This collection of nineteen essays, their previous publication dates scattered over a long career, is designed to indicate the velocity and variety of the inventiveness visible in medieval engineering and also to explore the relation of technology to the values of western medieval culture. During the Middle Ages, values and the motivations springing from them—even those underlying many activities that to us today seem purely secular—were often expressed in religious presuppositions. Hence this book's title. The conceptual unity of the collection is brought forth in the author's Introduction, "The Study of Medieval Technology, 1924–1974: Personal Reflections." This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1978 and reissued as a paperback in 1986.
Lynn White, Jr., was president of Mills College, Oakland, and was a professor at University of California, Los Angeles, from 1958 until 1987.
"Medieval technology has been discovered twice, first by the peasants of Northern Europe and again by Mr. White and his colleagues. The enterprise they have brought to light has, or should have, replaced the old conception of stagnant Dark Ages. . . . White has collected his bold and often witty contributions to this fundamental revision of Western European historiography. . . . [He] quarries widely for this material: archaeology, iconography, etymology, travel literature, practical experience and much else are laid under his contribution. His resourcefulness and range demand admiration and invite imitation."—J. L. Heilbron, University Publishing "Lynn White always writes with a rare command of sources and bibliography and a fertile gift for juxtaposing previously unrelated facts; he writes also with charm and humor."—A. Rupert Hall, The Royal Society of Arts "One can see great cogency in White's thesis and can only congratulate him for giving us this superb collection of essays." —William A. Wallace, The Catholic Historical Review "Anyone reading any of these essays will be richly rewarded." —Joseph R. Strayer, Technology and Culture