This blog is devoted to the military history of the Byzantine Era, to 1453.
|Provins. Tour de Ce'sar|
Above a mid-twelth century castle. It had an unsually shaped keep on a square base with four semicircular corner turrets. I consists of twi levels. The crenelated wall that surrounds it is called a "chemise."
1. Wall extends down the motte and forms a gate;
2. Curtain (Chemise) Wall;
3. Allure (Wall walk);
4. Mound (Motte);
5. 12th Century Keep.
Orig. Sidney Toy. Mens. ETDELT. 1925
The donjon at Houdan was built about AD 1130. The inside plan is a splayed corner square, while outside it is multacircular, with four corner turrets (projecting). The two stories of the donjon are of an unusual height . The walls are carried up on all sides, 16 feet above th gutter to mask the roof. The original doorway is in the North turret, 20 feet above ground level, and was reached by a drawbridge from the curtain wall which passed near the donjon at this point.
Reference:- Sidney Toy, "Castles - Their Construction and History," (Dover Books -1985)
Redrawn and Enhanced -- Marcus Audens
|Scarborough Roman Signal Station|
The remains of signal stations have been found at Huntcliff, Goldsborough,
Ravenscar, Scarborough, and Filey. A sixth was likely at Flamborough Head
because four of the other signal stations could be viewed from that location.
In AD 383 these stations were built like smallforts. Each had for its defense a
ditch, stone wall complete with corner towers. The watch tower approximately
20 meters in hieght with a fire pit and beacon fire ready to light stood in the
center of the walled enclosure.
Note 1-- The Northeasternportion of the signal station (above) has been lost
to cliff erosion over the many years;
Note 2-- The Roman Inscription carved into a rock at the Ravenscar site reads;
One translation of this above text records that Justinianus, the Commander, and
Vindicianus, the Magister, constructed the tower (burgus).
How these forts and their beacon fires operated is a mystery. They may have
been used to send a signal inland to the cavalry fort at Derventio (Malton)
which might then dispatch a rapid reaction force. Alternatively, the
beacons may only have signalled a warning to local settlements inland.
One theory is that signals passed along the coast to warn ships of the Roman
Fleet docked along the Holderness coast or in the Humber estuary.
Perhaps all these theories are correct and the signal stations could serve
several purposes at once. The garrisons for these signal stations was small,
but seem to have been purely military. The fortifications were certainly
significant enough, and must have easily deterred Saxon raiders from besieging
and disabling them.
Reference: P. Elliott, "The Last Legionary,.....," Spellmount, Gloucester, G.B., 2007
|This seemingly isolated tower overlooks the coastal road south of Banyas, Syria. It was strong enough to impose tolls upon travelers along this road to Antioch, but the main fortress in this area was "Margat Castle" which rises a short distance inland. This tower is also said to have been linked to "Marqab" (Margat Castle) by a long stone wall. The castle itself was known as "Qalaat al-Marqab" (Castle of the Watchtower). The tower and castle were a significant part of the holdings of the Hospialler Crusaders in the 11th and 12th centuries.|
|The Roman Warship "Imperator" is now under construction at the Shipbuilding yard on the Rhine River in Germania. This ship will lead the Pirate Patrol Fleet in the area of the Rhine River's Mouth and the river length as far as it is navigable. The Pirate patrol fleet will consist of three smaller faster vessels, armed with ballista's and the trireme that you see pictured here. The construction goes forward slowly as materials for the four ships are brought in from distant ports of call. The story "Rhine River Patrol" reflects some of the political and social situations related to the construction of these vessels.|