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War and the City

The Urban Context of Conflict and Mass Destruction

Edited by Tim Keogh

A crucial collection of new insights into a topic too often ignored in military history: the close interrelationship between cities and warfare throughout modern history.
Scenes of Aleppo’s war-torn streets may be shocking to the world’s majority urban population, but such destruction would be familiar to urban dwellers as early as the third millennium BCE. While war is often narrated as a clash of empires, nation-states, and ‘civilizations’, cities have been the strategic targets of military campaigns, to be conquered, destroyed, or occupied. Cities have likewise been shaped by war, whether transformed for the purposes of military production, reconstructed after bombardment, or renewed as sites for remembering the costs of war. This conference volume draws on the latest research in military and urban history to understand the critical intersection between war and cities.

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Paul J. Burton

Rome engaged in military and diplomatic expansionistic state behavior, which we now describe as ‘imperialism,’ since well before the appearance of ancient sources describing this activity. Over the course of at least 800 years, the Romans established and maintained a Mediterranean-wide empire from Spain to Syria (and sometimes farther east) and from the North Sea to North Africa. How and why they did this is a perennial source of scholarly controversy. Earlier debates over whether Rome was an aggressive or defensive imperial state have progressed to theoretically-informed discussions of the extent to which system-level or discursive pressures shaped the Roman Empire. Roman imperialism studies now encompass such ancillary subfields as Roman frontier studies and Romanization.

Montfort

History, Early Research and Recent Studies of the Principal Fortress of the Teutonic Order

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Edited by Adrian Boas and Rabei G. Khamisy

Montfort Castle, located in the western Galilee, was the principal fortress of the Teutonic Order, one of the three great military orders of the Crusader period. It was built in the early thirteenth century and occupied and dismantled by the Mamluk army in 1271. It is among the finest examples of Crusader spur castles. This present volume includes discussions by 23 scholars, experts in their fields, in 28 chapters covering every aspect of past and recent scholarship on the history of the Teutonic Order and the castle, travellers’ descriptions, the architecture, the geographical setting, the material culture of the garrison, and detailed descriptions of the 1926 archaeological expedition to Montfort and the ongoing work of the Montfort Castle Project.

Winner of the 2017 Verbruggen prize, awarded annually by the De Re Militari society for the best book on medieval military history. The awarding committee stated that the volume offers ‘a through exploration of all the sources, archaeological and literary, relating to an important site. A model for future work.’

Contributors are Laura Aiello, Zohar Amar, Tamar Backner, Adrian J. Boas, Nativ Dudai, Rafael Frankel, Jonathan J. Gottlieb, Lydia Perelis Grossowicz, Timothy B. Husband, Nurith Kenaan-Kedar, Rabei G. Khamisy, Robert Kool, Dorit Korngreen, Rafael Lewis, Nili Liphschitz, Cecilia Luschi, Lisa Pilosi, Mary B. Shepard, Vardit Shotten-Hallel, Kristjan Toomaspoeg, Andrea Wähning, David Whitehouse, and Mark Wypyski.

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Edited by Erik S. Kooper and Sjoerd Levelt

Alongside annals, chronicles were the main genre of historical writing in the Middle Ages. Their significance as sources for the study of medieval history and culture is today widely recognised not only by historians, but also by students of medieval literature and linguistics and by art historians. The series The Medieval Chronicle aims to provide a representative survey of the on-going research in the field of chronicle studies, illustrated by examples from specific chronicles from a wide variety of countries, periods and cultural backgrounds.
There are several reasons why the chronicle is particularly suited as the topic of a yearbook. In the first place there is its ubiquity: all over Europe and throughout the Middle Ages chronicles were written, both in Latin and in the vernacular, and not only in Europe but also in the countries neighbouring on it, like those of the Arabic world. Secondly, all chronicles raise such questions as by whom, for whom, or for what purpose were they written, how do they reconstruct the past, what determined the choice of verse or prose, or what kind of literary influences are discernable in them. Finally, many chronicles have been beautifully illuminated, and the relation between text and image leads to a wholly different set of questions.
The Medieval Chronicle is published in cooperation with the Medieval Chronicle Society (medievalchronicle.org).

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya

A Social History of the Shifta Conflict, c. 1963-1968

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Hannah Whittaker

In Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya, Hannah Whittaker offers an in-depth analysis of the Somali secessionist war in northern Kenya, 1963-68. Combining archival and oral data, the work captures the complexity of the conflict, which combined a series of local, national and regional confrontations. The conflict was not, Whittaker argues, evidence of the potency of Somali nationalism, but rather an early expression of its failure. The book also deals with the Kenyan government’s response to the conflict as part of the entrenchment of African colonial boundaries at independence. Contrary to current narratives of an increasingly borderless world, Whittaker reminds us of the violence that is produced by state-led attempts to shore up contested borderlands. This work provides vital insights into the history behind the on-going troubled relationship between the Kenyan state and its Somali minority, and between Kenya and Somalia.

Nomads in the Shadows of Empires

Contests, Conflicts and Legacies on the Southern Ethiopian-Northern Kenyan Frontier

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Gufu Oba

In Nomads in the Shadows of Empires Gufu Oba presents accounts of why the legacies of banditry and ethnic conflicts have proved so difficult to resolve along the southern Ethiopian and northern Kenyan frontier. Using interpretative and comparative methods to dialogue the relationships between different political actors on both sides of the frontier, the work captures the dynamics of political events related to imperial contests over borders and trans-frontier treaty. A complex evolution of inter-societal relations, as well as the relations between partitioned nomads and the imperial states had resulted in persistent conflicts. This work improves the understanding why frontier pastoralists continue to experience conflict over land, even after the transfer of the tribal territories to the imperial and postcolonial states.

Please click here to watch an interview with the author in Oromo.

Animals and War

Studies of Europe and North America

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Edited by Ryan Hediger

Animals and War is the first collection of essays to explore its important, yet neglected, topic. Scholars from sociology, history, anthropology, and literary and cultural studies investigate the presence of animals in human wars. The essays analyze a wide range of phenomena, including the new militarization of bees, zoo animals during war, war dogs, Finish horses in World War II, Canadian war literature, and the effort to memorialize nonhuman war animals. Although animals are often forced to participate in human wars, their presence also signals human vulnerability and dependence. Several chapters demonstrate that in the frequently horrible circumstances of war, powerful sympathies nonetheless flourish between humans and animals. Animals and War thus exposes the often paradoxical contours of human-animal relationships.