Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Europe Incastellated: Medieval Archaeology

  • Robert Liddiard
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1708

Introduction

The castle is perhaps the signature building of the European Middle Ages. Whether surviving as earthworks, ruined masonry or, in a minority of cases, still inhabited, castles are a testament par excellence to the ambition and achievements of the landed aristocracy that ruled Europe from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries. The castle’s origins, longevity, and decline were intimately bound up with the European system of social relations and landholding conventionally defined as feudalism. In the popular imagination, the castle is associated primarily with its military function, but equal weight should also be given to its more domestic aspects and role as a residence. The subject has seen considerable revision in the past two decades, and debate has chiefly focused on the martial character of the castle, with a strong tendency to emphasize the role of the castle as an icon of lordship and as a visual projection of seigniorial power, as much as a tool of war.

Definition

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References

  1. Cathcart King, D. J. 1983. Castellarium Anglicanum. New York: Kraus International.Google Scholar
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Further Reading

  1. Allen Brown, R.A. 1976.English castles. London: Batsford.Google Scholar
  2. Böhme, H.W. 1999.Burgen in Mitteleuropa. Ein Handbuch. Sigmaringen: Theiss.Google Scholar
  3. Cooper, E. 1991.Castillos señoriales de Castilla. Salamanca: Junta de Castilla y León.Google Scholar
  4. Coulson, C. 1979. Structural symbolism in medieval castle architecture. Journal of the British Archaeological Association 132: 73–90.Google Scholar
  5. -2003.Castles and medieval society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Creighton, O.H. 2002.Castles and landscapes. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  7. -2012.Early European castles. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  8. Creighton, O.H. & R. Higham. 2003.Medieval castles. Princes Risborough: Shire.Google Scholar
  9. Higham, R. & P. Barker. 1992. Timber castles. London: Batsford.Google Scholar
  10. Liddiard, R. 2005.Castles in context. Macclefield: Windgather.Google Scholar
  11. McNeill, T. 1997.Castles in Ireland: feudal power in a Gaelic world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Mesqui, J. 1991. Châteaux et enceintes de la France médiévale: de la défense à la résidence. Paris: Picard.Google Scholar
  13. Pringle, D. 2006. Castellology in the Latin East: an overview. Château Gaillard 23: 361–77.Google Scholar
  14. Tabraham, C. 1986.Scottish castles and fortifications. London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Liddiard
    • 1
  1. 1.School of HistoryUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK