A History of the Early Medieval Siege, c.450-1200

Peter Purton

Detailed, comprehensive survey of the siege, looking at its development across three continents.
Date Published :
March 2010
Publisher :
Boydell and Brewer
Illustration :
32 b/w. 14 line.
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781843834489
Pages : 566
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.25 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Medieval warfare was dominated by the attack and defence of fortified places, and siege methods and technology developed alongside improvements in defences. This book uses both original historical sources and evidence from archaeology to analyse this relationship as part of a comprehensive view of the whole subject, tracing links across three continents. It considers the most important questions raised by siege warfare: who designed, built and operated siege equipment? How did medieval commanders gain their knowledge? What were the roles of theoretical texts and the developing science of siege warfare? How did nomadic peoples learn to conduct sieges? How far did castles and town walls serve a military purpose, and how far did they act as symbols of lordship?
The volume begins with the replacement of the western Roman empire by barbarian successor states, but also examines the development of the Byzantine Empire, the Muslim Caliphate and its successors, and the links with China, through to the early thirteenth century. The companion volume, A History of the Late Medieval Siege, continues the story to 1500.


After "Rome"
The Arab Conquests
The age of the Carolingian Empire
The Tenth Century
Shifting Balances: the eleventh century
Franks and Saracens: the Early Crusades
The Twelfth Century in Northern and Central Europe and Byzantium
Consolidation and Centralisation
The developing technology of attack and the response of the defence

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