The Society for the History of Medieval Technology and Science
A society to promote, popularise and contribute to the study of European, Islamic, and Asian technology and science of the Middle Ages.

Recent news of officers and members of the Society

We should like to congratulate our co-President Professor Emilie Savage-Smith, Professor of the History of Islamic Science, University of Oxford; Senior Research Consultant, The Bodleian Library; Archivist (Fellow Archivist), St Cross College, on her election as a Fellow of the British Academy.

Some recent publications by members

Saladin, Hero of Islam (Pen & Sword): by Geoffrey Hindley

The book has now been released in paperback at twelve pounds ninety nine pence, and sold 450 copies in the first two weeks.

The extraordinary character and career of Saladin are the keys to understanding the Battle of Hattin, the fall of Jerusalem and the failure of the Third Crusade. He united warring Muslim lands, reconquered the bulk of Crusader states and faced the Richard the Lion Heart, king of England, in one of the most famous confrontations in medieval warfare. Geoffrey Hindley's sympathetic and highly readable study of the life and times of this remarkable, many-sided man, who dominated the Middle East in his day, gives a fascinating insight into his achievements and into the Muslim world of his contemporaries.

The Symbol at Your Door: Number and Geometry in Religious Architecture of the Greek and Latin Middle Ages: by Nigel Hiscock

This book offers a new perspective in the retrieval of meaning from architecture in the Greek East and the Latin West, and challenges the view that geometry was merely an outcome of practical procedures by masons. Instead, it attributes intellectual meaning to it as understood by Christian Platonist thought and provides compelling evidence that the symbolism was often intended.

A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons: by Geoffrey Hindley

Running from about AD 400 to the 1100s (the 'Aftermath'), this book shows the Anglo-Saxons as formative in the history not only of England, but also of Europe. The society, inspired by the warrior world of the Old English poem "Beowulf", saw England become the first European country to conduct its affairs in its own language, and Bede and Boniface of Wessex establish the dating convention we still use today. Including all the latest research, this excellent assessment of a vital historical epoch comes from one of our most respected Medievalists.

The Cat's Pyjamas: The Penguin Book of Cliches: by Julia Cresswell

This is a fascinating, thematic exploration of cliches from as the actress said to the bishop to zero hour, explaining what they are and where they've come from. Julia Cresswell has taken her best-selling dictionary of cliches ('Sumptuous...A mine of information.' - "Guardian") back to the drawing board and has created a book, packed with famous (and infamous) quotations and memorable information, that will change the way you see English.

The book was the subject of a recent BBC wireless programme with Stephen Fry and Julia Cresswell.

Medieval Islamic Medicine: by Emilie Savage-Smith with co-author Peter E. Portmann (Edinburgh University Press, 2007)

The book was awarded in 2008 the British-Kuwait Friendship Book Prize in Middle Eastern Studies.

... presents an outline of the subject that is nonetheless substantive. Rather than attempt a comprehensive survey they chose areas that needed attention and thereby created a work that stands out on its own. (Journal of the History of Medicine)

Without question, this volume can be considered the best and most critical introduction to the field and a guide for future research. (American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences).

"A Brief History of the Crusades": by Geoffrey Hindley

'... an accomplished book' (The Good Book Guide)