When did the byzantine empire stop using certain roman technologies (if ever)

Jan 2016
1,127
Victoria, Canada
#1
I can't see to find many sources on what roman technologies the byzantines stopped using and when.
Does anyone know when / if the byzantine empire...

1) stopped using concrete

2) stopped using cranes

3) stopped making aqueducts

4) stopped making sewers

4) stopped making bathhouses

Please don't answer if you can't provide a source.
 
Sep 2015
321
Australia
#2
I don't know if you're specifically demanding primary sources but there are some documentaries that provide a starting point for what you are asking.

Regarding Concrete - I believe concrete fell out of use because the Byzantine Empire didn't have easy access to sources of Pozzolana - which is volcanic ash. There are sources of this in Italy but not near Constantinople. You also have to consider that Romans prepared their concrete as a dry mix relative to todays wet mix. So the concrete as they used it had to be poured immediately - today it is trucked in from a distance and is thus much wetter. The modern method makes it easier to work with but gives you inferior strength. So it is partly a matter of logistics and availability. Plus lime mortar was a highly reliable way to make a cement. Byzantine era buildings built of limestone mortar still stand today just as Roman concrete buildings do.

The challenge for building the Hagia Sophia was to find an alternative suitable lightweight flexible material. The architects instead used lightweight bricks fired at a lower temperature using clay quarried from Rhodes. Firing the bricks at a lower temperature made them more porous and thus lighter and hence would make larger structures more flexible to earthquakes.

Limestone mortar was a suitable replacement to roman concrete and was a very practical way to make a cement.

You might want to look at this documentary it provides a good starting point
[ame="http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1qr3ej_ancient-megastructures-istanbul-s-hagia-sophia_shortfilms"]Ancient Megastructures - Istanbul's Hagia Sophia - Video Dailymotion@@AMEPARAM@@http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video@@AMEPARAM@@video[/ame]

It doesn't go into great depth but it does answer some of your questions.
 
Nov 2010
7,594
Cornwall
#3
I can't see to find many sources on what roman technologies the byzantines stopped using and when.
Does anyone know when / if the byzantine empire...

1) stopped using concrete

2) stopped using cranes

3) stopped making aqueducts

4) stopped making sewers

4) stopped making bathhouses

Please don't answer if you can't provide a source.
I dont know about this but the 'sources' you demand are not always possible. A lot of members have a good deal of expertise in their heads, because the have read extensively.

It's not always possible to recall 'ah yes it was in the 5th book from the left of the top shelf'.

But I guess you need them for homework?
 
Jan 2013
1,207
Anywhere
#4
I can't see to find many sources on what roman technologies the byzantines stopped using and when.
Does anyone know when / if the byzantine empire...

1) stopped using concrete

2) stopped using cranes

3) stopped making aqueducts

4) stopped making sewers

4) stopped making bathhouses

Please don't answer if you can't provide a source.

Have you ever heard of byzantine cement:
Advanced Byzantine cement based composites resisting earthquake stresses: the crushed brick/lime mortars of Justinian's Hagia Sophia

And yes Byzantine Romans still used concrete.
http://www.buffaloah.com/a/archsty/byz/

And the Byzantines still continue to use aqueducts.
The Valens, Kavala, Skopje and Lamas Aqueducts were still functioning.

Yes byzantines still used sewage treatment in Constantinople and other places like Nicaea.

Yes Byzantines still have bath houses in Constantinople, Athens, Nicaea.

In fact from Justinian to Komnenos still used Greco-Roman technology along with techniques borrowed from the medieval Franks and Germans.
 
Last edited:

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,748
Blachernai
#5
For the ongoing use and transformation of the structures for bathing, see:

[FONT=&quot]Magdalino, Paul. “Medieval [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Constantinople[/FONT][FONT=&quot].” In Studies on the History and Topography of Byzantine [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Constantinople[/FONT][FONT=&quot], 1–55. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Aldershot[/FONT][FONT=&quot]: Variorum, 2007.[/FONT]

Lightfoot, Chris, and Mücahide Lightfoot. Amorium: A ByzantineCity in Anatolia, an Archaeological Guide. Istanbul: Homer Kitabevi, 2007.

Walmsley, Alan. Early Islamic Syria: An Archaeological Assessment. Bristol: Bristol Classical Press, 2007.


There's now an entire corpus on the Thracian aqueducts, but I read this piece last week and it points to impressive engineering and maintenance:

Crow, James. “Water and the Creation of a New Capital.” In Istanbul and Water, edited by Paul Magdalino and Nina Ergin, 115–28. Leuven: Peeters, 2015.



And remember, the Economic History of Byzantium, the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, and the Oxford Handbook to Byzantine Studies are your friends...
 
Jan 2016
1,127
Victoria, Canada
#7
I dont know about this but the 'sources' you demand are not always possible. A lot of members have a good deal of expertise in their heads, because the have read extensively.

It's not always possible to recall 'ah yes it was in the 5th book from the left of the top shelf'.

But I guess you need them for homework?
Don't really need them for anything other than personal interest. The reason I made this post was because I couldn't find anything decent about the subject, and the reason I asked for sources was because lately there have been a lot of posts regarding Byzantium that have devolved into **** flinging. when I say source I don't really need a book or academic paper on the subject, only actual evidence to back up your post (for example that the byzantines didn't have access to pozzolana, so couldn't make concrete)
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,748
Blachernai
#8

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