[LMB] Dark Ages [not], was, What makes ...

WILLIAM A WENRICH wawenri at msn.com
Wed Aug 21 13:46:53 BST 2019

There were technologies lost. However, two inventions had profound impacts on society. The smaller impact was the stirrup which enabled heavy calvary. No stirrups, no knights and probably no development of the larger breeds of horses. Does anyone know when horse sandals became actual horseshoes?
The second invention had a greater effect, the horse collar. (It always bugs me when I see a “sword and sandals” movie where the actors ride horses with stirrups or chariots pulled by horses with collars.) I’ve read that the invention of the horse collar was one of the first things that started the decline of slavery. Before the horse collar, slaves and horses were used equally for traction. A horse attached to a load with straps could pull as much as 5 slaves but was 5 times as expensive to maintain. With a collar, the horse could pull 15 times as much with the same maintenance costs.
All speculation, but we’d miss out on the Budweiser Clydesdales.

Christian, husband, father, granddaddy, son, American. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.
William A Wenrich
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Damien Sullivan <phoenix at mindstalk.net>
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:24:11 AM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold. <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Subject: Re: [LMB] Dark Ages [not], was, What makes ...

On Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 09:33:00PM -0400, Katherine Collett wrote:

> Roman Empire aside, there's a lot to be said for not calling that period the Dark Ages.  See, for instance:
> https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgoing-medieval.com%2F2017%2F05%2F26%2Ftheres-no-such-thing-as-the-dark-ages-but-ok%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7Ca59bca5086f64cec583e08d72600408b%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637019654845610328&amp;sdata=SDAQ29o5%2FGzsJzwMFvvTseFV%2FCEjZUI5jDK2nWsfx%2BY%3D&amp;reserved=0
> Katherine (who wrote a paper in 7th grade, over 50 years ago, arguing against the darkness of the so-called Dark Ages, so it's not like it's a new concept)

As one of the comments indicates, there's also still reason for calling
the early middle ages in western europe dark.  Lack of manuscripts,
collapse of urban populations, collapse of trade (8th century having 2%
of the shipwrecks of the 1st), loss of Greek, loss of widespread
literacy even in Latin, loss of technologies like concrete, road
building, or messenger pigeons...

-xx- Damien X-)
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