Zenith of the Castle
As the castle became indispensable to the continuous deepening exercise of power [in the 12th Century C.E.], it also became architecturally more formidable, steadily achieving higher levels of expert design, capable of cowing its countryside, wearing down any besiegers, exalting the castellan and his knights, and serving, much more than did the fortress of a later age, as a political center. Yet even at its strongest, the castle still suffered from the problem of all fixed defenses: once compromised, it became a prison for its own garrison. Its triumph represented a revival of the single inordinately valuable target, like the acropolis of a Greek city-state….
— Derek Leebaert, To Dare and to Conquer, p. 110
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