Rural Fortifications in Western Europe and Byzantium, Tenth to Twelfth Century
By Mark Whittow
Byzantinische Forschungen v.21 (1995)
Introduction: In 1992 – warmly encouraged by Cyril Mango – Hugh Barnes and I, plus a team of Oxford undergraduates, began what is planned in the first instance to be a survey of five Byzantine castles in the Menderes region of western Turkey. One basic goal of the project is to assemble material for a corpus of Byzantine castles that will contribute towards a more reliable chronology and typology of these sites, but the end of the exercise is not a study of Byzantien military architecture as such. Rather we see fortifications as a reflection of other aspects of the society which produced them. Byzantium is a relatively ill-documented culture, and castles are valuable evidence which we cannot afford to neglect.