Talos: The Bronze Automaton


'Medeia and Talus' by Sybil Tawse (1920) Public Domain/Wikimedia

Among the many humanoid gods and bestial monsters of Greek mythology, one finds a peculiar outlier: Talos the bronze automaton. Said to stalk the shores of Crete, Talos pelted suspicious ships with rocks and immolated enemy soldiers with its smoldering embrace. Does this myth reveal Greek attitudes toward technology? What existing technologies can we decode in its description? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

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Outside Content:

'Talos and Daedalus: A Review of the Authorship of the Abominable Bronze Man' by Merlin Peris (PDF)

The death of Talos, a detail from a 5th century BCE Greek vase.
The death of Talos, a detail from a 5th century BCE Greek vase.
Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images

Topics in this Podcast: history, technology, robots, myth