Horses in the Middle Ages - Wikipedia
So much of what the average person knows, or thinks they know, about the Middle Ages comes from film and tv. When I polled a group of well-educated friends. Aging parents, Middle-aged issues. Types of Research on later-life family relationships has not adequately . Building a Typology of Conflict Issues. Our analysis Conflict over methods or philosophy regarding parenting. Examples. The history of medieval technology is thus largely the story of the For the millennium of the Middle Ages, however, few such records exist, and it is frequently . Ages, but the later centuries of the medieval period were a great age of building. .. work, spinning being assigned to the women of the family ( hence, “spinsters”).
The waterwheel is turned by a stream and is connected to a shaft that leads into the building. At the other end of the shaft is a gear. The connection of a series of gears translates the power from the stream to a shaft that drives a millstone, which grinds flour from grain. Present evidence suggests that the windmill developed spontaneously in the West; though there are precedents in Persia and China, the question remains open. What is certain is that the windmill became widely used in Europe in the Middle Ages.
Wind power is generally less reliable than waterpower, but where the latter is deficient wind power is an attractive substitute. Such conditions are found in areas that suffer from drought or from a shortage of surface water and also in low-lying areas where rivers offer little energy.
Windmills have thus flourished in places such as Spain or the downlands of England on the one hand, and in the fenlands and polders of the Netherlands on the other hand.
The first type of windmill to be widely adopted was the post-millin which the whole body of the mill pivots on a post and can be turned to face the sails into the wind. By the 15th century, however, many were adopting the tower-mill type of constructionin which the body of the mill remains stationary with only the cap moving to turn the sails into the wind. As with the water mill, the development of the windmill brought not only greater mechanical power but also greater knowledge of mechanical contrivances, which was applied in making clocks and other devices.
Post windmill with grinding machinery in mill housing, engraving from Agostino Ramelli's Li diverse et artificiose macchine, Agriculture and crafts With new sources of power at its disposal, medieval Europe was able greatly to increase productivity.
This is abundantly apparent in agriculturewhere the replacement of the ox by the faster gaited horse and the introduction of new crops brought about a distinct improvement in the quantity and variety of foodwith a consequent improvement in the diet and energy of the population.
It was also apparent in the developing industries of the period, especially the woolen cloth industry in which the spinning wheel was introduced, partially mechanizing this important process, and the practice of using waterpower to drive fulling stocks wooden hammers raised by cams on a driving shaft had a profound effect on the location of the industry in England in the later centuries of the Middle Ages.
The same principle was adapted to the paper industry late in the Middle Ages, the rags from which paper was derived being pulverized by hammers similar to fulling stocks.
Meanwhile, the traditional crafts flourished within the expanding towns, where there was a growing market for the products of the rope makers, barrel makers coopersleatherworkers curriersand metalworkers goldsmiths and silversmithsto mention only a few of the more important crafts.
New crafts such as that of the soapmakers developed in the towns. The technique of making soap appears to have been a Teutonic innovation of the Dark Ages, being unknown in the ancient civilizations.
The process consists of decomposing animal or vegetable fats by boiling them with a strong alkali. Long before it became popular for personal cleansing, soap was a valuable industrial commodity for scouring textile fabrics. Its manufacture was one of the first industrial processes to make extensive use of coal as a fuel, and the development of the coal industry in northern Europe constitutes another important medieval innovation, no previous civilization having made any systematic attempt to exploit coal.
The mining techniques remained unsophisticated as long as coal was obtainable near the surface, but as the search for the mineral led to greater and greater depths the industry copied methods that had already evolved in the metal-mining industries of north and central Europe.
The extent of this evolution was brilliantly summarized by Georgius Agricola in his De re metallicapublished in This large, abundantly illustrated book shows techniques of shafting, pumping by treadmill, animal power, and waterpowerand of conveying the ore won from the mines in trucks, which anticipated the development of the railways. It is impossible to date precisely the emergence of these important techniques, but the fact that they were well established when Agricola observed them suggests that they had a long ancestry.
Architecture Relatively few structures survive from the Dark Ages, but the later centuries of the medieval period were a great age of building. The Romanesque and Gothic architecture that produced the outstanding aesthetic contribution of the Middle Ages embodied significant technological innovations.
