Today's conceptions of the dark ages are that of a backwards society; stagnant and inhibited technologically. According to Gies, medieval Eurasia has shown more progression socially, theologically and technologically during its time than any previous era.
Modern technology has always been a product of fore knowledge, experimentation and sometimes by accident. The civilizations in the dark ages had several huge advancements in technology. Some of Eurasia's most important inventions; the waterwheel, lateen sails, gunpowder, the horse harness, stirrups, textiles, papermaking, iron making and the magnetic compass had a profound impact on European civilizations of the dark ages and have had lasting influences that have paved the way to the renaissance. New ideas of governing society and commercialism also came about. Feudalism became popular in Europe and many trade routes were established on land and on sea. As silk, gunpowder and other inventions came about; trade and commercialism became more popular which brought about a growth of learning institutions, architecture, and an expansion of new ideas.
Even though most technology was introduced and developed outside of Europe (in China, India and Islam), Europe created its own technology by integrating known techniques in new ways. Europe introduced new farming techniques like rotation of crops and different methods of harnessing the power of the wind and water to produce machines that grind grain, pulverize rocks and keep time. Gries put it best when he said, "What Europeans showed from the sixth to the eleventh centuries was not so much inventive ingenuity as a remarkable capacity for assimilation". The ideas of those from the Middle Ages have had lasting influences that led to the fateful journey of Christopher Columbus.
Gries has easily shown how the middle ages were not as backwards as most may think. I am amazed to think of all the critical innovations of our... [continues]
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