Everyday Technologies

Michael Decker

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Everyday Technologies

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Like most pre-industrial societies, Byzantium relied on a wide array of technologies that touched their daily lives. Because it commanded the greatest network of resources in addition to technical treatises and expertise, the state produced and had access to equipment and machines that most private citizens did not. Technological changes affected everyday life in Byzantium, but they were the kinds of macro changes that might have a direct impact on only one element of the economy and society. By the twelfth century, Byzantium lagged behind neighbouring states in so-called strategic technologies, especially in the areas of warfare and shipping. In general, however, Byzantines were on a par with their neighbours as far as technology is concerned throughout its history. This article discusses the technologies used by Byzantines on a daily basis, including those for food storage and preservation, material sciences, water supply, and sanitation.

Keywords: Byzantium; technologies; food storage; material sciences; water supply; sanitation

Article.  4587 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages

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