Medieval Castles

Hardcover | May 31, 2005

byMarilyn Stokstad

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The castle was far more than a walled and turreted fortress; it was an instrument of social control and the symbol of power, authority, and wealth. Acknowledged expert Marilyn Stokstad combines interpretive essays and original documents in English translation in order to examine the role of the castle in society as well as its use in war. Thirty illustrations provide valuable visual references, while 20 brief biographies of rulers, builders, and chroniclers allow one to glimpse into the lives of those who lived in and constructed these impressive structures. Seventy excerpted and annotated primary documents cover topics ranging from the defence of castles to the banquets thrown within them. A glossary of terms, annotated chronology, and index complete this useful work on a fascinating subject. Commencing with an overview of the military and social systems operating in the Middle Ages, Stokstad places castles and other fortified places into an appropriate context. Readers are then guided through the development of early "motte and bailey" castles and the development of masonry towers and walls in the 11th and 12th centuries. Medieval Castles considers the military aspect of castles, including seige warfare and the architectural response to attack and defence, in the 12th and 13th centuries. It explores castles and citadels as local and regional government and economic centers in the 14th and 15th centuries. It also looks at the symbolic role of architecture and at castles as elite residences and settings for public display. A concluding interpretive essay looks at the impact of gunpowder on castles as well as our continuing fascination with the castle as a romantic fantasy of anidealized world.

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From the Publisher

The castle was far more than a walled and turreted fortress; it was an instrument of social control and the symbol of power, authority, and wealth. Acknowledged expert Marilyn Stokstad combines interpretive essays and original documents in English translation in order to examine the role of the castle in society as well as its use in w...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.52 × 6.22 × 0.92 inPublished:May 31, 2005Publisher:Greenwood PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313325251

ISBN - 13:9780313325250

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"Stokstad, the author of a well- regarded history of medieval art, has written an account that describes all aspects of medieval castles, with many specific examples and a rich collection of primary sources. Written for high school students and the general reader, the text provides a nuanced look at castles, with attention to their architecture, methods of fortification, methods of warfare, functions besides defense, inhabitants, their fate after the invention of gunpowder, and the romantic attachment to their architecture from the 18th century to the present. This volume focuses mainly on examples in England and France; it is supplemented nicely by examples in another book in this series, also written by a senior scholar, that focuses on the Crusades."-Art Book News Annual