An isolated fortress or fortified residence, as distinct from a citadel or fortified city.

In the Archaic Period, private castles within the walls of cities are not unknown, and are a focus of anarchy and strife. They are not allowed by strong governments. In the countryside, however, castles are essential to keep a wealthy family and its dependants safe from pirates, kidnap, war, feud, and riot. Some monarchs and many powerful lords base their domains on strong castles, and these can be very impressive fortifications. See sieges.

When the Theklan hegemony absorbed states, most castles within them were ceded to the emperor. A few were left in the hands of their original owners, the right to a castle becoming a prestigious feudal privilege. The strongest of the ceded castles were occupied by imperial troops. The smaller, weaker, and less-strategic castles were leased out, like other parts of the imperial estate, in return for ship-money. Mostly, allied kings were allowed to keep their castles, subject kings were forced to cede them and were not always allowed to lease them back.

By the Classical Period, after a century of peace and order, most castles have been altered to make more comfortable homes. Despite this, some are still strong enough to withstand assault during the Civil War. After the Civil War there is a movement to repair damaged castles, and to re-fortify castles earlier converted to villas, in the expectation of renewed warfare. This trend is opposed by Jasper of Suvein, to keep the nobles, the gentry, and abbeys manageable.

In the Decadent Period properly fortified castles are again common. The control of these castles is a bone of contention between the episopoi, polemarkh (represented by the tagmarkhs), and wealthy landowners.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.