The Middle Ages, also termed as the Medieval Period is an era that lasted between 5th and 15th century. The downfall of the Western Roman Empire marked its beginning as they merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. It thus makes it the middle period of three ancient divisions of the Western history namely; the Antiquty, the Medieval period (divided into the Early, the High, and the Late Middle Ages), and the Modern Period. Each and every of these stages was characterized by different developments as well as the impact the development had in history (MEIER & MCGEOCH 2006). This paper will be endeavoring at elucidating and giving further details on how the technological innovations in maps, boats, and compasses transformed the course of history in The Middle Ages.
During the Medieval period, ships/boats were powered by glide, paddle or both and they were largely based in much older conservative strategies. It is through the frequent communications that used to happen with the Europe that necessitated to various improvements. Such improvements were categorized by investigational that resulted to failures that were costly in terms of human life (BISHOP 2001). The boats that were from the north were influenced by Viking vessels and they adopted to the clinker construction method unlike those from the south that were influenced by classical or Roman vessels and they used the carvel construction technique in their construction. Notable ships and boats that are on record to have existed during this period include the Knarr. It is believed to be a relative of the long-ship that was used for moving goods but was larger than the long-ship depending on its square rigged sail for propulsion. Other includes the Trade-Cog, Hulk, Caravel, Carrack, and Hoy among many more.
Bearing in mind that boats were the major moods of transportation in The Middle Ages, they can conclusively be said to have transformed the course of history in various ways. First it was the increase of trade something that necessitated the building of large ships so that they could transport more goods as well as people over long distances. Such trades and movements would not be attainable were it not the technological advancement in the ship constructions. The other way that the boats contributed to the changes in history is that they played a role in the discovery of the New World known as America (BISHOP 2001). As a result, the same boats were used to exports new food stuffs they had not had before. Furthermore, a new way of life that improved the social ways of life can be attributed to the technological advancements of the boats. Without them, the Middle Age people would not have reached such further lands. Moreover, it is without doubt that the technological advancement of boats resulted to better forms of warfare as well as the discovery and exploration over long distance something that has a direct correlation to the history in The Middle Ages (COMPARETTI 2007).
A map is a flat surface depiction and illustration of an area of the earth or heavens in respective forms. They are the best form of conveying geographic information since they are easily understood and have over time been liked by many people. There are various forms of maps that can be deduced from the history of The Middle Age. One of such a map is termed as the cartography and it can be said to be the art and science of making maps (LINDBERG 2008). The oldest map is believed to have been made from clay and they are at the moment preserved on Babylonian.
It is worth appreciating that the maps played a significant role in transforming the history of not only the medieval age, but the current age as well. It would not be easy for an individual know where he/she is going let alone knowing where h/she is. Just like the compass that has been elucidated exceedingly to have enabled people to know where they are heading to, they shared almost equal and similar function. History could have been different since the enabled people to get their way be it on the sea or land (MEIER & MCGEOCH 2006). Since they represent the real world but in spatial terms, it enables people to view the entire world without actually moving to that entire place. Since everyone in the recent times is guided in one way or another by the GPS, we all have to appreciate how they have transformed our lives. The GPS would not have been developed were it not for the maps; hence, concluding that the maps did play a significant role in the history of The Middle Ages will stand without uncertainty.
A compass was yet another technological advancement that can trace its origin back to The Middle Ages and it can be termed as one of the powerful invention of the period. As to how it transformed the history during the period will depend on which school of thought is one siding with. To start with, a compass is a navigational tool that applied the magnetic poles of the earth so as to locate the magnetic north (COMPARETTI 2007). It was essential for the populace of The Middle Ages period bearing in mind that they had started to travel long distance over the sea. As a result, it enabled the people to travel with greater confidence. In order to understand how a compass transformed the course of history in the medieval period, one ought to comprehend the importance of that tool. To start with, explorers were able to locate their way accurately unlike the olden signs that were unreliable (LINDBERG 2008). That led to the exploration to new areas that had not been explored before. More importantly is the fact that it is through the compass that the earth’s iron was discovered.
Much could not have been achieved therefore were it not for the discovery of the compass. Equally, the compass replaced the dependence of nature and seasons to give certainty of times, and as a result, people would move freely without fear of the weather. The compass as well is on record to have helped people in decorating their signs for they knew that the compass was able to show them where to place something within a room. Although it may be termed negative, it did result to the current status of the world (BISHOP 2001). It was with the help of a compass that Columbus was able to attack the Native Americans for their natural resources. It is beyond our imagination how the world would be without such an innovation, and the world would be completely different from how it is now.
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