MEDIEVAL ACHIEVEMENTS MEDIEVAL ACHIEVEMENTS Life was very chaotic during the early Dark Ages. People concentrated on protecting themselves from invasions and taking care of their own physical needs. After the onset of the Crusades, Europe experienced greater prosperity and security and a growing population. As a result, in the 12th and 13th centuries, medieval Europe had its golden age. 1. IMPROVEMENTS IN AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY Windmills Water Wheels Iron tools Iron heavy plow (could go much deeper into the soil) Horse collar System of crop rotation THE HEAVY PLOW Farmers were able to open up extensive new fields thanks to the heavy plough, boosting crop yields and population numbers. WATER MILLS Water mills were first developed by the Greeks before being used throughout the Roman empire. Their numbers exploded during this time. By around 1000 A.D. there were tens of thousands of them. The technology invented by the Greeks was further refined during the Middle Ages and was used to power tanneries, blast furnaces, forge mills, and paper mills which evolved into the machinery used in today's factories and facilities. 2. BLAST FURNACE The oldest known blast furnaces in the West were built in Dürstel in Switzerland, the Märkische Sauerland in Germany, and Sweden at Lapphyttan where the complex was active between 1150 and 1350. 3. CLOCKS: THE HOUR GLASS It was the first dependable, reusable and reasonably accurate measure of time, especially at sea. During Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage around the globe, his vessels kept 18 hourglasses per ship. It was the job of a ship’s page to turn the hourglasses and thus provide the times for the ship’s log. CLOCKS: THE MECHANICAL CLOCK The first mechanical clocks to which clear references exist were large, weight-driven machines fitted into towers and known today as turret clocks. This clock was erected at Rouen, France, in 1389. 4. EYEGLASSES 13th-century Italians came up with eyeglasses. They were first documented in the early 1300s, with early models made to be held up by hand or pinched on the nose. It wasn't until the 1700s that designs featuring arms that bent around the nose became widely used. 5. UNIVERSITIES Influenced by contacts with Islamic scholarship during the Crusades, Europe began to establish universities Led to translation of Aristotle and other Greek scholars, from Arabic into Latin Universities taught mainly religious courses at first, but later broadened scope to include medicine, law 6. SCHOLASTICISM A philosophical school of thought that tried to reconcile faith and the teachings of the Church with reason and the works of Aristotle. Thomas Aquinas was the most famous scholastic. He tried to use Aristotle’s methods of logic to prove existence of God His teachings helped expand former ways of thinking and understanding. 7. USE OF THE VERNACULAR IN POETRY AND LITERATURE The language of scholars and the Church was still Latin The vernacular was the language of the common people. … This included Spanish, French, English, and German. People began to produce literature in their own languages. TROUBADOUR POETRY The most popular form of vernacular literature in the 12th century was troubadour poetry, which was mostly love stories about life at court between knights and ladies of the court. Troubadours were usually travelling poets and musicians who would go from court to court telling their stories of courtly love. LITERATURE Each influenced the development of their respective languages. Canterbury Tales • Geoffrey Chaucer’s collection of stories • Group of pilgrims traveling to Canterbury; each tells story to entertain others • Characters give insight into what life was like in the Middle Ages The Divine Comedy • Dante Alighieri’s story of his imaginary trip through the afterlife • Composed in three parts. • On journey, met people from own life, as well as figures from history 8. ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS 9. MEDIEVAL ARCHITECTURE • Originally buildings were built in a Basilica style which consisted of a rectangular building with a flat wooden roof. • Later, Romanesque architecture replaced this flat roof with a rounded arch. ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE Romanesque architecture had some specific traits. … Rounded Arches … Thick walls with small windows with stone roofs. The dark environment of the church was meant to suggest the power and mystery of God. GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE: GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT OF MIDDLE AGES • By the 12th century changes were made to the Romanesque style which developed a new style known as Gothic Architecture. • Gothic architecture developed some distinct characteristics of its own. – Vaulted Arches (Pointed) – Flying Buttresses – Thinner walls and stained glass windows • The advancements allowed thinner walls and larger windows, which allowed for these new churches to have much more natural light. • The Gothic style was much more serene and self-confident. Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris 1163-1250 FLYING BUTTRESSES •Gothic designs possible through advances in engineering •New type of support, flying buttress •Supported walls from outside •Flying buttresses allowed higher ceilings, eliminated columns •Larger windows possible •Stained glass showed Biblical scenes, saints GARGOYLES A Gargoyle functioned as a grotesque. They were meant to scare away evil spirits, but often also acted as water spouts for the churches.