Great Sieges in World History

From Ancient Times to the 21st Century

by Spencer C. Tucker


Joan of Arc was only about 16 years old when she led French forces to victory over the English at the Siege of Orléans, which enabled Charles VII to be crowned king at Reims in 1429.

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Cover image for Great Sieges in World History

August 2020


Pages 400
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars
  World History/Conflict
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This impressive collection of 100 of the most decisive and important sieges spans human history and covers conflicts in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

This engaging reference work provides readers with detailed coverage on the sieges that have had the biggest impact on world history. In addition to providing basic factual information, this encyclopedia will delve into the historical context and significance of each siege. Readers will be able to identify relationships between entries and both observe the gradual evolution of siege warfare over time, and compare and contrast siege characteristics within and among different historical time periods. The encyclopedia's expansive scope will broaden readers' understanding of military history.

The book begins with a preface and an introductory essay that offers a detailed overview of siege warfare throughout history. This is followed by 100 chronological entries on the most significant sieges, beginning with the Siege of Troy (1194–1184 BCE) and ending with the Siege of Mosul, Iraq (October 17, 2016–July 9, 2017). Each siege entry opens with a fact box that provides crucial information on troop strength and casualties and ends with a Further Reading section that directs readers to additional information about the siege. Numerous illustrations and maps accompany the text.


  • Provides an invaluable overview of siege warfare throughout human history
  • Offers a chronological format that allows readers to quickly locate individual sieges and place them within the larger context of history
  • Explains how the introduction of new tactics and new weaponry impacted siege warfare throughout history
  • Offers a curated selection of images and maps that provide additional context to the entries and make the book more visually appealing
  • Includes more than two dozen sidebars that showcase fascinating stories related to sieges
Author Info

Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, retired in 2003 after 36 years of university teaching, the last six as holder of the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute. He has been a Fulbright scholar, a visiting research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, and, as a U.S. Army captain, an intelligence analyst in the Pentagon. He has written or edited more than 60 books or encyclopedias treating military and naval history, a number of which have won important awards. Among his works are American Revolution: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection (2018).

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