This second edition of DeVries and Smiths’ book, Medieval Military Technology, encompasses many of the weapons, fortifications, vessels, machines, and armour developed throughout the medieval period, to provide a brief cultural history of the relationship between military technology and medieval society. DeVries and Smiths’ purpose in compiling this book was to lay out their argument in a way to which the reader can understand the purpose of medieval military and its relationship to society. The central argument of this book is that, unlike Lynn White’s thesis, which emphasized the medieval military technology of the stirrup as the beginning of feudalism , DeVries and Smith use their book to allow the reader to see that both medieval society and technology influenced each other of the course of the development of medieval military technology. Hence, DeVries and Smiths’ thesis points to concentrating on looking at Middle Age military technology to gain an understanding and appreciation for the technologies that influenced medieval society, and have provided the modern twenty first-century with legendary histories. Their argument is further enforced in the books conclusion, with examples of military revolutions that happened throughout the medieval period, and a concise segue into how military technology has influenced the modern world. All of which helped Devries and Smith succeed in proving their thesis.
Over the course of this book, DeVries and Smith used many primary and secondary sources to back u...
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...ription and explanation of the purposes a broad range of weapons, armour, vessels, fortifications and machines had on the evolution of medieval society and military technology.
Overall, this text book is a useful guide in grasping a better understanding of all the elements that influenced military technology throughout the Middle Ages. The broad range of material, in a condensed form make this book a good starting point to begin research within the topic of medieval military technology. If the reader can go through the book without getting lost in the minute details, then they will be left with a book that has encompassed a broad argument that builds a good foundation for further work within the field.
DeVries, Kelly, and Robert Douglas Smith. Medieval Military Technology, Second Edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated, 2012.
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