Last week, we looked at a model for what the countryside around an 'ideal city' might look like. Today we're going to introduce some complications to that model (you will recall, our ideal city existed in a perfectly flat plain of uniform fertility) and see how they change the patterns of land use which in … Continue reading Collections: The Lonely City, Part II: Real Cities Have Curves
Today, I just want to talk a little about what I'm doing here on the blog and how you might want to read the posts I'm making. I'll finish up with a sense of what's in the pipeline. This is going to be less of a prepared mini-essay and a bit more of a fireside … Continue reading Miscellanea: A Brief Discussion of History and Scope, or What Am I Doing Here?
This week and next, we're going to look at an issue not of battles, but of settings: pre-modern cities - particularly the trope of the city, town or castle set out all alone in the middle of empty spaces. Why does the city or castle-town set amidst a sea of grass feel so off? And … Continue reading Collections: The Lonely City, Part I: The Ideal City
This week, we're going to look at how the effectiveness of arrow fire - especially against armored targets - varies over distance. This is, in a sense, a continuation of my previous post on armor penetration, "Punching Through Some Armor Myths," so you may want to refer back occasionally. This is going to be a … Continue reading Collections: Archery, Distance and ‘Kiting’
By popular request, today we're going to talk about oaths. Oaths appear a lot in fantasy fiction - and even in historical fiction - and they are frequently done wrong. I remarked on this in part II of my "How it Wasn't: Game of Thrones and the Middle Ages" that, "characters are forever being asked … Continue reading Collections: Oaths! How do they Work?
This week, we're going to talk about armor effectiveness, comparing the value of body-armor before gunpowder with what gets portrayed in fiction and broader pop culture. What does it take to defeat armor? What weapons were effective at defeating armor - and what kinds of armor were they effective against? I should note that I … Continue reading Collections: Punching Through Some Armor Myths
This is the sixth and final part of a six part series taking a military historian's look at the Siege of Gondor in Peter Jackson's adaptation of Return of the King. You can find the other parts linked here (I, II, III, IV and V). This time, we are going to look at how the … Continue reading Collections: The Siege of Gondor: Part VI: Black Sails and Gleaming Banners