An illuminating look at the monumental inventions of the Middle Ages, by the authors of Life in a Medieval Castle. change in historical theory that has come to perceive technological innovation in all ages as primarily a social process rather than a disconnected series of. LibraryThing Review. User Review – TLCrawford – LibraryThing. I truly enjoyed reading Frances and Joseph Gies’ Cathedral, Forge and.
|Published (Last):||28 July 2013|
|PDF File Size:||7.22 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||12.43 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again.
Open Preview See a Problem?
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: An illuminating look at the monumental inventions of the Middle Ages, by the authors cthedral Life in a Medieval Castle.
Paperbackpages. Published January 6th by Harper Perennial first published Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages. To catjedral what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheelplease sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel. Lists with This Book. Oct 15, G. My only real criticism of this title is that it should contain a glossary of technological and mechanical terms. Since it does not, it may pay to either be a really well-read mechanical engineer or to have a reference close to hand. For example, I know that an “adze” is a hand tool but I always forget what the head looks like, and what it’s for.
It’s not an axe or a hammer, and when was the last time you went to a hardware store for an “adze”? Probably never if you’re not a carpen Mostly excellent. Probably never if you’re not a carpenter.
The devices and architectural innovations of the title are described, but sometimes in secondary terms that one may not remember. Recall what a “groin vault” is? How about a “millrace”? These can often be figured out from waterwheeel, but I’d prefer to have real definitions to hand.
The descriptions of weaving technique were fairly diligent but could have used even more careful explication to modern eyes for whom clothing comes from hangers at a department store. Another gripe is that the “trip hammer” is mentioned several times before its operation is actually explained. All of that said, this is a deeply fascinating and enlightening title.
While there may have been a Dark Age in European history after the celebrated “fall of Rome”, it was over by the eighth century, for in less than one hundred years, Western Europe saw a tremendous agricultural revolution which permanently increased agricultural productivity and transformed land use.
The Gieses also collect quite a pile of evidence against the secularist prejudice which I held that the Christian Church of medieval Europe was primarily responsible for keeping the population ignorant and benighted.
While this perspective is not completely punctured–witness, for instance, the potent ambivalence with which Church fathers regarded stonemasons–it seems inarguable that the Benedictine and Cistercian monastic orders in particular were responsible for making many technological innovations and dispersing even more throughout Christendom. At the same time, as the handling of ancient texts from the Greeks, Romans, and ancient Near East is out of scope for this title, the darker side of the Christian church’s role in the preservation of knowledge is largely unexplored All in all, I regard this title as nearly essential reading for technological literacy and the history of Western Civilization.
View all 3 comments. Jul 07, Patrick rated it liked it. To be fair, I should preface this review by saying that this book has been my bathroom reading for the better part of a year. Since I’m guessing that’s not how this book was intended to be read, it probably had a somewhat deleterious effect on my perception of the book.
And now that I’ve over-shared to an alarming degree, on to the review. This book was a little academic for my taste. And the information density isn’t quite what I’d hoped for either.
That said, the book does do a g To be fair, I should preface this review by saying that this book has been my bathroom reading for the better part of a year.
Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages by Frances Gies
That said, the book does do a great job of showing how technology changed throughout the course of the middle ages. It talks about everything from farming, to ironwork, to masonry, to transportation and exploration.
It also refutes several commonly-held beliefs about the middle ages. Stuff that I learned in grade school and never questioned until now Though it’s obvious in retrospect that some of these things were nonsense.
All in all, a good read. But it would probably be better if you didn’t read it pages at at time over the course forbe a year like I did View all 8 comments. Jun 04, Warren Watts rated it really liked it Shelves: The Middle Ages are often considered a time of stagnation in human cultural and scientific development. The development of the pointed and segmented arch permitted wider bridges to The Middle Ages are often considered a time of stagnation xathedral human cultural and scientific development.
The development of the pointed and segmented arch permitted wider bridges to be spanned; the waterwheel allowed grain to be ground more efficiently, feeding more people and lowering the cost of food; and the invention of the escapement allowed for the creation of accurate timekeeping and a sweeping change in the way that society divided the day between work and leisure.
