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

Parish, James jparish at siue.edu
Wed Aug 21 13:51:15 BST 2019


WILLIAM A WENRICH wrote:

> 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.

One could also mention the moldboard plow and three-field crop rotation. 
The first made it easier to plow the thick soils of Northern Europe, and 
the second was considerably more productive than the earlier two-field 
rotation.

Jim Parish



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