Category Archives: medieval technology

Medieval Technology: the crane

One of the niftiest things I saw in Germany while I was doing research for Elisha Mancer were the Kranen of Trier–the medieval cranes used to unload boats on the nearby Mosel River.   I was fascinated by these curious round … Continue reading

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God’s Clockmakers: factors in the early development of time-keeping technology

A few weeks ago, when I wrote about the medieval engineers of Islam, I promised a more general view of the role of religion in the development of clocks.  The association goes way back.  If you think about it, this … Continue reading

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The Medieval Engineers of Islam

Many of my historical projects have delved into the technology of the Middle Ages, and it’s a topic I enjoy researching. I am always discovering cool things–sometimes things I’m not, alas, in a position to use.  One fantastic example is … Continue reading

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Developing Fictional Worlds: The Nits are All you Have

As you may know, my most popular blog entry (still) is the one entitled Bilbo Baggins’ Bathrobe: A Example of Poor World-building.  Every month or two, someone new discovers this post and feels they must take me to task for … Continue reading

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Ancient Aliens vs. Good, Hard Work

While recovering from recent illness and exhaustion (and under duress by another family member) I wound up watching a couple of episodes of a program designed to convince us that many of the great ancient monuments of the world were … Continue reading

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Technology in Medieval Fantasy, thanks to Steampunk

I have just returned from the World Fantasy Convention, held this year in Arlington, VA, where I got to hang out with many other authors and readers, sharing our knowledge and celebrating the realm of fantasy writing. One of my … Continue reading

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Automata of the Middle Ages

This topic is one of the interesting intersections between my medieval research and my current research into Chinese technology. Some of the earliest known automated figures are clock jacks–figures that come out and do something when a clock strikes a … Continue reading

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