A History of the Late Medieval Siege, 1200-1500

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Boydell & Brewer, 2010 - History - 488 pages
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The siege dominated warfare during the medieval period. Contemporary evidence - from both accounts of sieges, and records of government - survives in relatively large quantites for the later medieval period; together with archaeological evidence, it is used here to offer a full and comprehensive picture of siege warfare. The book shows how similar methods were practised everywhere, with knowledge of new technologies spreading quickly, and experts selling their skills to any willing employer: it also looks at how the erection of defences capable of withstanding increasingly sophisticated attack became an expensive proposition. The question of whether some of the immense surviving monuments of this age really had a military function at all is also addressed. The book begins with the Mongol conquests in Asia and Europe and the thirteenth-century apogee of pre-gunpowder siege warfare, before examining the slow impact of guns and the cumulatively massive changes in attack and defence of the fifteenth century. The companion volume, A History of the Early Medieval Siege, covers the period from around 450 until 1200.

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About the author (2010)

Peter Purton first acquired his lifelong interest in medieval fortifications from a childhood visit to the Edwardian castles of North Wales in 1963. Securing a first class honours degree, then a doctorate in history, from Oxford University, he now works as an equalities officer for Britain's Trades Union Congress. Much of his spare time over more than a decade has been devoted to the research for this two-volume history of the medieval siege.

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