Medieval European Castle Essay

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In all conflict, an imperative or goal is held by all of its participants. When applied to Medieval Europe, the need to expand an empire, survive a siege, or succeed in conflict over ideals has led to some astonishing innovations of architectural engineering. The most prominent being the invention of fortified military compounds that fell under the collective term “Castle”. This single invention defined an entire chapter of European history marked by the battle of Hastings in 1066 to the invention of gunpowder around the 15th century making castles militarily obsolete. The intent of this paper is to examine the history of Medieval Europe and what drive led to the need for castles. Also included in this paper is an assessment of the function…show more content…
From the late 11th century to the end on the 13th century, numerous campaigns were fought by the Europeans in Palestine, to help liberate the Christian populace from Muslims. Nardo indicates that European knights borrowed many ideas of castle construction from “the walls and towers protecting the Byzantine cities of Constantinople” (43). The military technologies were then brought back and influenced Medieval European castle making in several ways. These included machicolation, arrow loops, circular guard towers, and draw bridges (Nardo 43-45). Machicolation was the technique of making “indentations” on the tops of walls and towers, giving the defender of a castle the opportunity to drop boiling tar or fire arrows on invading forces. Arrow loops were extremely narrow windows on a castles outer structure, with outward facing inner walls, giving archers a much wider field of view. Lastly, the reasoning of a circular tower improved on the traditional “square tower”. The original square tower’s edges proved to be a weakness because it was situated away from a defender’s field of view and could be exploited. The circular structure meant a castle could be defended from all
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