Castrum to Castle, Classical to Medieval Fortifications in the Lands of the Western Roman Empire

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

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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

ISBN: 1-47389-580-4

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.