Using archaeological evidence and first-hand sources, Konstantin Nossov charts the history of the medieval Russian fortress from its early beginnings until the 14th century.
According to Russian legend, in AD 862, the Slav tribes of what is now European Russia invited a number of Scandinavian princes to rule over them. In AD 882, Prince Oleg united these kingdoms as the feudal state of Kievan Rus, by building a series of settlement and border fortifications, including the Zmievy Valy (Snake Ramparts), to protect against foreign invasion.
The rise of feudalism through the 11th century saw the development of individual fortified sites to the detriment of the extended border defenses. Consequently, Mongol hordes poured over the border, introducing the siege warfare techniques of the East, and heavily influencing the fortification styles thereafter.
The rise of Muscovy in the fourteenth century saw an enhanced role for Moscow and the Kremlin, which was rebuilt in stone reflecting its increased significance.
This book brings all these diverse strands together into a comprehensive volume on the fortifications of Russia from the early days of the Kievan Rus' until the foundation of the modern state in 1480.