Category Archives: 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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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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Anti-technology Fantasy and the Author’s War Experience

This past weekend, I was delighted to spend at Readercon in their new location in Quincy, Massachusetts. Here is the description of one of the panels that got me thinking: If Thor Can Hang Out with Iron Man, Why Can’t … 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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Handgun Control in Medieval Japan

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a nice exhibit of Japanese arms and armor. Toward the end of the exhibit hung two very elegant matchlock guns dating to the Edo period (the 17th century). A small accompanying sign stated … Continue reading

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