Did anything vaguely scientific happen in the Middle Ages? Take this quiz to learn how we got through a dark period of history while trying to figure out how the sun was revolving around us, anyway.
The Enlightenment era prided itself on serious education and discovery -- at the expense of the earlier medieval times, which they dismissed as superstitious and over-religious.
The saddle was invented a bit earlier, but the Middles Ages did bring us the horseshoe and collar to harness horsepower.
The mechanical clock was a medieval invention and used an escapement -- a balance wheel or pendulum that makes the hands tick forward. Much to Captain Hook's dismay.
The Middle Ages were really religious; science was generally pursued to explain the nature that God created.
Thomas Aquinas was certainly in the Catholic church, but he never made bishop.
We have Bacon to thank for Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang."
The Arabic numeral system was spread to the world by the otherwise-awful Crusades.
During this period, universities popped up after people started thinking it might be a good idea to have a place where smart folks lectured.
Leaving one-third of the field fallow while planting fall and spring crops on the other two allowed for far more productive harvests than the old two-field system.
The heavy plow allowed farmers to dig much deeper into soils -- a very good thing for soils that needed extra oomph.
Avenzoar was the first to try a tracheotomy. His subject? A goat.
Be glad Al-Zahrawi invented forceps to make birth easier. You can be a little annoyed with him, though, every time you get a shot.
That's right, the hourglass actually showed up around the 14th century. (But there are some legends that claim it was invented in the eighth century by a French monk.)
The blast furnace created much more intense heat for iron production, and water wheels provided the energy to pump the air needed for the blast.
If you're not squinting to read this, perhaps it's because you are harnessing the awesome medieval power of reading glasses.
Oil paint was first used in the Middle Ages, and it made the Mona Lisa smile.
"The simplest explanation is the most likely," said William of Ockham, presumably in the midst of a shave one day in the Middle Ages.
By figuring out a way to transmute metals, early alchemists thought they might find the key to riches -- or the cure for disease. Instead, they helped to discover chemistry.
To protect coastal cities from epidemics, the Italians asked for <i>quaranta giorni</i>: forty days in harbor before disembarking.
Al-Khwarizmi was a Persian mathematician around the turn of the ninth century whose work was the basis for the concepts of algebra. Blame him for all those pop quizzes.