Simple discoveries that would radically change ancient times or middle ages?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by SeaCambrian, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Richard V Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2013
    Lithography, much better than printing press if you dont use alphabets.
    alex costa, Lenwe and Max Sinister like this.
  2. LSCatilina Vassican Labosiotos Vergagnatos

    Dec 5, 2008
    Polanian Occupation Zone in Transylvania
    Paper was actually cheaper than parchment or vellum since the XIVth century at least, and its production widespread in most of Europe at this point : it's why its use kept growing while public authority would have preferred a maintained use of parchment giving it was seen as less fragile and more resilient to average keeping conditions. While you're right that the first paper mill (and, eventually, first manufactory production outside Italy and Spain) appeared in Nuremberg half a century before printing press was discovered, we'd be more talking of material accessibility than something out of price.
    In fact, Gutemberg's Bible was printed both on vellum and paper...from Italy.
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  3. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

    Aug 26, 2017
    Sorry, I was half asleep writing that post.

    But yeah, I figure better organizing systems of literature, scholarly works and information would be beneficial sooner
  4. oshron Emperor of Rplegacy

    Aug 14, 2010
    Empire of Rplegacy
    well, of course :) as a jumping-off point, maybe something comparable to Linnaean taxonomy as well?
  5. Coluber Dirty Degredado

    Nov 3, 2018
    I'm surprised no one else mentioned this. The Horse Yoke was an extremely simple and innovative piece of equipment.
  6. The Studying Erudite Banned

    Jan 22, 2019
    while I assume it was writen already (i have no energy to check), an earlier use of gunpowder would change a lot.
  7. Kaushlendra pratap singh Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Indian already bath daily use fresh food and clean house daily you can feel. I think for India most important invention will be paper the printing machine and gun powder with this Indian always remain the top dog of world
  8. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

    Jan 2, 2004
    I think the implication was some more modern conceptions of hygiene. For example, boiling things to clean them (or water to disinfect it).

    Also, India had all those things when they were conquered.
  9. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

    Jun 20, 2009
    Charlie Townsend's guest house
    Too soon for cinchona to reach Europe?
    Could also have copied compartmentalization from the Ancient Chinese...

    I seem to recall there were disinfectant poultices used in Roman times, rejected in the Middle Ages. Had they just stayed in use...

    And am I wrong the triangluar (lateen?) sail is an advance over the square sail? Developing full rigging would be a big jump. Even the block & tackle (already in place?).

    I'm also going to suggest you take Ben Braddock's advice: plastic. The technology/chemistry to develop a variety of polymer existed in Ancient Egypt.:eek::eek::eek: (Believe it, or stuff it.;) )
    Yeah, metallurgy for long guns or cannon is problematic. (Bell-maker might be able to produce cannon.) Better advice: use a mangonel or something to throw ceramic jars full of lit gunpowder.

    Might use a similar idea to create land mines. (IDK if you could produce pressure triggers. Flintlock "foot pedals"? Or discover fulminate of mercury?)
    The Romans understood lead was toxic. For reasons IDK, they did nothing about it.:rolleyes::confounded:

    There's also a bunch of food crops available in the Americas that never gained popularity, all of which could seriously affect the European diet (& ag output); I recall an entire issue of The Plain Truth dedicated to it. (It's the only one I've ever actually kept.:rolleyes: )

    And how about making the vertical-axis windmill the standard? It's way more efficient.
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  10. DarkKayder Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2015
    Not so much discovery as widespread distribution, but I would definitely say an earlier vulcanization of rubber. The mesoamericans were already doing some form of it 3000 years ago, by mixing it with sulfur-containing plants and other ingridients. The implications for industrial developments are potentially countless.
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  11. Tibi088 Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2013
    Already said but printing press with the criteria that its allowed to spread and censure is not too heavy. Thats the basis for the spreading of everything else.
  12. Byzantion Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    Forum Romanum, Suburra
    Would help to a avoid many deadly infections.
  13. jwil Member

    Feb 3, 2010

    What about discovery and use of african vine rubber widely available in Kush
    Lenwe likes this.
  14. Mort the Reaper Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2019
    Fun fact: the Mongols brought water to a boil before drinking it because they thought it drove out malevolent spirits that caused illness.
  15. oshron Emperor of Rplegacy

    Aug 14, 2010
    Empire of Rplegacy
    well, they were right, kind of :p there was a similar thing with the miasma theory, the belief that disease (malaria in particular) was caused by "bad air" and you could ward against that simply by shutting the windows and burning incense and stuff, which coincidentally is exactly the kind of thing that can keep disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes from biting and infecting you.
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  16. A Most Sovereign Lady Princess of the Kingdom of Maryland

    Jan 27, 2014
    Baltimore, MD, USA
    The wheelbarrow.
  17. Richard V Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2013
    Not sure rubber would be all that useful in the pre-industrial world.