Greek Fortifications of Asia Minor 500-130 BC: From the Persian Wars to the Roman Conquest (Fortress)

Greek Fortifications of Asia Minor 500-130 BC: From the Persian Wars to the Roman Conquest (Fortress)

Language: English

Pages: 64

ISBN: 1846034159

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Sandwiched between the heart of ancient Greece and the lands of Persia, the Greek cities of Western Anatolia were the spark that ignited some of the most iconic conflicts of the ancient world. Fought over repeatedly in the 5th century BC, their conquest by the Persians provided a casus belli for Alexander the Great to cross the Hellespont in 334 BC and launch the battle of Granicus and the sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus. A blend of Greek and Asian styles of military architecture, these fortified cities were revolutionary in their multi-linear construction - successive defensive walls - with loopholes and mural arches. Konstantin Nossov illustrates the evolution of Greek fortifications and the influences of the region they bordered in this fascinating study.

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powerful gate. Its two flanking rectangular towers do not stand a mere 20m apart from each other, leaving a narrow passage between them. There is also room, in the mouth of a semicircular courtyard, for a tower-like structure with a vaulted passageway (11m long and 7.25m wide) in the centre. The second storey of the structure was supposedly occupied by missile-throwing machines, which commanded the space in front of the gate. The exit from the semicircular courtyard behind the structure was

insurrection, which led to the outbreak of the Persian Wars. A new stage in the history of Greek colonies in Anatolia and Asia Minor began with the arrival of Alexander the Great. In spring 334 BC Alexander crossed the Dardanelles and in the course of six months swept along the whole of the western Anatolian coast, liberating one Greek city after another from their Persian garrisons. The sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus turned out to be especially difficult for him. Asia Minor was brought into

another sally the defenders attacked the Greeks on two sides; this moment is shown here. The Macedonians only just managed to beat them off. They probably owed much of their success to the torsion stone-projectors {lithobolos) mounted on wooden towers, which were used for the first time in this siege. Used here as antipersonnel weapons, these were probably only small experimental models, yet it only took two years to develop them into larger engines capable of damaging fortifications, as happened

fortifications of these cities had few towers, or the towers were not spacious enough to accommodate artillery (as at Priene, Myndos and Caunos). Even rich cities often considered it inexpedient to have powerful fortifications built all along the perimeter. For instance, it was not worthwhile to erect thick, multi-level curtains and large artillery towers at places where the terrain offered excellent protection (along the edge of a steep precipice, for example) and excluded any possibility of

best preserved. The gate was strengthened with two towers, one of which is still about 7m high. There is a 7m-wide and 2.5m-deep ditch in front of the gate. Heracleia on Latmus (Caria/Ionia) The magnificent ruins of this site lie near the village of Kapikiri, on the eastern shore of Lake Bafa. In places the fortifications chiefly dating from c. 300 BC (the great circuit, or Heracleia I) are very well preserved. The diateicbisma or cross-wall (Heracleia II) was built in the mid-3rd century B C or

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