Six (6!) Part Series On The Military Details Of The Siege Of Minas Tirith

Let’s be clear on this point: ancient and medieval warfare was mostly about sieges. Particularly during the Middle Ages (in Europe) sieges (and raiding) were common, but large pitched battles were rare. Pitched battles were far more common in the ancient world (think Persia, Macedon, Rome, etc) – this is a product of the larger size and greater organizational capabilities of those armies. Because of that, they were much more likely to win a siege – the defenders know that, so if you cannot defeat them in battle, it was better to surrender than try to hold out (a city taken in a siege was often subject to pillaging and massacre). Of course, this only works if the army approaching you can credibly siege your city – even in the absence of a siege itself, the threat of siege was crucial.

This whole series is a delight, as is this website as a whole.