Ancient Mysteries and the Dark Ages

Week 2

Technology in Ancient Greece, Rome and the middle Ages.

Ancient Greek boasted many technologies. To gain knowledge of this we have to look at both material and literary evidence, which suggest that techne played an important role in Greek culture. The connections between the Greek culture and the technology , which was used and developed, are evident. 

Technology was also important in the middle Ages. Lynn White's influential book "Medieval Technology and Social Change” portrays a culture eager for change. 


9.00-12.00 Lecture and seminar

Core readings:

Lecture :

McClellan , James E., Dorn, Harold and McClellan III , James E. 

“Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction”

John Hopkins University Press; 2nd Rev Edition, 2006.

ISBN-10: 0801883601 , ISBN-13: 978-0801883606

Chapter 4 Alexandria and After: p.85-96, intro to part III and Chapter 10 Plows, Stirrups, Guns, and Plauges: p. 177-182 Books and Gowns, p.192 Cannons and Sailing Ships - 201 

Discussion 1:

Kron, Geoffrey

"Agriculture" chapter 3 in "A Companion to Food in the Ancient World" by John Wilkins and Robin Nadeau, 2015  

Discussion 2:

White, Lynn, Jr.,

"Medieval Technology and Social Change",

Oxford: OUP, 1962, pp.14-29 and pp. 129-134



Supplementary readings:

Holt, Richard,

"Medieval Technology and the Historians: The Evidence for the Mill"

in Fox, Robert (ed.)

"Technological Change",

Harwood Academic Publishers, 1996, pp. 103-121.


Drachmann, A.G.

The Classical Civilizations

Ch. 4 (pp. 47-66)


In Kanzberg, Melvin and Pursell, Carroll W Jr.,

Technology in the Western Civilization, Vol. 1.

OUP, 1967


Cuomo, S.

“Technology and Culture in Greek and Roman Antiquity”

CUP, 2007


Olsson, John Peter (ed.)

“The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World”

OUP, 2008


Smith, E.B. and Wolfe, M.

“Technology and resource use in medieval Europe : Cathedrals, mills, and mines”

Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997.


Hall, Bern, "Lynn White's Medieval Technology and Social Change After Thirty Years"

in Fox, Robert (ed.)

"Technological Change",

Harwood Academic Publishers, 1996, pp.85-101.
22 JUNI 2018