Prata e ouro em Mumford (1934)

With the dawn of modern technics in Northern Europe one sees these primitive types once more in their original character and their typical habitats. The redifferentiation of occupations and crafts goes on under our very eyes. The rulers of Europe once more are hunters and fishers: from Norway to Naples their prowess in the chase alternates with their conquest of men: one of their prime concerns when they conquer a land is to establish their hunting rights and set aside great parks as sacred to the game they pursue. When these hardy warriors finally supplement the spear and the ax and the firebrand with the cannon as a weapon of assault, the military arts become [65] professionalized once more, and the support of war becomes one of the principal burdens of a civil society. The primitive mining and the primitive metallurgy goes on as it had existed for long in the past: but presently the simple arts of the miner and the smith break up into a score of specialized occupations. This process proceeds at an accelerating speed as commerce expands and the den1and for gold and silver increases, as war becomes more mechanized and the demand for armor, for artillery, and for the sinews of war expands. So, too, the woodman appears in the forested areas, for much of Europe had gone back into forest and grass: presently the sawyer, the carpenter, the joiner, the turner, the wheelwright have become specialized crafts. In the growing cities, from the eleventh century on, these elementary occupations appear, differentiate, react upon each other, interchange techniques and forms. Within a few hundred years almost the entire drama of technics is re-enacted once more and technics reaches a higher plane of general achievement than any other civilization had known in the past-although in special departments it was again and again surpassed by the finer arts of the East. If one takes a cross-section of technics in the Middle Ages one has at hand most of the important elements derived from the past, and the germ of most of the growth that is to take place in the future. In the rear lies handicraft and the tool, supplemented by the simple chemical processes of the farm: in the van stands the exact arts and the machine and the new achievements in metallurgy and glass-making. Some of the most characteristic instruments of medieval technics, like the cross-bow, show in their form and workmanship the imprint of both the tool and the machine. Here, then, is a central vantage point. (Mumford 1934:64-5)

MUMFORD, Lewis. 1934. Technique and civilization. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.