By Peter Purton
Medieval war used to be ruled by means of the assault and defence of fortified areas, and siege equipment and know-how constructed along advancements in defences. This e-book makes use of either unique ancient resources and facts from archaeology to examine this courting as a part of a complete view of the full topic, tracing hyperlinks throughout 3 continents. It considers an important questions raised by means of siege battle: who designed, equipped and operated siege apparatus? How did medieval commanders achieve their wisdom? What have been the jobs of theoretical texts and the constructing technological know-how of siege battle? How did nomadic peoples learn how to behavior sieges? How a ways did castles and city partitions serve an army objective, and the way some distance did they act as symbols of lordship? the quantity starts with the substitute of the western Roman empire via barbarian successor states, but in addition examines the improvement of the Byzantine Empire, the Muslim Caliphate and its successors, and the hyperlinks with China, via to the early 13th century. The spouse quantity, A historical past of the overdue Medieval Siege, keeps the tale to 1500.
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Additional info for A History of the Early Medieval Siege, c.450-1200
6 It stands on a high hill in a flat plan, overlooking a Roman road and a crossing of the river Tagliamento. The hilltop, rearing 55 metres above the valley, is 650 metres by 100 metres. The castrum occupies 200 × 100 metres. Its excavators say that, between both earlier and later occupation evidence (late Roman and Venetian), there is a stone tower that is either late Roman or Lombard. Although this is 1â•‡ Paulus diaconus, Historia Langobardorum, 23 (book iv, chap. xxii)â†œ; History of the Langobards, 167.
1â•‡ Landels, Engineering in the ancient world, 105. 2â•‡ Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum gestarum, IIIâ†œ: 494–5 (book XXXI, 15, xii). 3â•‡ Landels, Engineering in the ancient world, 132â†œ; Frankland-Payne-Gallwey, The crossbow, 249–50 and appendix. The discussion is also summarised in Southern and Dixon, The late Roman army, 152–9. 4â•‡ For example by Chevedden, “Artillery in late antiquity”, 132–63, and Purton, “The myth of the mangonel” . For further discussion, see Chapter 9. 5â•‡ Humphries, Engines of war.
The Anglo-Saxon conquest must have encountered the many walled towns left by the Romans. Whether they were defended by the Britons or abandoned is not possible to determine. Gildas, in his lamentation of the failure of the Britons to defend themselves, notes that all the towns “were laid low by the repeated battering of enemy rams” (arietes), but whether this is mere rhetoric or an accurate reflection of the siege-warfare skills of the invaders cannot be determined. 5 1â•‡ Procopius, History of the wars, iiiâ†œ: 7–8 (book V, i), 37 (book V, iv).
A History of the Early Medieval Siege, c.450-1200 by Peter Purton