Hugh Kennedy's Crusader Castles

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In Crusader Castles, Hugh Kennedy takes a strong approach that Crusader Castles are the pinnacle 12th and 13th century engineering. He explains that European castles which are often garrison by a local lord or vassal did not have to be built to the highest stand, unlike their counterparts to the east who would have to be built to perfection of the highest standard. They needed to be able to withstand brutal assaults from siege weaponry and armies ranking in the tens of thousands much more frequently than anywhere in Europe. Kennedy’s book is useful because it divides the crusaders castles into discrete areas and fits them into context of history and the part that they play in them. Something interesting that I have not commonly seen in other sources is his chapter on siege warfare and how it developed throughout the crusade. He explains the reasoning behind many defensive architecture designs and siege methods that were designed to thwart it. Concluding that constant warfare between Franks and Muslims became the catalyst for creating some of the most formidable castles in the world. Castles and Fortified Cities of Medieval Europe:…show more content…
Du Consructione Castri Saphet is important because it not only goes into detail on how it was built and the labor required by also the reasoning of why, something that cannot be deduced when looking at an ancient ruin. In the text it explains that the plan was inaugurated by the bishop of Marseilles, he intended it become a shield against the Saracens, while simultaneously allowing offensive maneuvers. Interestingly it describes the amount of people that were required to garrisons it against on attack how many soldiers it could house when nearby fighting was occurring. The document provides a valuable primary source on what it takes to construct a castle and how it changes the landscape around it after
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