How has gunpowder changed the world?

November 1, 2016

An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on 21st October 2016, written by Alex Roland, author of War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction.

War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction

'Few inventions have shaped history as powerfully as gunpowder. It significantly altered the human narrative in at least nine significant ways. The most important and enduring of those changes is the triumph of civilization over the “barbarians.”

That last term rings discordant in the modern ear, but I use it in the original Greek sense to mean “not Greek” or “not civilized.” Historian Kenneth Chase has represented such people as nomads from “the Arid Zone”— the Eurasian steppe and the North African desert. They were often what anthropologists call pre-state communities, usually governed by tribal or kin relationships...'

Discover more: Read the rest of the article on the OUPblog.



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