Typology of Greek Artillery Towers

The study of military architecture can reveal much about the ongoing "conversation" between offensive and defensive strategies.

A dialogue of violence and counter-violence that has defined the practice of warfare since antiquity (Ober, 1991 & forthcoming). This paper looks atone example of offensive-defensive dialectics in late Classical and early Hellenistic Greek military architecture: the response of some details of tower design to innovations in artillery technology.

I hope to show that in the century between c. 375 and c. 275 B.C. there were two distinct periods in the design of Greek towers and that these architectural periods reflect the evolving threat of offensive artillery and the evolving understanding by military architects of potential uses for defensive artillery.

While many aspects of tower design could be analyzed in terms of their relationship to artillery, I concentrate here on the design of chambers and apertures.

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Author: Josiah Ober

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Keywords: Greek, Artillery, Towers, Fortifications, Building Methods, Hellenistic


Josiah Ober

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