The Medieval City Under Siege
Warfare in Europe in the middle ages underwent a marked change of emphasis as urban life expanded. The concentration of wealth represented by a city was a valuable objective; success, even if less immediate, was more easily confirmed by subsequent administrative arrangements; and logistically, the static nature of a siege was infinitely preferable to the uncertainties of campaign. As the incidence of sieges increased, so pitched battles declined.
The studies in this book, intended for specialists as well as general readers, offer some of the very best new scholarship on medieval military history. They follow the history of siege warfare, exploring the urban milieu within which it developed, and the evolution of siege technology up to the advent of gunpowder weaponry. The logistics of specific sieges, not only in medieval Europe, but also in the Crusader kingdoms in the Near East and the Byzantine Empire, are carefully delineated (including the range of options available in defensive actions), resulting in a valuable comparative perspective. Evidence drawn from archaeology, literature, engineering, architecture and cliometrics brings to life the realities of a siege campaign - and, in its practical details, sheds light on the perennially challenging question of the relationship of medieval military strategy with that of Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance.
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