Taranto, Italy

Taranto is a city located in southern Italy with a population of about 200,000. It was founded in 708 BC (as a part of Greece) and was named after Taras, a mythical hero. This is the city where Archytas, the creater of the flying, mechanical pigeon, was born. During Archytas' life, Taranto was called Tarentum, Magna Graecia. Taranto is referred to as "the city of the two seas" because it is located next to two bays: Mar Grande and Mar Piccolo. These bays are important in the history of Taranto because they allowed the city to become an important military and commercial port. 


Taranto, Province of Taranto, Puglia, Italy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.enchantingitaly.com/regions/puglia/taranto/taranto.htm. 

Valavanis, K. P. (2007). Advances in unmanned aerial vehicles: state of the art and the road to autonomy.Berlin: Springer.


Latitude: 40.464360600000
Longitude: 17.247030300000

Timeline of Events Associated with Taranto, Italy

Date Event Manage

Archytas Creates the Flying Pigeon

Archytas, a Greek philosopher who lived between 428 BC and 347 BC, is believed to be one of the first people to investigate the idea of flight. He created a steam-powered flying pigeon sometime during his lifetime; however, the exact timing of this invention is unknown. The naming of this device came from the fact that it resembled the shape of a pigeon: wings on either side and a pointed front like a beak. The pigeon contained an opening at its rear which was connected to a heated boiler. The steam produced by the heated water caused an increase in pressure that produced the force required to eject the pigeon, which was reported to fly for several hundred meters.

Source (text and image):

Reese, M. R. (2014). The steam-powered pigeon of Archytas—the flying machine of antiquity. Ancient Origins. Retreived from https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-technology/steam-powered-pigeon-archytas-flying-machine-antiquity-002179.