Castles: Their Construction and History

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 1939 - Architecture - 241 pages
3 Reviews
The art of fortification had reached a high state of development even at the dawn of history. Powerful military works, dating from the remotest periods, have been found in Asia Minor, in Greece, and in the basins of the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Nile rivers. The medieval castle, with its strategic, crenellated ramparts and aura of legend and romance, represents perhaps the most familiar form of a long-crucial art.
This concise, scholarly volume traces the history of the castle from its ancient roots in the Levant, through Roman times and the Middle Ages, to the fanciful chateaux of the sixteenth century. Profusely illustrated with nearly 200 photographs, floor-plan diagrams, and pen-and-ink renderings, "Castles" explores innovations in castle design, siege operations, artillery, and other weapons, living conditions within the castle, and clearly explains intriguing features of construction: moats, baileys, keeps, donjons, barbicans, double curtains, loopholes, and many others.
In addition, noted historian and fortification expert Sidney Toy takes the reader on a detailed guided tour of over 120 of the most famous castles and fortresses of Europe and the Middle East. Explore Caernarvon Castle (associated with the Princes of Wales), Dover Castle, Arundel Castle, Hadrian's Wall, the Tower of London, the famed city of Troy, and dozens of others in vivid accounts focusing on the architecture, offensive and defensive modifications, and historical importance of each structure or site.
Castle enthusiasts, medievalists, military buffs, travelers, and anyone interested in the evolution and development of the castle will find this meticulously researched overview an informative and absorbing account.Corrected republication of "Castles: A Short History of Fortifications form 1600 B.C. to A.D. 1600" published by William Heinemann, Ltd., London/Toronto, 1939.

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Review: Castles: Their Construction and History

User Review  - Philip Athans - Goodreads

Research for historical novel set in the Crusades continues. . . . A solid overview, but lacking in detail. A good starting point. Read full review

Review: Castles: Their Construction and History

User Review  - Travis Mueller - Goodreads

The value of the contents of this book are of secondary concern to me. I am interested in it mostly for the floor plans of castles and fortresses and how they might be adapted for use in RPGs. Right now I have too much competing for my attention, but I should come back to this sometime. Read full review


The Ancient Fortresses of Babylon Mesopotamia Assyria Asia Minor and Greece i
Fortifications of Greece and Rome 3oo B C to 2oo B C
Fortifications of the Levant Rome and Western Europe 2oo B C to 30 B C
Fortifications of the Roman Empire
Byzantine Fortifications from the Fifth to the Tenth Century
Fortifications of Western Europe from the Fifth to the Eleventh Century
Rectangular Keeps or Donjons
Byzantine and Saracen Fortifications of the Twelfth Century
Fortifications and Buildings of the Bailey in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries
Casdes from about 1190 to 1270
Siege Engines and Siege Operations of the Middle Ages
Edwardian and Contemporary Castles
Towns Fortified Bridges and Towers
Gatehouses and Defences of the Curtain during the Thir teenth and Fourteenth Centuries
Development of the TowerHouse
SixteenthCentury Forts

Transitional Keeps of the Twelfth Century

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References to this book

Medieval Art
Marilyn Stokstad
Limited preview - 2004
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