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First besieged in 305 BC, the island of Rhodes became part of the Roman Empire and was later fortified in the Byzantine style. Due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean, Rhodes was also attacked and besieged for over a century by Islamic forces. This title details the development of these fascinating fortifications, as well as the sieges that sought to reduce them.
Sandwiched between the heart of ancient Greece and the lands of Persia, the Greek cities of Western Anatolia were the spark that ignited some of the most iconic conflicts of the ancient world. Fought over repeatedly in the 5th century BC, their conquest by the Persians provided a casus belli for Alexander the Great to cross the Hellespont in 334 BC and launch the battle of Granicus and the sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus. A blend of Greek and Asian styles of military architecture, these fortified cities were revolutionary in their multi-linear construction - successive defensive walls - with loopholes and mural arches. Konstantin Nossov illustrates the evolution of Greek fortifications and the influences of the region they bordered in this fascinating study.
In the second half of the third millennium BC the Indo-European tribe known as the Hittites migrated and settled in Central Anatolia, at that time a land of small city-states whose rulers lived in fortresses. These fortifications enabled the Hittites to transform themselves into a Bronze Age super-power defeating the Egyptians at Kadesh in c.1274 BC. Konstantin Nossov examines the fortifications constructed by the Hittites in their efforts to sustain and then halt the decline of their once flourishing empire. Providing an in-depth anatomy of the fortresses, focusing on the major sites of the principal city Hattusha as well as sites at Alacahï¿½yï¿½k and Karatepe, with full-color reconstructions, this is an intriguing glimpse into the history of an empire which at its height rivalled the Egyptians and Assyrians. It concludes with an examination of these sites as they survive today, information that will appeal to both enthusiasts and tourists visiting the area.
From the beginning of the 11th century onwards, the constant sate of war amongst the various Indian kingdoms left them open to outside attack, and Muslim Turkic tribesmen began to pour over the north-west border from modern-day Afghanistan. These raiders consolidated their successes and by 1206 a Muslim state, the Sultanate of Delhi, had been founded, which then extended its direct rule or influence over most of the subcontinent.A turbulent period followed. The Sultanate was in constant flux as five dynasties rose and fell: Mamluk or Slave (1206-90), Khalji (1290-1320), Tughluq (1320-1413), Sayyid (1414-51), and Lodi (1451-1526). 19 out of the 35 Sultans died at the hands of assassins and the Sultanate was torn by factional rivalries and court intrigues. As a consequence of this, the territory under its direct control expanded and shrank depending on the personality, fortunes and military success of each individual Sultan.This era is considered to be the defining age of Indian castle and fortification design. The instability and feudal division of the country throughout the greater part of the period led to the intense fortification of many of the provinces, as each small lord sought to bolster his position by constructing castles. It was also the period during which Indian castles started to show their defining features, elements of which would be modified in later years as the technology of siege warfare evolved. The combined influence of the Islamic and Hindu architectural tradition lends these fortifications a unique and exotic style. This book covers all the major sites of the period, including the fabled seven medieval cities on the site of present-day Delhi, as well as the most prominent sieges.
Using archaeological evidence and first-hand sources, Konstantin Nossov charts the history of the medieval Russian fortress from its early beginnings until the 14th century.According to Russian legend, in AD 862, the Slav tribes of what is now European Russia invited a number of Scandinavian princes to rule over them. In AD 882, Prince Oleg united these kingdoms as the feudal state of Kievan Rus, by building a series of settlement and border fortifications, including the Zmievy Valy (Snake Ramparts), to protect against foreign invasion.The rise of feudalism through the 11th century saw the development of individual fortified sites to the detriment of the extended border defenses. Consequently, Mongol hordes poured over the border, introducing the siege warfare techniques of the East, and heavily influencing the fortification styles thereafter.The rise of Muscovy in the fourteenth century saw an enhanced role for Moscow and the Kremlin, which was rebuilt in stone reflecting its increased significance.This book brings all these diverse strands together into a comprehensive volume on the fortifications of Russia from the early days of the Kievan Rus' until the foundation of the modern state in 1480.
In 1462 the throne of the Principality of Moscow passed to the Ivan III (1462-1505), who succeeded in throwing off the Tatar yoke. For the next 200 years this new state struggled to maintain her borders against a series of attacks from the Lithuanians, Swedes and Poles to the west, as well as the Tatars to the south. They achieved this through the development of a network of fortified sites and a series of linear defensive systems. This book examine how these fortifications were developed to respond to ever changing situations under the command of such charismatic rulers as Ivan the Terrible, right through to the military reforms of Peter the Great.
Elephants have been deployed as weapons for centuries, particularly in South and South-East Asia, where war elephants constituted the bulk of most armies in the region from antiquity right up to the 19th century. This book offers an insight into the incredible history of these "living tanks," focusing on the design of the equipment and armament that made them so terrifying, particularly the development and structure of the fighting tower.The author, Konstantin S. Nossov goes on to trace the battle history of war elephants, from their deployment against Alexander the Great's army at the battle of Gaugamela, through to their use in the 19th century by the myriad armies of South-East Asia, all the time analyzing the battle formation and tactics of war elephants in action and how these tactics changed over time. He then goes on to examine the most famous action that war elephants took part in, Hannibal's dramatic march over the Alps and his subsequent invasion of Italy. Supported by rare illustrations and full-color original artwork, this book is a vivid account of the development and operation of one of history's most unusual "machines of warfare."