# Roman Water Device

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I was watching some show a few years back that featured a roman water device. This device used the pressure of the water to push up some other water in a continuous cycle. They used it as a sort of fountain. Does anyone know what it is called or seen a diagram of it online?

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The aqueducts were raised. The water was stored in a tank (cistern), and the height provided the pressure.

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I believe that the OP means that the Romans used the Venturi effect, or some other form applying a dynamic pressure difference to overcome a height (hydrostatic pressure).

... unfortunately, I know more about engineering than about history, and I have no idea about Roman applications of this principle.

I did find this:

Roman siphons for water transportation

A summary of Roman innovations regarding hydraulics

I also found mention of an ancient roman pump on some different websites.

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One simple way to engineer this would be to have a pool of water on a hill, that could be rain or spring fed. We run a pipe down the hill to the fountain. At the fountain, we bend the pipe and have a section of pipe that goes straight up to the top of the fountain. Based on the height difference between the pool of water on the hill, and the top of the fountain pipe, we can regulate the flow of water in a very passive way. This passive device can also tell use something about our pool height, with the fountain able to predict drought.

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The ancient portable fountain in question consisted of three chambers below the fountain's basin, and it simply worked on pressure.

Label the chambers A, B and C from top to bottom. Chambers A and B contain water, and Chamber A is vented to the atmosphere to allow the chamber to drain as follows. Chamber A connects to Chamber C, and water drains from Chamber A to Chamber C, building pressure in Chamber C. The airspace in Chamber C is connected to the airspace in Chamber B, transferring the air/pressure from Chamber C to Chamber B. The bottom of Chamber B connects to a spout above the fountain basin,and the pressure in Chamber B pushes the water up and out the spout, falling back into the basin.

I might be able to provide a diagram if needed.

The Wangensteen suction works in a somewhat reverse manner, and provides suction instead of pressure.

Edited by ewmon
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I remember something in THE WHOLE EARTH CATALOG. A simple machine that would take gallons of water with lower pressure and pump pints of water with higher pressure up a hill to your house W/O having to use added energy. Basically trading volume for pressure.

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I was watching some show a few years back that featured a roman water device. This device used the pressure of the water to push up some other water in a continuous cycle. They used it as a sort of fountain. Does anyone know what it is called or seen a diagram of it online?

The pump of Ktesibios? (from here-- go to "exhibits"--"pumping mechanisms")

" The suction and force-pump is one of the most important inventions of Ktesibios, engineer of Alexandria, who was called the Father of Pneumatiki (Air-navigation). Inside two cylinder vessels, two pistons with different functions are moving, one of them crushes (squeezes) and the other absorbs. The movement of the pistons creates a void followed by a suction of water, which is transported through a pipe outside the area, where the pump is located. The instrument has been one of the most popular instruments and was used by many people. It is used even today in various forms.

SCALE 1:2. SOURCES: A. G. Drachmann, Ktesibios, Philon and Heron, A Study in Ancient Pneumatics, Copenhagen 1948. J. P. Oleson, Greek and Roman Mechanical Water-Lifting Devices: The History of Technology, Toronto 1984. B. Gille, Les Mecaniciens Grecs, La renaissance de la Technologie, Paris 1980. Construction: Dionysis Kriaris"

Edited by michel123456
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Richard Quest describes an ingenious and very useful device called a hydraulic ram.

I finally found more on the device I described — Hero's Fountain invented by Hero of Alexandria (a Greek mathematician living in Roman Egypt, b.~10AD, d.~70AD), shown here in a simpler arrangement where the fountain's basin also acts as my Chamber A. The device just sits there doing nothing, but water poured into the basin fountain produces the spray.

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Richard Quest describes an ingenious and very useful device called a hydraulic ram.

I finally found more on the device I described — Hero's Fountain invented by Hero of Alexandria (a Greek mathematician living in Roman Egypt, b.~10AD, d.~70AD), shown here in a simpler arrangement where the fountain's basin also acts as my Chamber A. The device just sits there doing nothing, but water poured into the basin fountain produces the spray.

It must be β in the next picture. (from the book of Christos D.Lazos "Engineering and technology in ancient Greece" - Μηχανική Και Τεχνολογία Στην Αρχαία Ελλάδα", p.94. , in the article about Heron of Alexandria. Ktesibios was his teacher, but almost all his work has been lost.

Here it is presented as "the horse who drinks water", an entertaining object.

α is "the waitress who serves water on her own"

γ is " automatic pouring water mechanism"

δ is "pump with buckets"

Edited by michel123456
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Heron's Fountain has the closest resemblance to what I saw, now I'll be able to sleep at night, thanks! Is it hero's or heron's fountain, on wikipedia it said heron but you can't always trust it.

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Heron's Fountain has the closest resemblance to what I saw, now I'll be able to sleep at night, thanks! Is it hero's or heron's fountain, on wikipedia it said heron but you can't always trust it.

Heron is correct. Ήρων pronounced "eeron" in the Greek language, as far as I know, nothing to do with the word "hero", (ηρωας in ancient & modern Greek)

Edited by michel123456
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To be seen in tv serie Numb3rs, season 4, Tabu episode, at the end (time 39.19).

Edited by michel123456

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