Publication Date

Spring 2022

Subject Area

Section 3: Guns, the Skies, & Blood


All modern civilizations look to gunpowder for their weapons of war. Few advancements have been able to match their destructive capabilities, versatility, and ease of production. While it is clear to see the modern usage of the advancement, gunpowder’s origins have been debated over centuries. A study of gunpowder is a study of alchemy throughout the middle ages and across the known world. That study begins in China around the 9th century, where the invention is developed into a weapon of war. Advancements in gunpowder weapons continued as the neighboring Mongols took the technology for themselves. From there, the Westward movement continued until a new formula for gunpowder was presented by Friar Roger Bacon in the late 13th century. While there are many arguments that the invention of gunpowder was created independently by multiple civilizations, these arguments have little evidence supporting them.