Thursday, May 18, 2006
Castles: an overview of medieval European life
The castle design was influenced by lessons in the Crusades - in the early 1200's. Knights fought the Muslims and got effective ideas for fortifications in Syria and Palestine.
* portcullis - fortified door
* drawbar - behind the door
* crennelations - tops of walls offered cover to soldiers (see above)
* finials - pointy decorations atop walls, etc.
* arrow loop - slot thru which archers fired
* inner ward: chapel, nobles' apartments, great hall, barracks & stables, kitchen & well, blacksmith shop, storehouses.
* inner & outer curtain - stone walls
The forces that swept into Celtic England and made the British an amalgam:
* Normans - from Normandy, France
* Angles & Saxons - from Germany (Angle Land - England)
* Norse - Danes, Norwegians, Swedes (Scandinavians)
* Romans - from Italy.