The Medieval Military Engineer: From the Roman Empire to the Sixteenth Century [Hardback]

Peter Purton(Author)

ISBN: 9781783272785 | Published by: Boydell Press | Series: Armour and Weapons | Volume: Volume 7 | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 365p, H9.25 x W6.25, 30 black and white
Status: In Stock - Available

The Medieval Military Engineer


The results of medieval engineering still surround us - cathedrals, castles, stone bridges, irrigation systems. However, the siege artillery, siege towers, temporary bridges, earthwork emplacements and underground mines used for war have left little trace behind them; and there is even less of the engineers themselves: the people behind the military engineering achievements. The evidence for this neglected group is studied here. The author begins by considering the evolution of military technology across centuries, and the impact of new technologies in the context of the economic and social developments which made them possible. He looks at how military engineers obtained their skills, and the possible link with scholastic scientific awareness. With the increased survival of government records from the middle ages, engineers acquire names and individuals can be identified. And the fifteenth century - the age of polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci - saw a new type of literate military engineer, part of a recognized profession, but with its roots in a thousand years of historical development. Peter Purton, D Phil (Oxon), FSA, has written extensively on medieval fortifications and siege warfare; his publications include the comprehensive two-volume history of the medieval siege (Boydell, 2010).

Table of Contents

PrefaceMilitary engineers in the Middle AgesLate Antiquity and the early "middle ages": were the "Dark Ages" really dark?Anonymous but effective: the engineers and technicians of the ninth to eleventh centuriesThe engineer recognisedEngineers in demand: innovation and development in the thirteenth centuryOld and new technology and its operators in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuriesPolymaths and specialists in the fifteenth centuryPostscript: from medieval to [early] modern in the sixteenth centuryAppendix: Military engineers and miners in the Pipe Rolls of the English ExchequerBibliography of primary sourcesBibliography of secondary sources

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