Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Part 7, Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic

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Cambridge University Press, 1986 - Science - 742 pages
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The Gunpowder Epic is one of three planned publications on military technology within Dr Needham's immense undertaking. The discovery of gunpowder in China by the 9th century AD was followed by its rapid applications. It is now clear that the whole development from bombs and grenades to the invention of the metal-barrel hand gun took place in the Chinese culture area before Europeans had any knowledge of the mixture itself. Uses in civil engineering and mechanical engineering were equally important, before the knowledge of gunpowder spread to Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Dr Needham's new work continues to demonstrate the major importance of Chinese science and technology to world history and maintains the tradition of one of the great scholarly works of the twentieth century.
  

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Contents

MILITARY TECHNOLOGY continued
1
ii The Sung formulae 1
117
8 Firecrackers and fireworks p
127
9 Gunpowder as incendiary p
147
10 Bombs and grenades p
161
11 Land and sea mines p
192
12 Bizarre delivery systems p 21
220
14 The eruptor ancestor of all cannon
263
The first metalbarrel
276
16 From deflagration to detonation
342
17 The later development of artillery p
365
APPENDIXES
580
GENERAL INDEX
651
Table of Chinese Dynasties
694
Copyright

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About the author (1986)

Joseph Needham FRS (1900-1995) was the founder of the Science and Civilisation in China project.

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