Christianity Spurred Technology Gains in the Ancient World

After Constantine legalized Christianity, it began to spread into Europe. When Rome was sacked in 410, Christianity emerged as the largest coherent group and gradually increased its influence. People began to see they were not enslaved to their fatalistic lot in life as taught by the Greeks and Romans, and that they could advance. Christianity brought advancement and growth with developing technologies. Watermills were developed and built across Europe. This provided for them what our modern motor does for us. People were enabled to efficiently cut lumber, turn lathes, grind knives, cut stones, mechanize cloth making, hammer metal and make pulp for producing paper.

Windmills were also employed to pump water for irrigation and to drain wetlands. Chimneys, glass and clocks were invented. New plows opened up areas for farming. Round ships and compasses were developed and opened up the world to shipping. Land transportation was revolutionized by the invention of horse collars and wagons with brakes and front axels to swivel. Harold Eberle describes the change from just one of these inventions:

Consider how the invention of the chimney changed society. Before homes had chimneys, people lived in unheated shelters or in homes filled with smoke. Without chimney’s people smelled like smoke, breathed toxic air and often ate uncooked food. With chimney’s as only one of many advances we can be assured that life for the common people in the Middle Ages was better than it was for them during the Greek and Roman empire.

The church began to displace pagan views and replace them with what we would consider a civilized world. For example, the advancing church stopped the murderous entertainment of the Roman world. Advancing Christianity quickly transformed the Coliseum, which was famous for public death in the name of entertainment. It went through many transitions at various times; including providing space for housing, workshops, churches and a religious order. Much of the tumbled stone was removed and then used to build palaces, churches, hospitals and other buildings elsewhere in Rome. Pope Sixtus even tried to turn the building in to a wool factory to provide employment for Rome’s prostitutes. Though not fully developed into Christianity as we see it today, the impact of Christian values was profound and brought advancement to society.

Next blog…how the Biblical principles of capitalisms raised the masses out of serfdom.


Source: Compassionate Capitalism – A Judeo-Christian Value by Harold Eberle, 2010, Worldcast Publishing.

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