Early Tech Adopters in Ancient Rome Had Portable Sundials

By Meghan Bartels

A little gadget could make you look smart, rich, and tech-savvy—all without necessarily fulfilling its real function

"It's the four or fifth century and you're a wealthy, cosmopolitan Roman sightseeing across the empire, or perhaps an armchair traveler entertaining other well-educated friends for dinner. What could you pull out to impress your companions? One good option would be a geographical portable sundial, the closest Romans got to an iPhone..."

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