Although I agree that the extra 100-200 years has been over emphasized I disagree with your general premise. These type of astronomical occurrences are easily predicted (past / future) by ancient mathematicians and were easily predictable at the time by civilizations worldwide from mesoamerica to china for the probable dates presented for the creation for the mechanism. The knowledge of astronomy, planetary and motion were pretty much common knowledge at 200 bc. This makes the 'revelations' of galileo rather comical in retrospect. What is remarkable about this mechanism is the degree of precision of its mechanical design which was unsurpassed at the time (as far as we know). The complexity of this device to accurately predict astronomical phenomena for centuries, mechanically, at the date of its creation belittles the acheivements of the renaissance and calls into question the belief that rome contributed significantly to mediterranean civilization.