image MS_31_013v
Image number: RS.16815
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Illustration in Hero's Automata


17th century


Unknown, Artist

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 251mm
width (page): 163mm


   > Mechanics

Content object


Two figures in a Greek manuscript of Automata by Hero of Alexandria, once owned by Robert Hooke. The manuscript was given to Hooke by Dr Robert Wood FRS on 14 January 1678. Hooke died on 3 March 1703, and on 28 April 1703, his niece and executor, Mrs Dellon, gave the Royal Society several natural objects and 'manuscripts in divers languages'. This illustrated Greek manuscript of the Automata of Hero of Alexandria was one of them. At the meeting, Humfrey Wanley (later FRS) stated that the MS had been 'written by Angelus Burgecius [i.e. Vergikios] a Cretan at Paris about the year 1567'.

Object history

14 January 1678, 'Dr. Wood gave me Heroes Automatopeia in a greek manuscript.' (The Diary of Robert Hooke, ed. by H. W. Robinson and W. Adams (London: Taylor & Francis, 1935), p. 340.)

28 April 1703, ‘Several natural things were presented to the Society, together with some MSS in divers languages, by Mrs Dellon, Administratrix to Dr Hooke. She was order’d to be thanked; and to be paid the Arrears of Rent due from the Society to the Doctor, till the time of his Death.’ (JBO/11/20)

Related Fellows

Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural philosopher
Robert Wood (1621-1685, British), Mathematician

Associated place

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      > Greece