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.

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This does not effect the merit of the book. When I first picked the book up I was primarily interested in learning 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.

Nevertheless, before I had even finished my library copy I ordered a new hardcover edition.

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.

While firge 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 wterwheel responsible for making many technological innovations and dispersing even more throughout Christendom.

It also refutes several commonly-held beliefs about the middle ages. This fascinating book covers just about all areas in breadth and scope of technological advancement in the Middle Ages from cloth making, building, waterwheels, to weaponary and ship building. However, this watrwheel a discipline-wide deficiency and should not reflect poorly on the authors.

On the contrary, the authors report, many of Europe’s most important inventions – the horse harness, the forve, the magnetic compass, cotton and silk cultivation and manufacture, papermaking, firearms, “Arabic” numerals – had their origins outside Europe, in China, India, and Islam.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Oct 15, G. So maybe my issue is that it’s a good book written poorly, but honestly I skimmed most of the last chapter and avoided all of the long technological drivel sections. Oct 10, Dale rated it really liked it. Indeed, the technological springboard from which Europe was propelled into modernity was built during the watewrheel ages. I gave it only 3 stars, given that it is basically just a listing of examples grouped by century through the middle ages.


Not so, say the Gieses: In this account of Europe’s rise to world leadership in technology, Frances and Joseph Gies make use of recent scholarship to destroy two time-honored myths. Inventions made elsewhere, mostly in China, were quickly adopted and adapted to Europe’s needs. HarperCollins- History – pages.

Not so, say the Gieses: Be the first to ask a question about Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel. Goodreads helps you keep track of books catehdral want to read. These passages are far too long and dense and would have been very much helped by diagrams. The Gieses show how Europe synthesized its own innovations – the three-field system, water power in industry, the full-rigged ship, the putting-out system – into a powerful new combination of technology, economics, and politics.

Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages by Frances Gies

All of that said, this is fogge deeply fascinating and enlightening title. The Triumphs and Failures of Ancient Technology.

Yet in the present book the authors proffer evidence that ans dark ages were not nearly so dark as assumed by many. The arts of cloth making were invented: Even for non-fiction, it is pretty dry. The general belief is that during that time not much happened technology-wise until daVinci showed up, but this book busts that myth. Jul 07, Patrick rated it liked it. The cxthedral of the pointed and segmented arch permitted wider bridges to The Middle Ages are often considered a time of stagnation in human cultural and scientific development.

Jan 23, Mark rated it liked it Shelves: This book is an excellent study in the general progress of technology during the Middle Ages, debunking the centuries-old conventional wisdom that the period was somehow a step backwards or idling vis-a-vis the Romans. Would only recommend if you’re seriously studying this period for a paper or something, not for any kind of passing interest readers. Refresh and try again. The authors divide the book into seven chapters into which they arrange most of their material chronologically.

They demonstrate this by chronicling the developments in technology over the centuries preceding the Renaissance. Honsinger rated it it was amazing. The broadest service this book provides is to cue the reader in to the massive scholarship on the subject that exists outside the English sp Husband and wife team of amateur?

Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages

It is not a dry account, but a lucid, well-paced and thoughtful analysis of how we got here. For a writer of fantasy based in medieval-resembling worlds this book is a treasure trove of ideas. Their research is dependable and they approach their source material with both respect and a critical eye. Joseph and Frances Gies are my favorite historians of the so-called Middle Ages.


Account Options Sign in. Aug 01, Timothy Bertolet rated it really liked it. I think Gies also lost out on the opportunity to have a final chapter summarizing and explaining more clearly the implications of Medieval technology, but the book ends rather abruptly at the end of a chapter on Leonardo with a couple paragraphs of summation.

Catheddal, Forge and Waterwheel is full of information on all manner of technology, not just the invention and its applications but often how it came to be created, who invented it, if the origins may have originally been conceived in Asia then advanced by Europe and more.

Water passed by siphon from the reservoir to a constant-level tank and thence to the scoops of the waterwheel. Recall what a “groin vault” is? If you are really interested in the subject, this is a tremendous source book. To be honest, I’m still a little confused as to why it was ass A pretty basic forfe comprehensive history of medieval technology, Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel is best used as an introduction for the interested layperson to other scholarship in the field.

I was somewhat disappointed with this book. Lists with This Book. Charlemagne China Chinese Christian church Cipolla cities clock cloth Commercial Revolution cotton craft Crusade Culture Daumas Derry Derry and Williams device economic eleventh engineering England European fifteenth century Forbes fourteenth century furnace Greek Gregory of Tours History horse Ibid improved industry innovation invention iron Italian Italy Joseph Needham labor land lateen Leonardo da Vinci London loom Lopez Lynn White machine manorial manufacture masons mechanical medieval Europe Medieval Technology Mediterranean ment merchants metal mill motte-and-bailey Muslim navigation northern Paris peasants plow printing production Renaissance Roger Bacon sail Science and Civilization Shipbuilders ships silk Singer spinning stone Taccola techniques teenth century textile tion trans turned cathedrwl twelfth century vertical Vikings Villard voyage waterpower waterwheel weapons weaver weaving weft West Western wheel wooden wool York.