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by Archaeology Newsroom

Three Pioneer Engineers of Modern Greece

The historiography of modern Greek Technology, which conventionally coincides with the era from the fifteenth century until to date, is not so rich as the one dealing with the other aspects of nationality activity in these six centuries. This article on the one hand refers to this period and on the other contributes to the knowledge of its Technology by focusing exclusively on the personality of three engineers: Nikolaos Sorvolos (15th cent.), a native of Chandax (present Herakleion), Crete, Marinos Charbouris (18th cent.), a native of Argostoli, Kephallonia, and Michail Kokkinis 919th cent.), a native of the island of Chios. They shared the common characteristic of originating from the “periphery”, but they were educated and made a carrer mainly in the West, since the historical circumstances prevailing in their time did not favor “nativeness”. Nevertheless, given that these three “ pioneer engineers” returned sometime and realized important works inside the geographical boundaries of contemporary Greece, certain latent broader influence of their achievements could probably be traced. Here is a concise presentation of their major achievements: a. In 1439, N. Sorvolos “transported” a Venetian fleet, consisting of six galleys nd twenty-five brigs, through a massif of 1,000m height in Northern Italy. b. In 1770, M. Charbouris managed to hoist a huge rock weighing 2,000 tons and to transport it through swamps and rivers to Saint Petersburg, Russia. c. In 1824, M.Kokkinis achieved the gigantic task of planning and building the 2,000 m long stone fortification wall of the city of Mesolonghi in twenty months and in war conditions. The promotion of these pioneers of Greek Technology can probably contribute to the restoration of balance of our educational interests, so that they will be reoriented towards applied sciences as happened in 1810.