Talk:Medieval technology

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Reminder: There is a condensed paragraph at Middle Ages#High Middle Ages that reflects the current version of this entry. If your edit is extensive, perhaps you should reflect the changes with a few words in that concise recapitulation.

Who invented what?[edit]

I can't tell if England invented this, or if Spain did, or if France did, or... etc. --Broad Way (talk) 03:29, 7 April 2011 (UTC)


I created the chart/graph so we have a list of technologies. It may or may not be the best idea going forward long term, and doesnt preclude other approaches to the article format, in addition too, or in replacement of. It is not a complete list. --Stbalbach 16:52, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The alphabetized list will remain manageable as long as it's brief enough to see almost at a glance. A chronological list, as it gets to be longer, offered a sense of the sequence of developments. If a Wikipedian had access to Singer's History of Technology, this article could be expanded, at least as a skeleton. --Wetman 13:21, 3 October 2006 (UTC).
I agree sorted chronologically is better. -- Stbalbach 17:02, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
I'll do that then. - Aaron Brenneman (talk) 13:57, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
That was in 2006. Since then a lot of new contents have been added, and a systematic list apears vastly better in that it gives the reader some sense in logically relating developments in subgroups together. Moreover, the dates should not be regarded as carved in stone–most technology was not born out of the blue, but gradually evolved. That speaks against using dates as prime sorting criteria. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 08:26, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Invention or Import?[edit]

Since most Medieval technology was imported from China and/or Islam, I dispute this statement: "In less than a century there were more inventions developed and applied usefully than in the previous three thousand years of human history all over the globe." -Yannick 15:41, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

I agree, and since I'm sure the author can't possibly substantiate that statement, I deleted it (he/she altered it somewhat, but the gyst was the same). Kemet 19 April 2006
The key words in that sentence are "developed" and "applied usefully". China invented gunpowder, but the development of effective gunpowder weapons happened in medieval Europe. That's why in the Sixteenth Century the Chinese adopted European gunpowder production techniques and European cannon-smiths were considered a military asset. And while clocks and movable type were both known in China, the evidence seems to indicate that their European invention were developed independently. Even if they weren't, the medieval European developments of these technologies were more practical and more sophisticated. A clock you can put on your table is rather more useful than one that is two stories high and requires its own waterwheel its own dedicated staff. 19:20, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Some suggestions[edit]

I don't have enough information to enter these: lateen sail, imitated from North African Arabs; overshot wheel, a more efficient millwheel; double-entry bookkeeping, Florence?; escapement wheel, essential for clocks; trebuchet, though military technology is a separate field; sluice or tidal gate; leaf-springs for vehicles; hopped beer (too late?); vinegar... --Wetman 22:24, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

According to Björn Landström, lateen sail was already known to Romans in the 3rd century. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:30, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


I added links to medieval Spanish, Muslim, Chinese and Indian technologies, but my edits have been reverted for a third time by Gun Powder Ma without giving any good reasons. If there are anymore reverts, then this article could end up being locked, so I would suggest he gives some good reasons here first before reverting again. Jagged 85 15:24, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

I see Gun Powder Ma has just reverted my edit for a fourth time without discussing it here. Jagged 85 23:33, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Treadwheel crane[edit]

The treadwheel crane was already used in Roman times (1st century CE), see [1] for image of a period carving and references. -- 08:45, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Paragraph writers?[edit]

Is there anyone with this article on their watchlist who can turn some of these lists and inflated charts bursting with blank space into concise paragraphs that could be built upon in the normal way? Even a single sentence can function as a topic sentence. --Wetman (talk) 06:55, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Water supply[edit]

Water supply in medieval Lübeck

Missing is medieval water supply, in Lübeck since 1294 (de:Brauwasserkunst).--Kresspahl (talk) 15:40, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

File:Jan van Eyck 091.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]

Icon Now Commons orange.svg An image used in this article, File:Jan van Eyck 091.jpg, has been nominated for speedy deletion at Wikimedia Commons for the following reason: Other speedy deletions
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Speedy deletions at commons tend to take longer than they do on Wikipedia, so there is no rush to respond. If you feel the deletion can be contested then please do so (commons:COM:SPEEDY has further information). Otherwise consider finding a replacement image before deletion occurs.

A further notification will be placed when/if the image is deleted. This notification is provided by a Bot, currently under trial --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 12:34, 21 May 2011 (UTC)


Claims have been made in the USENET group that parts of the article was plagiarized from this website. I do not make that claim myself, but do think it's serious enough to warrant some investigation. Kleuske (talk) 21:49, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

I saw that too and it looks legit. If the website owner could share his resources it would be pretty cool. Until then all that stuff should be deleted. It's completely unacceptable.Woland (talk) 23:21, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
What exactly has been plagiarized? The entries or the wordings or both? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 14:06, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Combined arms were not invented in this period[edit]

Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine military manuals describe combined infantry formations with javelinists and archers supporting the sword/spear/pike formations. (talk) 14:58, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Was the 12 th century birth of ideas created by the steam baths of the 11th?[edit] (talk) 19:02, 12 November 2013 (UTC) thinking about this idea of the steam baths in Europe (almost no info) and their effect on setting the stage for a birth of ideas? They were communal, offering a pleasant site for idea exchange, and the steam/water itself healthy and possibly theraputic for the removal of toxins? I would offer reference sites but I cannot find any which is astonishing as these steam baths were plentiful brought to Europe by the Crusaders.

understanding/rewriting the paragraph about 6,500 "turnable mills"[edit]

Subject paragraph begins "...water mills..." and ends "...water power...".

The middle sentence "By the time of the Domesday Book, most large villages had turnable mills, around 6,500 in England alone.[3]" had me trying to find what a "turnable mill" is, and the only conclusion is one with wind vanes whereby the entire structure (or the upper part bearing the vanes) is able to be turned - into the wind.

WardXmodem (talk) 19:42, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Is this site UK based?[edit]

This question will affect my editing I plan to do on this page. Does anyone know the answer to this? AA Quantum (talk) 03:38, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia is international. -- (talk) 09:15, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia is physically based in the US, but the style of English depends more of the subject of the article. This question is never really satisfactorily answered on Wikipedia, but is dealt with in the Manual of Style. Typically the terminology/spelling should broadly match the subject, so for medieval stuff we would use British English. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:48, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks! AA Quantum (talk) 16:22, 17 February 2016 (UTC)