Technologies of the Middle Ages

Medieval technology characterizes the technological level of humanity on the eve of the great geographical discoveries.

Despite the notoriety of the Middle Ages as an epoch of stagnation and crisis, however, it was during this period that water transport  was improved, which made it possible to travel around the world. To a large extent, long journeys have become possible thanks to navigation devices: astrolabe and compass. To determine the time, starting from the tenth century, mechanical clocks began to be used, which were placed on the towers of the town halls of European cities. Roger Bacon invents glasses (13th century). Information technologies are also developing: paper appears on which the signs are applied with the aid of ink and pens.

Gothic cathedrals exceeded the pyramids of ancient Egypt in height. The pyramid of Cheops was 146 meters high and was considered one of the seven wonders of the world, but Lincoln Cathedral, built in the early 14th century, was 15 meters higher than the pyramid of Cheops.

This is largely made possible by the use of a pointed arch. Both water and windmills are widely used. If the water mill was already known to Vitruvius, windmills appeared in Iran in the 7th century. If in the beginning mills were used to grind grain, the rotating shaft began to be used in various types of manufacturing production, and for the manufacture of textiles, crushing of minerals, papermaking, sawdust or drive bellows. Agricultural technology is improving: a wheeled plow and a horse collar (9th century) appear. The ancient chariots are replaced by medieval cavalry, unthinkable without the invention of the stirrup.
In the Middle Ages, firearms were born. Metalworking is reaching new heights. Long steel blades (Damascus steel) are spreading. At the end of the Middle Ages the forge was replaced by a blast furnace (14th century), which allowed to reach a temperature of 1200 degrees C and to melt the cast iron, necessary for the casting of cannons and projectiles.

Presented by Romano Pisciotti



Presented by Romano Pisciotti

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