Monday, 4 December 2017

The Chase

Its oft times forgotten part of the middle ages, but one of the great innovations of the middle ages, besides architecture, was the evolution of sailing boats. Really without the great leaps forward made in shipbuilding, there would have been no age of discovery. It was then that the early medieval clinker built boats were replaced by the introduction of the caravel built boats in the latter part of the middle ages. What Clinker means is that the timbers of the hull were overlaid each other on their ends and nailed to each other, which gave the hull a stepped profile but caravel built hulls had their hull timbers attached to the ends of each other via pegs.

It was in the late middle ages really that trade passed beyond anything in earlier periods in Europe. Here the great power houses of trade, the Hanseatic league and the Italian city states established widespread trading networks from Russia, to Iceland to the far east. This brought untold wealth to Italy as it was the crossroads of the great highway, the Mediterranean and lead to the flowering of the Renaissance. It was also a time of great fleets, sea battles and a multitude of piracy. It was really in this late period of the middle ages that the modern age was born and all else that came later was built apon. 

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