City Walls: The Urban Enceinte in Global Perspective

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The essays presented in this volume describe a phenomenon so widespread in human time and space that its importance is easily overlooked. City walls shaped the history of warfare; the mobilization of manpower and resources needed to build them favored some kinds of polities over others; and their massive strength, appropriately ornamented, created a visual language of authority. Chapters by historians and art historians explore how separate traditions throughout the world illustrate universal themes of defensive strategy and the symbolism of power, each time embedded in a distinctive local context.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This wide range means that every reader is likely to be led into strange and intriguing territories...brings together some excellent contributions, and there is much here about common themes and about cultural diversity." Times Literary Supplement

"...well worth a close look, not only for its intelligent exploration of individual cases of interests, but also for what they suggest about the role of fortifications in broader patterns of change in the urban, architectural, and military history of a large part of an increasingly interconnected world." 16th Century Journal

"all who are interested in military architecture and related subjects will find this book an interesting and valuable read." Jrnl of Military History

"all of the authors are to be commended for the scholarly quality of their individual pieces. This reader would also thank Tracy for providing an extremely cogent and useful annotated bibliography that further explores the role of city walls across time and geography...this collection demonstrates that such dialogues on specific themes within our profession are both possible and potentially rewarding." American Historical Review Feb 2002

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Contained communities in tropical Africa Graham Connah; 2. Palisaded settlements in prehistoric Eastern North America George R. Milner; 3. To wall or not to wall: evidence from Medieval Germany James D. Tracy; 4. Medieval walled space: urban development vs. defence Kathryn L. Reyerson; 5. A world without walls: city and town in colonial Spanish America Richard L. Kagan; 6. The fortifications of Epaminondas and the rise of the monumental Greek city Frederick A. Cooper; 7. Imperial walled cities in the West and their early medieval Nachleben Bernard S. Bachrach; 8. Delhi walled: changing boundaries Catherine B. Asher; 9. Walled cities in Islamic North Africa and Egypt (with particular reference to the Fatamids, 909–1171) Jonathan Bloom; 10. Ottoman military architecture in the early gunpowder era: a reassessment Simon Pepper; 11. Walled towns during the French wars of religion, 1560–1630 Michael Wolfe; 12. Portuguese urban fortifications in Morocco: borrowing, adaptation, and innovation along a military frontier Martin M. Elbl; 13. The artillery fortress as an engine of European overseas expansion, 1480–1750 Geoffrey Parker; 14. Representations of Chinese walled cities in the pictorial and graphic arts Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt; 15. The hierarchy of Ming city walls Edward L. Farmer; 16. Decoration of city walls in Medieval Islam: the epigraphic message Sheila S. Blair; 17. Medieval French representations of city and other walls Wolfgang G. van Emden; 18. Siege law, siege ritual, and the symbolism of city walls in Renaissance Europe Simon Pepper; 19. Representations of the city in siege views of the seventeenth century: the war of military images and their production Martha Pollak.

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