By Peter Purton
Medieval battle used to be ruled by way of the assault and defence of fortified areas, and siege tools and know-how built along advancements in defences. This booklet makes use of either unique ancient assets and proof from archaeology to examine this courting as a part of a entire view of the total topic, tracing hyperlinks throughout 3 continents. It considers crucial questions raised by means of siege war: 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 technology of siege struggle? How did nomadic peoples discover ways to behavior sieges? How a long way did castles and city partitions serve an army function, and the way a long way did they act as symbols of lordship? the amount starts off with the alternative of the western Roman empire by means of barbarian successor states, but additionally 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 significant other quantity, A heritage of the overdue Medieval Siege, maintains the tale to 1500.
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Additional info for A History of the Early Medieval Siege, c.450-1200
2 As the seventh century progresses, Paul gives us evidence of a new siege weapon. 4 This new weapon represented the first significant change in siege warfare and its techniques since the end of the western Roman empire, and for its origins it is necessary to turn our attention to the east and retrace our steps. The Byzantine empire T he western successor states to Rome added little to what they had taken over, and witnessed significant regression in the level of culture and skills. In the east, there was no break in the continuity of imperial rule.
The subject of this chapter is the extent to which Roman traditions in the attack and defence of fortifications survived into, or were modified, in the time traditionally called the “Dark Ages”. The eastern empire was in no doubt about itselfâ†œ: it was Rome, although its language was Greek. Its realm, encompassing the Balkans, Asia Minor, the Middle East, and North Africa, maintained a high level of culture and civilisation. It preserved the military traditions, the architecture and technology, and the professional soldiers and skilled craftsmen.
Interestingly, Vegetius discussed this only from the viewpoint of the defence. So it is clear, this is a very practical treatise, one designed to deal with the defensive problems faced at its time (even if some of the descriptions given obviously allude to earlier times). One of the repeated points made by this author in passing was that skilled and experienced people are necessary to operate the equipment. 3 This was to be a recurring theme throughout the whole middle ages. For the present, when examining the actual siege warfare of the two centuries following the eclipse of the western empire, the availability of such expertise is a basic question always to be borne in mind.
A History of the Early Medieval Siege, c.450-1200 by Peter Purton