The architect-engineers, who had clearly studied Classical building techniques, showed a readiness to depart from their models and thus to devise a style that was distinctively their own. Their solutions to the problems of constructing very tall masonry buildings while preserving as much natural light as possible were the cross-rib vault, the flying buttressand the great window panels providing scope for the new craft of the glazier using coloured glass with startling effect.
Military technology The same period saw the evolution of the fortified stronghold from the Anglo-Saxon motte-and-bailey, a timber tower encircled by a timber and earth wall, to the formidablefully developed masonry castle that had become an anachronism by the end of the Middle Ages because of the development of artillery. Intrinsic to this innovation were the invention of gunpowder and the development of techniques for casting metals, especially iron. Gunpowder appeared in western Europe in the midth century, although its formula had been known in East Asia long before that date.
It consists of a mixture of carbon, sulfur, and saltpetre, of which the first two were available from charcoal and deposits of volcanic sulfur in Europe, whereas saltpetre had to be crystallized by a noxious process of boiling stable sweepings and other decaying refuse. The consolidation of these ingredients into an explosive powder had become an established yet hazardous industry by the close of the Middle Ages.
The first effective cannon appear to have been made of wrought-iron bars strapped together, but although barrels continued to be made in this way for some purposes, the practice of casting cannon in bronze became widespread. The technique of casting in bronze had been known for several millennia, but the casting of cannon presented problems of size and reliability.
It is likely that the bronzesmiths were able to draw on the experience of techniques devised by the bell founders as an important adjunct to medieval church building, as the casting of a large bell posed similar problems of heating a substantial amount of metal and of pouring it into a suitable mold. Bronze, however, was an expensive metal to manufacture in bulk, so that the widespread use of cannon in war had to depend upon improvements in iron-casting techniques.
The manufacture of cast iron is the great metallurgical innovation of the Middle Ages. It must be remembered that from the beginning of the Iron Age until late in the Middle Ages the iron ore smelted in the available furnaces had not been completely converted to its liquid form.
In the 15th century, however, the development of the blast furnace made possible this fusion, with the result that the molten metal could be poured directly into molds ready to receive it. The emergence of the blast furnace was the result of attempts to increase the size of the traditional blooms. Greater size made necessary the provision of a continuous blast of air, usually from bellows driven by a waterwheel, and the combination increased the internal temperature of the furnace so that the iron became molten.
At first, the disk of solid iron left in the bottom of the furnace was regarded as undesirable waste by the iron manufacturer; it possessed properties completely unlike those of the more familiar wrought ironbeing crystalline and brittle and thus of no use in the traditional iron forge. But it was soon discovered that the new iron could be cast and turned to profit, particularly in the manufacture of cannon.
Transport Medieval technology made few contributions to inland transport, though there was some experimentation in bridge building and in the construction of canals; lock gates were developed as early aswhen they were employed on the canal between Brugge now in Belgium and the sea. Roads remained indifferent where they existed at all, and vehicles were clumsy throughout the period. Sea transport was a different story.
Here the Middle Ages produced a decisive technological achievement: This combination allowed ships so equipped to sail close to the wind. Second, the adoption of the sternpost rudder gave greatly increased maneuverability, allowing ships to take full advantage of their improved sail power in tacking into a contrary wind.
Third, the introduction of the magnetic compass provided a means of checking navigation on the open seas in any weather. The convergence of these improvements in the ships of the later Middle Ages, together with other improvements in construction and equipment—such as better barrels for carrying water, more reliable ropes, sails, and anchors, the availability of navigational charts first recorded in use on board ship inand the astrolabe for measuring the angle of the Sun or a star above the horizon —lent confidence to adventurous mariners and thus led directly to the voyages of discovery that marked the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the expansion of Europe that has characterized modern times.
Communications While transport technology was evolving toward these revolutionary developments, techniques of recording and communication were making no less momentous advances. The medieval interest in mechanical contrivances is well illustrated by the development of the mechanical clockthe oldest of which, driven by weights and controlled by a verge, an oscillating arm engaging with a gear wheel, and datedsurvives in Salisbury Cathedral, England.
Clocks driven by springs had appeared by the midth century, making it possible to construct more compact mechanisms and preparing the way for the portable clock. The problem of overcoming the diminishing power of the spring as it unwound was solved by the simple compensating mechanism of the fusee—a conical drum on the shaft that permitted the spring to exert an increasing moment, or tendency to increase motion, as its power declined.
