Aeolipile

Aeolipile

(from Greek) The name sometimes given to globular or pear-shaped objects with a narrow neck and mouth. The function of these objects is uncertain. The word was originally applied to a device, invented in the second century B.C., in which a closed, water-filled vessel, when heated, was made to rotate by jets of steam issuing from one or more projecting, bent tubes. Most surviving aeolipiles, however, are Islamic; they are believed to be containers.