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Petre, James.
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Part I is a chronological record of the fortifications in the history of Cyprus in the period – how they influenced that history and were in turn affected by it. In Part II ‘Understanding the fortifications...’ the thesis recognises that castles and fortifications were a feature – a symptom – of the social structure, of the state’s economy and of a culture, simultaneously constituting the tools of kings and military orders serving as their residences, administrative centres and weapons of war.  This leads naturally to an assessment of why the island’s fortifications were created, as all interpretations of their value must stem from that. The answer is complex and in discussing it we see that military exigencies were not the sole arbiter of castle planning. Part II, however, also looks at the role that castles played in the conflicts in which Cyprus was involved and utilises a comparison with matters in England as a means to achieve an additional dimension of understanding. Finally Part II pays particular attention to the massive investment involved in the creation and maintenance of the enceintes at Kyrenia, Famagusta and Nicosia. It aims to show that they were built for a number of reasons of which defensibility was merely one. Part III ‘Architecture’ is a summary of the principal features of the fortifications and draws analogues with developments on the Syrian mainland, Anatolia and Europe. It serves as an analysis and introduction to Part IV, the site-by-side gazetteer. This longest section of the thesis serves two purposes. First, it contains new material both in terms of fresh information and conclusions and suggested revisions of those who have gone before. Second, it presents a survey of all the sites, benefiting from all preceding studies, both historical and archaeological.
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