Synopses & Reviews
From Jericho to Troy, medieval Europe knew siege warfare as a tradition of antiquity. Long before the advent of city culture, rivaling civilizations had relied on siege tactics as a means of taking over fortified palaces, temples, and defensive walls. But the dawn of the medieval period brought the and#147;golden ageand#8221; of siege warfare, as the proliferation of formalized cities made siege tactics the ideal choice from a militaristic standpoint.
In Medieval Sieges and Siegecraft, Geoffrey Hindley looks at the subject from every angle. He traces the development of strong points, castles, and fortified towns and considers the architects and masons who built them; describes the problems of medieval logistics and food supply that confronted both sides during a siege (and which often decided the outcome); and pens vivid portraits of the machinery of warfareand#151;from towers, mines, trebuchets, and mangonels to boiling oil and Greek fire; and considers the parts played by women and camp followers in battle. With the support of fifty illustrations printed throughout the text, Hindley shows siege tactics in action through real-life case studies of famous sieges that changed the course of history in medieval Europe and the Holy Land.
A definitive account of an often overlooked portion of military history, this stimulating and accessible study will be fascinating reading for medieval specialists and for anyone who is interested in the history of warfare.