It has been argued that the medieval fascination with clocks reflects an increased sense of the importance of timekeeping in business and elsewhere, but it can be seen with equal justice as representing a new sense of inquiry into the possibilities and practical uses of mechanical devices. Even more significant than the invention of the mechanical clock was the 15th-century invention of printing with movable metal type. The details of this epochal invention are disappointingly obscure, but there is general agreement that the first large-scale printing workshop was that established at Mainz by Johannes Gutenbergwhich was producing a sufficient quantity of accurate type to print a Vulgate Bible about It is clear, however, that this invention drew heavily upon long previous experience with block printing—using a single block to print a design or picture—and on developments in typecasting and ink making.
It also made heavy demands on the paper industry, which had been established in Europe since the 12th century but had developed slowly until the invention of printing and the subsequent vogue for the printed word. The printing press itself, vital for securing a firm and even print over the whole page, was an adaptation of the screw press already familiar in the winepress and other applications.
Horses in the Middle Ages
The printers found an enormous demand for their product, so that the technique spread rapidly and the printed word became an essential medium of political, social, religious, and scientific communication as well as a convenient means for the dissemination of news and information.
By almost 40, recorded editions of books had been printed in 14 European countries, with Germany and Italy accounting for two-thirds. Few single inventions have had such far-reaching consequences. For all its isolation and intellectual deprivation, the new civilization that took shape in western Europe in the millennium to achieved some astonishing feats of technological innovation.
The intellectual curiosity that led to the foundation of the first universities in the 12th century and applied itself to the recovery of the ancient learning from whatever source it could be obtained was the mainspring also of the technological resourcefulness that encouraged the introduction of the windmill, the improvement and wider application of waterpower, the development of new industrial techniques, the invention of the mechanical clock and gunpowder, the evolution of the sailing ship, and the invention of large-scale printing.
Such achievements could not have taken place within a static society. Technological innovation was both the cause and the effect of dynamic development. It is no coincidence that these achievements occurred within the context of a European society that was increasing in population and productivity, stimulating industrial and commercial activity, and expressing itself in the life of new towns and striking cultural activity.
Medieval technology mirrored the aspiration of a new and dynamic civilization. The emergence of Western technology — The technological history of the Middle Ages was one of slow but substantial development.
What medieval Europe did with its teenagers - BBC News
In the succeeding period the tempo of change increased markedly and was associated with profound social, political, religious, and intellectual upheavals in western Europe. Getting started is easy; sticking to it is much harder. In other words, many middle adults find themselves in a marriage typified by companionate love, which is both committed and intimate but not passionate.
In contrast, many middle adult couples find effective ways of improving their ability to communicate, increasing emotional intimacy, rekindling the fires of passion, and growing together. The understanding that evolves between two people over time can be wonderful.
For others, the end of passion signals the end of the relationship. Passion enamors some people to such a degree that they do not approach their loving relationships realistically. When the flames of passion die out which is inevitable in many cases or the going gets rough, these spouses decide to move on to a new relationship. Divorce and extramarital relationships are but two consequences of marital unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
Interpersonal disagreements may increase as the couple becomes better acquainted and intimate. People who never learned how to communicate their concerns and needs effectively with their spouse or how to work through conflicts are more likely to become separated or divorced.
Most couples quarrel and argue, but few know how to work at resolving conflicts equitably. Relationships that last What characteristics predict if a loving relationship will thrive or die? Essential to preserving a quality relationship is the couple's deciding to practice effective communication. Communication establishes and nurtures intimacy within a relationship, helping partners to better relate to and understand each other.
Communicating realistically leads to a satisfying and healthy relationship, regardless of the relationship's level of development.
Friends In all age groups, friends provide a healthy alternative to family and acquaintances. They offer support, direction, guidance, and a change of pace from usual routines. Although many young adults manage to maintain at least some friendships, family, school, and work can become greater concerns for middle adults. For this reason, middle adults generally maintain fewer close friendships than their newlywed and retired counterparts, although this is not always the case.
Yet where quantity is lacking, quality predominates. People often nourish some of the closest ties between friends during middle adulthood. The farmers of the manor were required to work for a specified number of days per year on the lord's land or to pay rent to the lord on the land they farmed. Near the Mediterranean Sea viticulture and olives were important. Rye and oats were only slowly becoming major crops. Emmer wheat was of much less importance in Swabia and most of Europe.
