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Science and Technology in Medieval European Life (The Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series: Science and Technology in Everyday Life) Hardcover – September 30, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

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"This resource will stimulate the curiosity of beginning students and nicely complements undergraduate books such as C. Warren Hollister's classic Medieval Europe (1964). Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty." - Choice

"Aimed at college students and interested general readers, this reference presents a wealth of examples illustrating the impact of science and technology on daily life in medieval Europe. Wigelsworth begins with an overview of the era, followed by a chronology. The main part of the volume is organized into nine chapters dealing with general themes (agriculture, transportation, medicine, etc.). Each of these is further divided into concise entries on individual topics (the crop system, road construction, and childbirth, for example). The volume concludes with a glossary and some suggestions for further reading." - SciTech Book News/Art Book News Annual

About the Author

Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth is Scholar in Residence at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities. Dr. Wigelsworth has taught European history and history of science at the University of Saskatchewan, University of Calgary, and Mount Royal College, Calgary. His articles have appeared in Isis, Canadian Journal of History, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, and other venues.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series: Science and Technology in Everyday Life
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood (September 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313337543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313337543
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,555,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Overview
This 150-page, 6" x 9" hardbound book is an explanation of the technology and "new things" that appeared in Europe between CE 500 and CE 1500. It is a volume in the "Science and Technology in Everyday Life" series published by Greenwood Press. Its nine chapters cover various aspects of everyday life from "earning a life in agriculture" to "the passage of time: calendars and clocks." The book is sprinkled with black and white illustrations ranging from reproductions of rare images from the Middle Ages to present-day line drawings. It begins with an excellent 5-page historical outline which serves as a timeline for the period. It concludes with a 2-page glossary, a guide to further reading and a detailed index. It is written in clear, lucid language so that it is easy for non-scientists and non-engineers to understand with ease.

Sharp focus
The book has a sharp focus on the new technological developments that emerged in this Middle Ages (500 CE to 1500 CE). It is an engaging and easy-to-read explanation of these developments with special emphasis on the impact on the everyday lives of people of that day. The author refers to many secondary sources and provides a consensus on matters that remain in some dispute. For example, he explains the current dispute about the impact of the invention of the movable type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg between 1450 and 1455. Was it revolutionary or simply an evolutionary development in the spread of the written word? He cites the experts and their reasons for their respective positions and then he presents the consensus: "revolutionary.
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