A History of the Late Medieval Siege, 1200-1500

A History of the Late Medieval Siege, 1200-1500

Peter Purton


Boydell Press



Detailed survey of the continued development of the siege in the later middle ages, showing the effects of new technology and armaments.
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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April 2010
32 black and white, 15 line illustrations
548 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843834496
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

The Age of the Mongol Conquests
Attack and Defence in the late Thirteenth Century [ca.1260-1320]
The Fourteenth Century: seige warfare at the start of a new age
The Age of Timur "the world conqueror": the fourteenth century in the East
The early Fifteenth Century: changing times
The late Fifteenth Century 1: Britain, France, Central Europe and the Balkans
The late Fifteenth Century 2: A time of transition?
New weapons and new defences


Peter Purton proves a reliable and entertaining guide during our journey through siege warfare in the Middle Ages. MEDIEVAL WARFARE

Purton's major contribution, and it is a contribution of considerable significance, is to provide a great many hundreds of references to and discussions of sieges that took place throughout the Middle Ages not only in Europe and the Middle East, but also in central Asia, China, and South Asia. CITHARA

A lasting and valuable addition to fortification studies. It is perhaps the definitive work on a feature of medieval warfare which was paramount all through that age. [...] This is a most stimulating book and scholarship apart, a rattling good read. The publishers are to be congratulated on a fine presentation. CASEMATE

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