The authors have a deserved established premier reputation for their knowledge of fixed fortification and how they became military fulcrums. This new work provides a quite unique view of the development of fortifications from the Roman Castrum to the Medieval castle – Highly Recommended
NAME: Castrum to Castle, Classical to Medieval Fortifications in the Lands of the Western Roman Empire FILE: R2756 AUTHOR: J E Kaufmann, H W Kaufmann PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 278 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Legionary Forts, Foreshore Forts, boarder posts, fixed defences, evolution, Roman Legions, Roman Auxiliaries, Medieval building, strategic locations
IMAGE: B2756.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ybkqcs8z LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The authors have a deserved established premier reputation for their knowledge of fixed fortification and how they became military fulcrums. This new work provides a quite unique view of the development of fortifications from the Roman Castrum to the Medieval castle - Highly Recommended The Romans were highly skilled military architects. They developed a range of fixed defences that had to with stand the artillery and mining operations of their day and be able to mount their own artillery. They built largely in brick and stone, using concrete as the bonding material and producing fortifications that have not only survived more than 2,000 years, but been adopted and enhanced by later generations. When the Roman Empire fell, their defences survived but were often neglected. During the Dark Ages, military operations changed greatly. The Romans had developed the form of State that could build, equip, and train large armies. The British and Germanic tribes that filled the void lacked this capability. In Saxon times, an army was a force of more than thirty warriors, little stronger than the gangs of bandits that roamed the land. Where scribes wrote about vast armies and specified 40,000 men or more, they really meant an army larger than the war bands of 30 warriors. There was little difference between casual armed bands and armies fighting for a king or war lord. Most groups of warriors were on foot and it was relatively rare to find mounted warriors. When horsemen were employed they used the horse as a means of transport between battlefields rather than as cavalry. Baggage trains were rare, warriors living off the land and usually fighting after the completion of harvest. There were no naval forces as the Romans had employed, and artillery was almost never used. In this environment there was little benefit in populating the large fixed defences left behind by the Romans. Where it was considered important to man a fixed defence, it was most commonly built of wood and the Vikings used prefabricated forts that they could carry in their ships, land and erect easily and quickly, and move to new locations if necessary. At the end of the Dark Ages, the large durable fixed defence began to come back into favour. Medieval castles came to define the Age and grew in size and sophistication. They adopted many of the features of the Roman castles and forts, using cut and shaped stone and dominating the landscape. How much of Medieval design was copied from the Roman architecture is open to debate. There was certainly influence and inspiration, but some have made a formidable case for the Medieval castle being fresh innovation as armies grew in size once more and comprised a mix of foot soldiers, cavalry, artillery and baggage trains. The authors have done and excellent job in tracing the designs and skills and uses over the period. The work is supported by many images that have been reproduced in full colour through the body of the book. This must stand as one of the cardinal works on the subject.