By Peter Purton
Medieval war used to be ruled through the assault and defence of fortified areas, and siege equipment and expertise built along advancements in defences. This publication makes use of either unique ancient resources and proof from archaeology to examine this courting as a part of a complete view of the total topic, tracing hyperlinks throughout 3 continents. It considers crucial questions raised via siege battle: who designed, equipped and operated siege gear? How did medieval commanders achieve their wisdom? What have been the jobs of theoretical texts and the constructing technological know-how of siege conflict? How did nomadic peoples learn how to behavior sieges? How some distance did castles and city partitions serve an army goal, and the way a ways did they act as symbols of lordship? the quantity starts with the substitute of the western Roman empire via barbarian successor states, but additionally examines the advance of the Byzantine Empire, the Muslim Caliphate and its successors, and the hyperlinks with China, via to the early 13th century. The better half quantity, A background of the overdue Medieval Siege, keeps the tale to 1500.
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Extra info for A History of the Early Medieval Siege, c.450-1200
The rest is from Tausend, “Hunnischer Poliorketik”, 265–71. 2â•‡ Procopius, History of the wars, 223–5 (book V, chap. xxii). 2010 10:29 12â•›·â•…â•… After “Rome” besieged the city of Vienne. The defenders were concerned at the shortage of provisions and expelled the common peopleâ†œ: another common feature of sieges. 1 So the town had an engineer, and the attackers iron tools. But they relied on this chance event to get in. 2 Here again is evidence of the importance of the Roman walls inherited by the Franks, of the need to maintain them, and of the strength their possession offered.
Its projectile was usually a stone ball. He says that no heavier weapon was known. 1 Vegetius described the full panoply of weapons and methods. Forms of attack included digging mines or sapping to undermine the wall, and building wooden mobile towers. This last was clearly a very major undertaking, for the finished device has to be able to be higher than the wall, to protect a battering ram on the first level, to have a drawbridge to reach across to the rampart, and a top gallery for soldiers to fire down upon the defenders.
There is a detailed study of the development of the cities of Metz, Verdun and Toul in Dollinger-Leonard, “De la cité romaine à la ville médiéval”. 1â•‡ Gregory of Tours, The history of the Franks, 182 (book III, chap. xix). , 197–8. The author attributes various of the new features to measures against siege engines and mining, which seems unlikely, given the evidence cited for their opponents’ awareness of siege technology at this period. 3â•‡ Mirković, “Sirmiumâ†œ: its history”, 45–6. For other examples in the region, see Panaite and Magureanu, “Some observations”, 1–4â†œ; Poulter, “The use and abuse of urbanism”, 101–30.