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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Highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in the history of science and invention.

But it would probably be better if you didn’t read it pages at at time over the course of a year eaterwheel I did It also refutes several commonly-held beliefs about the middle ages.

Rather than a long dark millennium of ignorance and stagnation, the Medieval waterwhwel was an age of significant technological innovation.

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. For a writer of fantasy based in medieval-resembling worlds this book is a treasure trove of ideas. Trivia About Cathedral, Forge, I was hoping for a book that detailed various technologies used during the Middle Ages.

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

Be the first to ask a question about Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel. If you are at all interested in the history of technology and innovation this is the book for you.

Filled with interesting anecdotes but presented in a rambling, repetitive style. Books by Frances Gies.

I read this book several years ago, and strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in either medieval history or the history of technology. 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.

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I would recommend this book as cathhedral eye-opener for anyone who assumes the ‘Dark Ages’ were a time of stagnation, other writers of fantasy and anyone intrigued by that period in time. A very succinct look at human technical ingenuity, from the 6th to 16th centuries. Honsinger rated it it was amazing.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Nov 19, R. The Gies have produced a good overview of various kinds rorge technologies, but I would disagree quite a bit with the conclusions they draw and the contextualisation they provide. Not so, say the Gieses Want to Read saving…. The Triumphs and Failures of Ancient Technology. 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.

The Giles avoid most of the historical debates although occassionally commenting on a few. And now that I’ve over-shared to an alarming degree, on to the review. Refresh and try again. It talks about everything from farming, to ironwork, to masonry, to transportation and exploration. Still, it’s an informative read and probably the best of their books that I’ve read.

That would’ve made the book longer, and potentially more expensive, but it would’ve helped.

However, this is a discipline-wide deficiency and should not reflect poorly on the authors. Packed with detail useful to the scholar of the era and cathecral writer who only pretends to be one, and in places hilarious, as regards the comments about smiths as undesirable neighbors. The broadest service this book provides is to cue the reader in to the massive scholarship on the subject that exists outside the English speaking catyedral of academia.


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

The fall of Constantinople in and the consequent shifting of Greek scholars to the West is sometimes presented as the trigger for this anx.

An incredibly important, valuable book that I couldn’t finish. Frances and Joseph Gies have been writing books about medieval history for thirty years. The Middle Ages used it sometimes wisely, sometimes recklessly, often for dubious purposes, seldom with a thought for the future, and with only a dim awareness of the scientific and mathematical laws governing it.

It is not a dry account, but a lucid, well-paced and thoughtful analysis of how we got here.

Unlike the industrial age, advances such as the waterwheel do not have a single inventor that can be pointed at, because each invention was one It is rare that we read a book about the things that came out an what is often called the Dark ages of Europe as it concerns technology and invention. Written in a entertaining and interesting fashion, the book is far from “textbooky” and easy to read.

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