Summary of Jon Guttman’s “Stirrup and Lance”

Guttman’s article discussed both the use of the stirrup and it even went into more detail by discussing the importance of the lance. He discussed how horses have been used in army for a while and originally, horses were meant to be controlled with both hands when riding them. In the medieval times, they wanted to be able to use what was called a lance. Guttman described it as a long rod with a sharp metal tip. Instead of using a spear which was thrown, they used the lance to charge at enemies. The issue was that they needed to be able to control the horse and hold the lance at the same time. In order to do this, they had to use the stirrup which was invented between 500 and 700 B.C. This allowed for knights to control the horse with their feet and also hold the lance.The emergence of the stirrup helped other places also. For example Guttman says that the Asians would use it to be able to use a bow and arrow on a horse.

Later on in the reading, he goes into detail about the lance and how there have been many versions of it throughout the time period. First he discusses the classic medieval version which was a wooden rod about 10-12 feet long with a 2 inch diameter and a sharp metal spear tip. He said that Poland’s winged hussar’s used a lance that was longer but hollowed out towards the tip so that it was lighter. The lance eventually died out around world war 1 due to the advancements of firearms. However the stirrups are still currently used nowadays. This shows how innovative the stirrups are because they are so old, yet they are still being used in modern times.

For more information on the use of the stirrup visit the website in the link below

For more information on the lance visit the website link below

Summary of Carlson’s “The Romans,” by Chris Selby

In W. Bernard Carlson’s article, “The Romans,” he goes into great depth discussing everything about the Roman Empire. He discusses all sorts of categories, such as: where they started, how they operated, what they ate, their military,  and even their different technologies. Some of the Roman ideas are still incorporated into modern society.

Carlson started off by explaining how the Romans originated in Italy by Latins. They traded salt with the Greeks and the Greeks gave them the knowledge of how to use iron and chariots. The Romans ended up adapting a lot of other ideas from Greece as well such as language, military tactics, and ideas of religion. For politics, Rome originally had a king, but was soon overthrown by a group of patricians who then led. Every year, each member of the patricians would select two consuls that could veto other’s decisions. People that had no say in government were known as plebs, and they made their own group so that they could have a say in politics. In 450 BCE, they even made the Twelve Tables which confirmed equal rights to all citizens.

Rome was able to expand its territory because of its military, they expanded by force because of how large their army was. They were even able to defeat Carthage which was founded by the Phoenicians in North Africa by crafting 100 warships.

Carlson explained how advanced the Romans technology was, one piece of evidence was their military weapons. First, they got the hand held crossbow, which had better range than a normal bow and arrow. Then they got the mounded crossbow, or the carroballista that shot even further and required about 11 men to operate. Later, something called an onager developed, and it could launch large stone about 1500 feet.

Carlson then told about the food technology like the new ways to improve crops. He explained how the richer people could afford meats and that wine was something that people couldn’t live without.

The Romans also figured out how to work metal and used it for tools, and used the mine shafts to help prevent flooding. They also discovered a way to divide metals when melting them and how to combine different metals so they were stronger.

Carlson then discussed how the Romans had an amazing system of paved roads. While they weren’t the first to have paved roads, they had the largest and most sophisticated road system at the time. While others were able to make use of the roads, their main purpose was to quicken the military by giving them a road to travel.

One of the key Roman technologies was the development of the arch, and later aqueducts to transport drinking water to cities. They were so sufficient, that eight of them could deliver about 220 million gallons of water a day. Another building technology was their well planned cities, everything was set out in almost perfect coordination.

Today, people still use tons of Roman technologies such as the arch, roadways, and many more ideas. The fact that they still contribute to today’s society shows how important they were in building the world as we see it.

Why Tech Matters- Nye article summary

As humans evolve over time, so does technology. A good amount of people would try to argue that technology doesn’t really define the history of man or humankind. In this article by David Nye, he explains why technology is so crucial for the world to move forward and improve.

Nye starts off the article addressing how old technology actually is. People have been using tech since the beginning of time. He mentions all that could be considered as technology outside of physical items, such as upgrades to already invented items, new ideas, or new techniques for activities like farming. As an example, he uses Judith Carey’s Black Rice which is about how people imported plants and slaves who knew how to plant them as a way to farm certain crops.

Link to a summary of Carney’s book:

Some people are so used to having technology in their life, that they don’t even realize that they are using it. Everyone should remember that something as simple as a pen and paper could be considered as a form of technology.  Nye explains how some people are so used to the technology that they grew up with, that they don’t consider it to be a technology. He uses kids as an example and how something that they grew up with, might have amazed their grandparents at one time such as smart phones.

Every day that technology advances, some old tech can naturally become outdated. Even though something isn’t used often anymore, it still should be remembered because in a way, it could fuel ideas for new tech or ways to improve. For example, the bell was upgraded with with different metals to be able to make more, or old buildings being upgraded to be better equipped for current uses. Another example is people still buy new cars that are fueled by gasoline even though electric cars exist. Instead, some people forget about the tech and eventually the younger generations have no idea about it; for example, a lot of kids don’t know what a VCR is.

In the article, Nye explains how the success of some tech depends on how the consumers view it. He uses the internet as an example, how it was first meant for military communication, and then the world wide web was developed. A lot of people loved it, and a lot of others disliked it because they thought it destroyed jobs or wanted to know who owned it. As another example, Nye explained that when electric cars were developed, a good amount of guys still preferred gasoline cars because of the speed and the price being lower. In a way, a good piece of technology is something that can appeal useful to everyone.

At the end of the article, Nye expresses how technology matters because of how it has shaped people. He is completely right because technology is the reason that the country and world are shaped the way that they are, and as tech proceeds to develop, the world will continue to change.