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Siege Warfare: From Troy to Acre - 20 credits (HST905)

Siege warfare is total warfare. The involvement of entire populations, including traditional non-combatants, as well as the dramatic events that this type of warfare entailed, made them a popular subject for historians and chroniclers of the ancient and medieval worlds. A rich body of archaeological and artistic evidence also survives, and this module introduces students to these different types of evidence, to enable them to study a variety of aspects of this form of warfare. These include how and why sieges occurred, the ‘rules’ of warfare, the fortifications, technology and mechanics of siege warfare, the experience of siege warfare for attackers, defenders and traditional non-combatants, representations of siege warfare in literary and artistic media, and the significance of sieges such as Troy or Acre to later generations. Students have the opportunity to specialise on a particular period or geographic area, on a chosen aspect of siege warfare, or may opt to undertake a specialist case study.