placeholder image

Narratives of Technological Revolution in the Middle Ages

Chapter


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • Narratives of technological revolution in the Middle Ages are a distinctively

    20th-century phenomenon. First articulated by a handful of influential

    French, British and American historians between the 1930s and 1950s, they

    can be genealogically linked to narratives of progress across a number of arts

    and social science disciplines which have invoked the language of revolutionary

    rupture to characterize a number of notable transformations in

    human cultures and societies between the Neolithic and modern periods.

    Two kinds of technological revolution have been claimed for the European

    Middle Ages by 20th-century scholars: an ‘agricultural revolution’ of the

    6th to 9th centuries, and an ‘industrial revolution’ of the 11th to 14th centuries.

    Scholarly claims for both an industrial revolution and an agricultural revolution

    in the Middle Ages can be traced back to the 1930s, although they

    did not become full-blown narratives until the 1950s. Such claims have a

    relatively complex lineage, but are perhaps best understood as part of a western

    intellectual tradition going back to the Enlightenment which has sought

    to account for the radical social and political changes that have occurred

    throughout the world since industrialization with reference to the marriage

    of practical and theoretical knowledge characteristic of the modern period.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Lucas, A. Robert. (2010). Narratives of Technological Revolution in the Middle Ages. In A. Classen (Eds.), Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms – Methods – Trends (pp. 967-990). Berlin: De Gruyter.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2877&context=artspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1831

Book Title


  • Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms – Methods – Trends

Start Page


  • 967

End Page


  • 990

Place Of Publication


  • Berlin

Abstract


  • Narratives of technological revolution in the Middle Ages are a distinctively

    20th-century phenomenon. First articulated by a handful of influential

    French, British and American historians between the 1930s and 1950s, they

    can be genealogically linked to narratives of progress across a number of arts

    and social science disciplines which have invoked the language of revolutionary

    rupture to characterize a number of notable transformations in

    human cultures and societies between the Neolithic and modern periods.

    Two kinds of technological revolution have been claimed for the European

    Middle Ages by 20th-century scholars: an ‘agricultural revolution’ of the

    6th to 9th centuries, and an ‘industrial revolution’ of the 11th to 14th centuries.

    Scholarly claims for both an industrial revolution and an agricultural revolution

    in the Middle Ages can be traced back to the 1930s, although they

    did not become full-blown narratives until the 1950s. Such claims have a

    relatively complex lineage, but are perhaps best understood as part of a western

    intellectual tradition going back to the Enlightenment which has sought

    to account for the radical social and political changes that have occurred

    throughout the world since industrialization with reference to the marriage

    of practical and theoretical knowledge characteristic of the modern period.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Lucas, A. Robert. (2010). Narratives of Technological Revolution in the Middle Ages. In A. Classen (Eds.), Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms – Methods – Trends (pp. 967-990). Berlin: De Gruyter.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2877&context=artspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1831

Book Title


  • Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms – Methods – Trends

Start Page


  • 967

End Page


  • 990

Place Of Publication


  • Berlin