Written cathedrql a entertaining and interesting fashion, the book is far from “textbooky” and easy to read. Topics that could be dry and boring are presented in a way that lend them life and spirit and make for an interesting read.
Highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in catbedral history of science and invention. Apr 18, Michael rated it it was ok.
Filled with interesting anecdotes but presented in a rambling, repetitive style. The nominal scope is Europe in the middle ages, but they only stick to that topic for about a quarter of the book.
Oct 23, John rated it it was ok Shelves: I was somewhat disappointed with this book. The authors cover a lot of high catgedral details, but never get detailed enough. Feb 07, Vera rated it it was amazing Shelves: Good history read, discussing the technological innovations of the Middle Ages which led to the technological revolution later.
Aug 24, SlowRain rated it really liked it. A very succinct look at human technical ingenuity, from cqthedral 6th to 16th centuries. For readers who have read their previous Life in a Medieval However, this book covers those topics in only passing detail. I’d still recommend those other books for more detailed information on cities, castles, and villages.
I found the information on all of the technology that came cathedrzl China and India quite fascinating, as well as similar technology that was developed independent A very succinct look at human technical ingenuity, from the 6th to 16th centuries. I found the information on all of the technology that came from China and India quite fascinating, as well as similar technology that was developed independently of each other’s.
Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages
There is also some interesting discussion as to what allowed China to take an initial technological lead, but why Europe eventually surpassed it.
If I have one gripe, it’s that there weren’t enough pictures to back up the items and descriptions of what they were talking about. That would’ve made the book longer, and potentially more expensive, but it would’ve helped. In it’s not a huge problem because of the internet, but it would’ve been more of an issue back in when it was originally published. Still, it’s an informative read and probably the best of their books that I’ve read. I highly recommend it, along with their others.
Jul 20, Nick Rudzicz rated it really liked it.
The wheel and axle appeared in Mesopotamia between and B. The arts of cloth making were invented 1 ”From the long Paleolithic Old Stone Age came the tools and techniques that separated humankind forever from the animal world: The arts of cloth making were invented: Raw hides were converted into leather by scraping and soaking with tannin, derived from oak bark.
The important art of pottery making first modeled clay with fingers and thumb, then coiled strands of clay, and finally shaped its work with the potter’s wheel, invented about B. For more demanding tasks, a superior design was the overshot wheel. In this arrangement the stream was channelled by a millrace or chute to the top of the wheel, bringing the full weight of the water to bear, with a resulting efficiency of 50 to 70 percent.
Because it required dam, millrace, sluice gates, and tailrace as well as gearing, the overshot wheel had a high initial cost. Consequently, large landowners and even the Roman state were reluctant to build it. The water that supplied power was contained in a reservoir, refilled periodically by manually operated norias.
Water passed by siphon from the reservoir to a constant-level tank and thence to the scoops of the waterwheel.
An endless-chain drive slowly turned a celestial globe and an armillary sphere one revolution per day. The same waterwheel turned a series of shafts, gears, and wheels working the bells and drums that announced the time like nearly all early mechanical clocks, Su Sung’s had no face. The escapement that was the ‘soul of the timekeeping machine’ and that kept its movement at an even pace was a complex arrangement of balances, counterweights, and locks that divided the flow of the water into equal parts by repeated weighing, automatically dividing the revolution of the wheel into equal rorge.
The record of a legal proceeding in against the estate of Sire Jehan Boinebroke, cloth adn and notorious skinflint, by forty-five clothworkers and other claimants illuminates the human as well as the economic aspect of the system. Boinebroke contracted through his agents to buy wool from Cistercian monasteries in England, making a down payment of about 3 percent.
When the wool arrived, he sold it to the weaver, who took it home to sort, card, spin, and weave, with the help of his wife and children. The weaver then sold the unfinished cloth back to Boinebroke, who sold it to a fuller for cleaning and treating, after which he bought the finished cloth back and either sold it to a dyer or sent it to his own dye shop behind his house. Finally, he sold the fulled and dyed cloth to his agents, who took it to sell at waterwgeel the Douai cloth market or the Flemish or Champagne fairs.