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The art of constructing automatic theaters dates from the classical period. Aristotle describes them as
“automata-miracles” that surprised the viewers who did not know how they were moved. Automata were
considered the most impressive among the numerous technological achievements in the Hellenistic period, since their functions required knowledge in all fields of engineering. The manufacturers of automatic theaters presented the plot of a myth using animation, sound and photorealism, and competed with each other for the most beautiful and realistic representation. Heron of Alexandria documented the automatic theater of Philo of Byzantium (3rd c. B.C.), which he considered the best of all in his “Automatopoietica” treatise. Heron provides detailed construction instructions and describes the automatic operation of Nauplius’ myth (an “episode” of the popular Trojan War “series”, “directed” by Philon).

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