University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Economic and Social History Seminars > Mega-Structures of the Middle Ages: The Construction of Religious Buildings in Europe and Asia, c. 1000-1500

Mega-Structures of the Middle Ages: The Construction of Religious Buildings in Europe and Asia, c. 1000-1500

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How did medieval builders manage to construct Gothic cathedrals-buildings which are still among the tallest structures in the world-without access to modern engineering theories? The paper investigates medieval building knowledge and the way it was transferred across the generations. Printed information only seems to have emerged in the course of the 15th century. Construction drawings were limited to details. By implication, the relevant knowledge must have been transferred on a personal basis. Its underlying principles therefore must have been reasonably simple. The paper attempts to demonstrate that a modular design and execution was underpinning much of the construction work on large projects throughout Eurasia.

This talk is part of the Economic and Social History Seminars series.

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