The development of technology in the Middle Ages

The development of technology in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, the development of technology passed slowly, in the process of accumulation and transfer of practical experience. In agriculture, mainly agricultural implements were improved, for example, in the 11th-12th centuries. Instead of a light plow, they started using a heavy iron wheeled plow with a blade and a gear harrow. In general, manual agricultural machinery differed little from the modern one.

Mining and processing of metals was improved. Horn, which was used until the XII century., Since the beginning of the XIV century. replaces Domna – a five-meter-high furnace, intended for melting ore. For a day in it smelted almost one and a half tons of iron, from which blacksmiths made weapons, tools, jewelry, etc.

Kuznetsov was very respected in the Middle Ages, and their craft was equated with the art of witchcraft. This was until the XII-XIII centuries, until iron ore was not continuously produced in mines.

Another important medieval branch of metal processing is jewelry making and coinage. In Europe, the first mints appeared in the IX century. Due to lack of gold, the main coin metal was silver. For a long time, the leading area for the extraction of silver coins was the mountains of Harz in Central Germany. The rich deposits of silver here were discovered as far back as 970.

Since the V-VI centuries. in Europe, the grain begins to grind on water mills, known since the time of the Roman Empire. The mill’s structure was

constantly improved and gradually it was used for grinding ore, processing hemp fiber, leather, etc.

The flourishing of the weaving craft is associated with the invention in the IX century. vertical loom. The Spanish Arabs bought cotton from Europeans, which led to the emergence of new types of production: knitting, embroidery, lace, making carpets. In Western Europe, they learned how to make silk.

Technical discoveries of the Middle Ages, dramatically changed people’s lives. So, in the IX-X centuries. instead of yoke there was a yoke. This made it possible to harness horses, not bulls, for transporting large loads for plowing. The yarmo prevented breathing, moving quickly, and the yoke, having displaced the center of gravity on its back, freed the forces of the animals for work.

From the XI-XII centuries. in the construction of burnt brick, cement, lime plaster, facing tiles, tiles. In the XII century. in Europe, built the first water pipe with elements of sewage. When building temples and even houses of the nobility, they increasingly used colored glass and stained glass.

Glass in Europe has known since antiquity. However, the Greek and Roman glass was a dull, coarse shape. At the beginning of the XIII century. strong, clear glass melted Venetian glass blowers. Thanks to this invention, the science of optics arose. It is believed that the first pair of glasses in 1260 was made by the English philosopher Roger Bacon. Interestingly, on one of the stained glass windows of the Strasbourg Cathedral, the German Emperor Henry VII is depicted wearing spectacles. With the manufacture of Venetian silver-plated mirrors, Europeans began to take more care of their appearance.

Approximately in the XII century. in Europe there is a compass. But the modern form he acquired only in the beginning of the XIV century.

Improved and the manufacture of products from ceramics, in particular dishes. The palm was dominated by the Italian masters of the city of Faenza, who became famous for making dishes and bowls. Hence the name – earthenware.

Innovation touched and book business. In the IV century. Instead of papyrus they begin to use Parchment – skillfully processed skin of animals. It was strong, durable, bent, not breaking, and was used on both sides. In the VI. appears the basic form of a medieval manuscript book, called the Codex.

For a while the codes were written by Style and Kalam. In the VII-VIII centuries. begin to use goose, swan and peacock feathers. The letters were written in even lines on pre-drawn sheets. The ink was made from the juice of oak nuts. They were very persistent and almost did not wear off. Sometimes used and colored ink. Books from parchment were considered very valuable, because the material itself was expensive. For example, to rewrite one Bible, it was necessary to process about three hundred veal skins. Therefore, at times the old text was scraped to put a new one on the cleaned surface. The wooden bindings of books were covered with leather or cloth, sometimes they were laced with silver, adorned with valuable stones. The format of the books was different: from small to very large.

Gradually the parchment pushed out the paper. The secret of its manufacture was received by the Europeans from the Spanish Arabs. The raw materials for her were linen rags. The first handwritten book of such paper appeared in the XII century.

Subsequently, the books began to print. The text of the book page, illustrations to it was cut out on the board, and then they made prints. However, this method was rather primitive. Only in the middle of the XV century. German artisan Johann Gutenberg invented a new way of printing.

Johann Gutenberg was a talented jeweler. In the years 1430-1434. he lived in France, then returned to his native Mainz, where in the mid-40s of the XV century. printed the first texts. He guessed to cast some letters out of tin and copper, place and fasten them so that they would form page and page again after the page. In 1450, from the merchant Johann Fust, he received a monetary loan, to which he published his famous Bible. Later, Fust began to pursue a printer for his debts: he appropriated not only the equipment of a talented master, but also his invention. In litigation, Gutenberg lost his home and died in poverty.

The era of the Middle Ages became famous for the invention of various mechanical devices and first machines. Surprising is the manufacture in the XII century. an iron prosthetic hand with movable fingers for the German Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. During the XIV-XV centuries. there is an earth-moving machine, a crane, a jack, various machines, a mechanical watch. At first the clock began to be installed on the castle towers or city halls, and in the 15th century. German master P. Henlein made the first pocket watch.

Stained glass – an ornamental or plot image, composed on pieces of colored glass. He was swept in the window frames of houses, they were decorated with temples.


The development of technology in the Middle Ages