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

Raymond Collins rcrcoll6 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 21 21:58:45 BST 2019


One of greatest books on the subject was James Burke's "Connections,".

On Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 10:09 AM Thomas Izbicki <tizbick at hotmail.com> wrote:

> L. Sprague De Camp wrote "Aristotle and the Gun". a time traveler
> introduces forearms to the Philosopher, who decides against the line of
> teaching that would produce our technological society. This is the opposite
> of the same author's Lest Darkness Fall, in which an archeologist is thrust
> back into Italy before Justinian's army invades. The changes he introduces
> lead to their being no "dark ages".
> Tom Izbicki
> ________________________________
> From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk <
> lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Pat Mathews <
> mathews55 at msn.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 10:53 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 ...
>
> The study of medieval technical innovations - and they were many - is a
> fascinating field in itself. One of the stories in a 1632 anthology - by
> David Brin - had a village from 1632 transposed 1st Century AD Rome, and
> Brin expected the gunpowder weapons of the 17th century folk to wow the
> Romans with how advanced they were. When actually, the public baths and
> huge civil engineering projects and comfortable villas with central heating
> (did anybody ever rediscover and use the hypocaust?) and indoor plumbing
> would have blown away the Early Moderns with *their* level of advancement.
>
> And of course, Brin assumes that technical advancements would be the
> criteria everyone would use, whereas I'm sure religious matters would mean
> a lot more to 17th Century people than he can possibly think. But the
> educated ones would expect that - and might even set out to bring The True
> Faith to an  officially polytheist, polyglot empire. Now, there would be a
> story worth writing.
> ________________________________
> From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk <
> lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Parish, James <
> jparish at siue.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:51 AM
> To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
> Subject: Re: [LMB] Dark Ages [not], was, What makes ...
>
> 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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