Bread wheat was relatively unimportant in Swabia. Barley and oats were the most important crops in Normandy and Brittany. On sandy soils, in a three-field system, wheat was nearly absent as a crop with rye planted as a winter crop and oats and barley being the principle spring-planted crops.
On more fertile loess and loamy soils, wheat, including speltbecame much more important replacing rye in many areas. Other crops included pulses beans and peas and fruits and vegetables. Farmers of loess and loamy soils planted a wider variety of crops than those on sandy soils. Legumes were planted on up to 8 percent of the common fields. Livestock was more important in northern Europe than in the Mediterranean area where dry weather in summer reduced the fodder available for animals.
Near the Mediterranean, sheep and goats were the most important farm animals and transhumance seasonal movement of livestock was common. In northern Europe cattle, pigs, and horses were also important. Plow teams, ideally comprising eight oxen, were necessary to plow the heavy soils. Few farmers were wealthy enough to own a full team and thus plowing required cooperation and sharing of draft animals among farmers.
Horses in Roman times were owned mostly by the wealthy but they were increasingly used as draft animals to replace oxen after about CE. Oxen were cheaper to own and maintain, but horses were faster. Pigs were prolific and required little care. Sheep produced wool, skin for parchmentmeat, and milk, though less valuable in the marketplace than pigs. Each of the large fields was divided into long, narrow strips of land cultivated by different farmers. Crop yields in the Middle Ages were extremely low compared to those of the 21st century, although probably not inferior to those in much of the Roman Empire preceding the Middle Ages and the early modern period following the Middle Ages.
On several manors in Sussex England, for example, the average yield for the years was 4. Average yields of grain crops in England from to were 7 to 15 bushels per acre. Scholars have often criticized medieval agriculture for its inefficiency and low productivity. The inertia of an established system was blamed. Belying the reputed inefficiencies, however. The "brave new world" of a harsher, more competitive and capitalistic society from the 16th century onward destroyed the securities and certainties of land tenure in the open-field system.
Productivity suffered because of inadequate fertilization to keep the land productive. This was due to a shortage of pasture for farm animals and, thus, a shortage of nitrogen-rich manure to fertilize the arable land.
Moreover, because of population growth after CE, marginal lands, pasture, and woodlands were converted into arable lands which further reduced the number of farm animals and the quantity of manure. The agricultural practices there involved the near elimination of fallow land by planting cover crops such as vetchbeansturnipsspurryand broom and high-value crops such as rapeseedmadder and hops.
As opposed to the extensive agriculture of medieval times, this new technique involved intensive cultivation of small plots of land. Techniques of intensive cultivation quickly spread to Norfolk in England, agriculturally-speaking the most advanced area of England. Inthe average yield for grain in Russia was kilograms per hectare about 9 bushels per acreless than one half the yield in England and the Low Countries at that time.
It was often not possible to relive a famine in one area by importing grain from another area as the difficulty of overland transportation caused the price of grain to double for each 50 miles it was transported  One study concluded that famines in Europe occurred on an average every 20 years between the years CE and CE. The principle causes were extreme weather and climatic anomalies which reduced agriculture production.
Warfare was not found to be a major cause of famine. Localized famine may have occurred in years in which one or more crops failed. Weather was again identified as the chief cause. Climatic change may have played a part as the Little Ice Age may have begun between and with a consequent shortening of the growing season. These were the years in the aftermath of the Mongol invasion and widespread destruction. Twenty to 50 percent of the population of Hungary is estimated to have died of hunger and war.
Other areas of eastern Europe may also have been impacted by the Mongol invasion. The famine came near the end of three centuries of growth in population and prosperity. The causes were "severe winters and rainy springs, summers and falls. The Black Death of was more lethal, but the Great Famine was the worst natural catastrophe of the later Middle Ages.
The lead horse has a breast collar; the rear horse wears a horsecollar. The most important technical innovation for agriculture in the Middle Ages was the widespread adoption about CE of the mouldboard plow and its close relative, the heavy plow. These two plows enabled medieval farmers to exploit the fertile but heavy clay soils of northern Europe. In the Roman era and on light soils, the ard or scratch plow had sufficed.
The mouldboard and heavy plows turned the soil over which facilitated the control of weeds and their incorporation into the soil, increasing fertility.