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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Nevertheless, before I had even finished If you are really interested in the subject, this is a tremendous source book. From inside the book. Their origin was Hungary, where the town qnd Kocs hence ‘coach,’ cocheKutsche became famous for its lightweight, one-horse, leather-suspended passenger vehicles. The fall of Constantinople in and the consequent shifting of Greek scholars to the West is sometimes presented as the trigger for this change.

Gies has chosen what I think is an extremely important topic to research: Be the first to ask a question about Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel. 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.

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

Early modern technology and experimental science were direct outgrowths of the decisive innovations of medieval Europe, in the tools and techniques of agriculture, craft industry, metallurgy, building construction, navigation, and war. HarperCollins- History – pages. They demonstrate this by chronicling the developments in technology over the centuries preceding the Renaissance.

I was somewhat disappointed with this book. The houses of the rich drapers like Jehan Boinebroke clustered in Europe’s first beau quartier residential districts, while the warrens of tenements that housed the families of the weavers formed the first proletarian slums. Cathedral, 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 b I must confess, I’m not sure how to review a non-fiction book, I’ve read plenty but never reviewed.

It was only in the West that these ideas fully bore fruit. Fiances and Joseph Gies have been writing books about medieval history for thirty years. This book provides and excellent introduction to the scholarship on the history of the middle ages, specficically as it relates to technology. The thesis of this well-written book, which draws heavily and very interestingly from a plethora of unusual primary sources, is that the Middle Ages have gotten a bad rap.


Real stories and hard data about how many water powered mills were operating in London or what kinds of problems had to be solved by a particular cathedral builder turn what could have been an abstract discussion into real, gritty nuts and bolts that you can get your hands on and sink your intellectual teeth into.

And now that I’ve over-shared to an alarming degree, on to the review. It is rare that we read a book about the things that came out of what is often called the Dark ages of Europe as it concerns technology and invention.

For readers who have read their previous Life in a Medieval For more demanding tasks, a superior design was the overshot wheel. In popular understanding, Medieval Europe was a ‘dark age’ where much was lost of Classical knowledge and close to no new inventions were made until the Renaissance. Indeed, the technological springboard from which Europe was propelled into modernity was built during the middle ages.

As the title hints at and the subtitle: Still, it’s an informative read and probably the best of their books that I’ve read. However, this is a discipline-wide deficiency and should not reflect poorly on the authors.

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. Books by Frances Gies. And while it did Readability 6. I got some of this, but quite a bit more of the simple history of technology.

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. A very succinct look at human technical ingenuity, from the 6th to 16th centuries. When I first picked the book up I was primarily interested in learning 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.


I marked every inspiring piece with a flag, for a peek at what this book looked like part-way through look at this post from my blog: One of the most valuable chapters is “The Asian Connection.

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.

Apr 02, Andy Todd rated it it was ok Shelves: Frances and Joseph Gies have been writing books about medieval history for thirty foorge. The book is also broken up into only a handful of chapters which means reading it is a chore when there aren’t enough places to stop.

Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Cathedral building was the crucible in which t I read this book several years ago, and strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in either medieval history xathedral the history of technology. If I had to find a quibble, it would be the very minor one that I expected a bit cathedrla on building technology, and that is very minor indeed.

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

This work is more academic than others that Catthedral have come across, but it remains very accessible to the non-medievalist reader. Consequently, large landowners watewrheel even the Roman state were cathedrql to build it.

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. Paperbackpages. All in all, I regard this title as nearly essential reading for technological literacy and the history of Western Civilization. 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.

Jan 23, Mark rated it liked it Shelves: