe few simple machines, which the tricity-driven. man or the muscular force of domestic animals can operate, the domestic loom, the horse-propelled hand mill, of size Therefore, they had no need of science sufficed. them to help and power. pressure. new machines of They had no need to work to construct They could work greater at high slowly, with their hands and with a few simple instruments, and with them produce beautiful, accurate, and finished articles, which aspired to a lofty and difficult ideal of perfection.
Greco-Roman antiquity never dreamed that it might be a useful, beautiful, glorious work to invent machines and power, and therefore never gave a thought to those technical elaborations which are the pride of our times. It possessed the elementary maof increasing speed chines, the lever, jack-screw, the inclined plane; but it never tried to combine these into more complicated In particular, it never called into play the effort to which all the mechanism of modern times owes machines. its birth; that is to say, it never tried to endow its machines with a more rapid motion than the muscles of men or of animals can endow them with, or to search nature for motive forces of greater power than these.