Warfare in Europe in the middle ages underwent a marked change of emphasis as urban life expanded. The concentration of wealth represented by a city was a valuable objective, and the static nature of a siege was infinitely preferable to the uncertainties of campaign. As the incidence of sieges increased, so pitched battles declined. The studies in this book, intended for specialists as well as general readers, follow the history of siege warfare, exploring the urban milieu within which it developed, and the evolution of siege technology up to the advent of gunpowder weaponry. The logistics of specific sieges, from the Crusader kingdoms in the Near East and the Byzantine Empire as well as medieval Europe, are also considered, with evidence from literature, engineering, architecture and cliometrics. IVY CORFIS is professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; MICHAEL WOLFE is professor in the department of history at Penn State University, Altoona. Contributors: MICHAEL WOLFE, JAMES F. POWERS, MICHAEL TOCH, DENYS PRINGLE, ERIC McGEER, PAUL E. CHEVEDDEN, MICHAEL HARNEY, HEATHER ARDEN, WINTHROP WETHERBEE, KELLY DEVRIES, MICHAEL MALLETT, BERT S. HALL.
The role of sieges remains determinedly under-researched: this substantial book makes an important and stimulating contribution in redressing the balance. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY