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KEEP this CASTLE confusion!!!

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KEEP this CASTLE confusion!!!

Postby Dragon Master » Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:31 pm

I'm a bit confused about Castles and Keeps. In the game Age of Empires castles are the large fortified structures we know and love, keeps are single towers about 1/4 that size. I've also seen huge lego creations like Anthony Sava's Stonebarrow KEEP, surely it could have the title "CASTLE" and the past KK large set was King Leo's "CASTLE," but it is not very large at all.

What I would like to know is, is there a definate line between castles and keep? certain size, materials, structre, function, that differentiate them?

I know a few of you guys know a lot about the middle ages, so could you tell me. It would be helpful when naming the large, gray, building that I plan on making.

Thanks so much,

DM
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Postby SavaTheAggie » Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:38 pm

I am not very knowledgeable in this area, so I have no idea why I'm replying :) But I'll give it my best shot with what I know.

A Keep is a large fortified structure used as a residence or seat of power.

A Castle generally contains a Keep, along with a curtain wall that encloses a courtyard and/or other smaller buildings.

So I guess if those difinitions are right, if it doesn't have a courtyard or other freestanding buildings inside it, it's a Keep?

Oh well, I'll let someone else answer it :P

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Postby Dragon Master » Sat Feb 21, 2004 2:46 pm

Thanks Anthony for replying,

I'm a little dissapointed that our Castle historians didn't say anything. Lenny, Blasterman, TwoTonic, I know you know the answer!

But Anthony, I think you are correct. that sounds like it is a nail on the head answer.

I'll keep that in mind on my next fortified structure.

DM
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Postby TwoTonic Knight » Sat Feb 21, 2004 4:10 pm

Dragon Master wrote:Thanks Anthony for replying,

I'm a little dissapointed that our Castle historians didn't say anything. Lenny, Blasterman, TwoTonic, I know you know the answer!

But Anthony, I think you are correct. that sounds like it is a nail on the head answer.

I'll keep that in mind on my next fortified structure.

DM


I was going to double-check one of my source books before I shot off my mouth, but I can't figure out where I have put it, and then I forgot about the thread.

Medieval terminology is imprecise, usually because as something evolved, the name evolved along with it, but the old term might still be applied just to confuse you. So the wooden tower of the motte and bailey castle evolved into the stone donjon, and then into the complete stone Keep, which can also be refered to as something of the minimum configuration of a castle. A Keep is basically a tower that can stand on its own and doubles as living quarters. It may have further elements extending from it or surrounding it - walls, gatehouses, towers, etc. that form a larger castle. But the Keep itself was usually the central and final strongpoint. So, A Keep can be free-standing or part of a larger and more complex castle.

An excellent book that shows the evolution of castles, illustrated terminology and all sorts of detail that is otherwise hard to find is The Medieval Fortress by J.E. Kaufman and H.W. Kaufman, Combined Publishing.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1580970621/qid=1077379676//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-2915175-1191860?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
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Postby Dragon Master » Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:09 pm

Thanks very much, it seems that Anthony was right. I knew I could depend on you guys.

And thanks for telling me about that book TwoTonicKnight.

You Rock,

DM
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