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535Chronology of Sieges #1

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  • James Mathews
    Mar 1, 2014
      >>>> Chronology of Sieges #1 <<<<

      Even though the number of medieval sieges both large and small probably can never be accurately estimated, the number of fortifications which history, archaeology, and the remaining ruins in the Europe and the Mediterranean world are indicated the number of said fortifications was well over 50,000.  If only one-tenth of those were during their usable lifetime, ever were engaged in warfare, the number would still be extremely high.    Also, considering that since many medieval sieges only involved a small number of men this is not seen as impossible.  So, listed below are a number of sieges that have been selected that have some historical significance:

      >> 673-678 -- Siege of Constantinople.  This was a five year siege by the Arabs which ended after they took heavy losses;

      >> 717-718 -- Attack on Constantinople.  The Arabs lost another 40,000 men in this siege.  Both this and the 7th-century siege secured the Balkans from the Islamic threat for centuries;

      >> 885-886 -- Siege of Paris.  Despite an all out attempt on the part of the Vikings, Paris did not surrender.  This great siege left a major impression on Franks and Vikings alike;

      >> 955 -- Siege of Augsburg (August 8-9).  Otto I arrived at the head of a Saxon army to break the siege and the next day the Battle of Lechfied was fought ending the Magyar threat;

      >> 1016 -- Siege of London.  After Edmund Ironside was made king of England in April, the Viking Canute the Great put London under siege although he could not maintain he encirclement and Edmond managed to break out.  However, Edmund died a year later, giving Canute an opportunity to take the throne of England;

      >> 1049 and 1054 -- Sieges of Domfront.  William the Conqueror began the expansion of his Norman territories.  The long siege of the stone castle in Angevin territory failed in 1049, but succeeded in 1054, after the garrison heard of how William treated the defenders of Alencon without mercy after taking that town while Domfront was under siege.  William continued to expand his power through more sieges.

      (To be continued)


      >> J. E. Kaufmann and H. W. Kaufmann, Robert M. Jurga (Illust.), “The Medieval Fortress, Castles, Forts, and Waled Cities of the Middle Ages,” (De Capo Press, 2004).

      Respectfully Submitted;

      Marcus Audens