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Medieval Technology and Social Change

Medieval Technology and Social Change In Medieval Technology and Social Change Lynn White considers the effects of technological innovation on the societies of medieval Europe the slow collapse of feudalism with the development of machin

  • Title: Medieval Technology and Social Change
  • Author: Lynn Townsend White Jr.
  • ISBN: 9780195002669
  • Page: 145
  • Format: Paperback
  • In Medieval Technology and Social Change, Lynn White considers the effects of technological innovation on the societies of medieval Europe the slow collapse of feudalism with the development of machines and tools that introduced factories in place of cottage industries, and the development of the manorial system with the introduction of new kinds of plows and new methodsIn Medieval Technology and Social Change, Lynn White considers the effects of technological innovation on the societies of medieval Europe the slow collapse of feudalism with the development of machines and tools that introduced factories in place of cottage industries, and the development of the manorial system with the introduction of new kinds of plows and new methods of crop rotation One invention of particular import, writes White, was the stirrup, which in turn introduced heavy, long range cavalry to the medieval battlefield The development thus escalated small scale conflict to shock combat Cannons and flamethrowers followed, as did peaceful inventions, such as watermills and reapers.

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      Published :2018-02-09T00:40:57+00:00

    1 thought on “Medieval Technology and Social Change

    1. This is one of the best books you will discover on the medieval world. It is a scholarly book; written by a scholar--likely, the reason why most people have never heard of it; never seek it out or pounce on it when it comes their way; nor are unable to 'see it through' after picking it up. This is a thinking man's book; not a book to be read for entertainment.The content is filled with not just the 'easy', or 'certain' answers. Instead, the author does exactly what the diligence of his chair dem [...]

    2. I honestly do not know how to rate this. at first I couldn't tell whether it was a methodological/disciplinary difference that made some of White's conclusions seem absurd. It's not common for me to read strictly historical work (though this is fairly interdisciplinary, it feels like the archaeologists, literary critics, economists, and other scholars White draws on are all subsumed in his own historicist maneuverings), so I was really unprepared for the emphasis on extrinsic teleological causal [...]

    3. At the heart of some of the best works on medieval history rests the claim that the middle ages were not the dark, backward theocracies of popular lore, but dynamic societies full of art, culture, music, and science. And with the advent of Lynn White’s 1962 book “Medieval Technology and Social Change,” we can add technology to the list of subjects that have been sadly left off the list of subjects usually associated with this time period. White looks at the advent of what he considers to b [...]

    4. Short and dense but yet somehow readableProfessor White manages to pack an incredible amount of information into a very short and concise history of technology in the Middle Ages. At only 134 pages long (including footnotes on each page), the three chapters flow along quickly and everything is documented. It would seem that Professor White anticipated controversy so backed up each claim repeatedly. Thankfully, the footnotes are not obstrusive and the fourty pages of endnotes provide extra detail [...]

    5. White uses three examples to illustrate the potential for technology to have a substantial impact on society. His first, feudalism as a function of the incorporation of stirrups by the Franks (and subsequently spread by them), is the most intriguing and, as a result, the most fantastical. His reasoning seems concrete, though, and is followed up with a similarly interesting (and perhaps more mundane and therefore easier to swallow whole) chapter about the impact of the heavy plough, horses, and t [...]

    6. This is a fascinating introduction to what has been called the First Industrial Revolution. He lists changes in technology that effected social change: the horse stirrup he attributes to helping stop the advance of Islam; the horse collar improved productivity on the land since the horse was faster than an ox; the change from two-field to three-field farming increased crops and growing acreage; and without the crank invented in this period, we would be without steam trains and motor vehicles.

    7. It was really difficult for me to figure out quite how to rate this book. In terms of how enjoyable it is to read, it's pretty awesome: it's clear, it's fun, and it's very engaging. I learned quite a bit reading it. It even worked in one of my all time favorite subjects, perpetual motion machines! However, I also pretty solidly disagree with a lot of White's conclusions, so I can't quite bring myself to give it five stars. The first two sections are loads of fun to read. White structures his arg [...]

    8. I'm going to miss the best bed-time reader I've ever had. Wow. This thing put me to sleep like nothing else. What else to think of gems like "The flywheel first appears as an element in machinery in the late eleventh-century treatise on technology of the monk Theophilus, who speaks of a 'rotula sive lignea sive plumbea tornatilis' on the axle of a little pigment-grinding mill equipped with a rotary pestle, and also of a 'rotula plumbi parvula' on the spindle of a boring apparatus"?Droning techni [...]

    9. This is a good read, even though it's a tad dated. White sees the Middle Ages as a period of uncommon levels of invention and innovation, focusing on changes in horseback riding, agriculture, and power generation. White's writing is about as good as it gets, for history, certainly. The technologies he identifies are clearly important; the causality piece is less certain.A worthwhile companion piece is Bert Hall's "Lynn White's Medieval Technology and Social Change after thirty years," which is s [...]

    10. This text spent most of its time detailing arguments between archaeologists about the dating of different things that might indicate people had certain types of plows, cranks etc. If I was getting ready to make an academic argument in the archaeology of stuff I never knew was this important, I would find this book ridiculously valuable. However, I was kind of trying to read this for fun, and I wish the argument had been more centered on the ways technology and social change were connected, rathe [...]

    11. Good short book to get back in the swing of things with SAASS and the new year. The main theme for me in this book is the Middle Ages were a time of new inventions, innovations and cultural change that set the stage for major advancements in the modern era. Folks in the Middle Ages had more innovative swag than they are given credit for. An interesting question that I walk away with is what innovations are going on today that we are taking for granted. With the rapid rate of innovation today can [...]

    12. Neat learning about the technology, but this book uses antiquated terminology does not translate latin and french text. Note: you can't fault the author for this, but we actually have discovered an insect that uses geared motion since publication of the book. Kinda neat though that that is the only living thing that uses them.

    13. Excellent work. It is rare these days to see such perception, thoroughness, and composition on the interplay between society and technology. A worthy read for the STEM with a history weakness.

    14. Fascinating. I had no idea the crank was such a late-developing device, or that the motion doesn't come naturally to humans. Also, the progression of development in the horse harness was new to me.

    15. An incredibly thorough and scholarly work that examines three technological developments and their far-reaching effects on medieval society. It is very well documented with meaningful footnotes and endnotes.The basic premise is that the stirrup, field field crop rotations and the harnessing of mechanical power from wind, water, steam,etc were not only technological changes but changed the social fabric of Europe. The origin and spread of these developments are traced through archaeology, pictori [...]

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