Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part II: Institutions

This is the second of a three part (I) series tackling the complicated and still very much debated question of 'how bad was the fall of Rome (in the West)?' In the last part, we looked at 'words' - culture, literature, language and religion. What we found is that in these aspects, signs of sharp … Continue reading Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part II: Institutions

Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part I: Words

This week we're going to start tackling a complex and much debated question: 'how bad was the fall of Rome (in the West)?' This was the topic that won the vote among the patrons of the ACOUP Senate. The original questions here were 'what caused the loss of state capacity during the collapse of the … Continue reading Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part I: Words

Fireside Friday: January 7, 2022

First fireside of the new year! Percy (right) had been fully hidden under the tree-skirt, but Ollie's continued investigations found him out. For this week's musing, I'm in a mind to talk about the tension between preparing for different kinds of war, in particular between counter-insurgency (COIN) and large-scale combat operations (LSCO), in part because … Continue reading Fireside Friday: January 7, 2022

Collections: Fortification, Part V: The Age of Industrial Firepower

This is the final part of a five part (I, II, III, IV) series covering some of the basics of fortification, all the way from ancient city walls to modern anti-access/area denial systems. Last week, we looked at the changes which gunpowder-based weaponry enforced on fortification design in Europe, leading to the emergence of the … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part V: The Age of Industrial Firepower

Collections: Fortification, Part IV: French Guns and Italian Lines

This is the fourth part of a five part (I, II, III) series covering some of the basics of fortification, from city walls to field fortifications, from the ancient world to the modern period. Last week, we set out an overview of fortifications in medieval Europe, with particular focus on the strategic role of castles … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part IV: French Guns and Italian Lines

Collections: Fortification, Part III: Castling

This is the third part of a five part (I, II) series covering some of the basics of fortifications, from city walls to field fortifications, from the ancient world through to the modern period. Last week, we used the Romans as an example to see how the needs of a given fortification changed its structure … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part III: Castling