Talk:Castle

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Featured article Castle is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Current status: Featured article

Last Edit Summary[edit]

Sorry, I meant to say "pertinent" instead of "permanent".Curb Chain (talk) 19:20, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

The word is most certainly not Latin origin, the root of the word is 'cas' which has no meaning in Latin.
The preceding culture Latin inherited from and was built upon is Etruscan. They spoke the same language and lived the same culture as Hungarians, this has been proven by Alinei. Indeed, 'cas' -> 'kas' has a meaning in Hungarian: 'something that holds something'. Example: bee-hive -> méh-kas.
'Cas' in French also means the same: some sort of a thing that can hold other things, like a box. (Spanish: 'caso') Then the English 'case' 'casket' and 'basket' suddenly start to make sense. It may come from French but not coming from Latin.
But Latin supposed to be older than French and Spanish! Both French and Spanish supposedly evolved from Latin. Clearly not the case here. Also, how did these people speek before Latin came about? While the Etruscans were ruling the place?
The Etrusc was a 'Turan' culture, like Hungarian and Turk. Turan -> tyran -> Tyrrhenian (sea).
'Tyrant' comes from Latin tyrannus that comes from Greek turannos. Yes, there is a reason for this word and its meaning.
Now, according to these pseudo-scientists, this highly civilised and tyrannical culture did not leave anything behind language and culture wise. It is ALL coming from Latin. Really? Pull the other one now!
The Etrusc came from - Asia. Now, this MUST NOT BE the origin of the superior-to-all Western Culture! This is a good example how politics influences science.
(To clarify: just because Etrusc, ancient Turks, Hungarians etc. belong to the same language/cultural group they are not necessarily genetically related.)

Complete nonsense, full of racism. The word is from the French word "castel", and it is from Latin, the word castel is attested, and it means a castle. The pronunciation in English is the same.

Most of the medieval words about royalty are from French i "Castel" comes from the Latin "castellum", not from "cas" or anything. Http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=Castle

"the superior-to-all Western Culture"

There's a lot of racism, and very few science and linguistic knowledge in your speech. Oh perdon to have inherited from the Latin, the Greeks and the Romans, we are very sorry!

Castle vs. Palace[edit]

Since, in Swedish, the term "slott" is used for both castles and palaces, and many Swedes do not know the difference, I am about to move a large number of articles about palaces in Sweden which have been named wrong as "castles", but where the building type definitely is not what is known as a castle in English, neither an original old one nor a more modern building obviously styled as one.

Any suggestions or comments before I do so in a day or two? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 00:34, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

That sounds like a sensible thing to do; the confusion isn't entirely surprising. Is there a link between these palaces and castles in Sweden, perhaps one drawing on the styles of the other? Nev1 (talk) 01:13, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
They all have images on the list. Johnbod (talk) 03:49, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Many or most of them look like neither castles nor palaces in the normal English senses of those words but like mid-sized country houses, mostly from after 1600. I'd recommend just using the Swedish names, there's really no need to translate & give rise to these difficult issues of translation. There is the same issue with chateau and "schloss" in German (no doubt the words are related), and the great majority of those just use the native names. Many of the fortified ones are called "fästning" in Swedish, and "castle" should do for them if you like, and probably the smaller "fort" ones too. Johnbod (talk) 03:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
We have articles on schloss and chateau, I was thinking perhaps we should have one on slott. Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I have taken steps in that direction - helpful idea! --SergeWoodzing (talk) 08:07, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
The confusion around this issue is due to scholarly work on the subject using the concept of a castle being different from a fortress because it was the residence of a ruler or lord. Yet most cultures throughout history have reserved their most prestigious residences for lords and rulers and more often than not they were fortified, this is especially true in the case of frontier zones between warring states and empires, it over simplifies the history of such structures and creates a false narrative that is not technically accurate. But until the scholarship changes or we use different references in the article that inaccuracy will persist. Then on top of that, the traditions of various European lords in adopting elements of fortress architecture into manor houses, estates and palaces also creates further confusion, because technically they aren't fortresses even though they incorporate fortress like elements. You see this in England with Gothic and Gothic Revival forms of architecture used in various estates and mansions, but similar elements exist across European architecture.Big-dynamo (talk) 16:19, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
I suspect you're not going to like my answer, but it is not the role of Wikipedia to redress what editors may feel are flaws in scholarly work. Nev1 (talk) 17:01, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, this trend in scholarship goes back to Ella Armitage, who went on to influence Alexander Hamilton Thompson and subsequently R. Allen Brown, who is extensively quoted here, but these scholars are almost exclusively focused on England and the Normans in the history of castles. (I got this from reading "The Idea of the Castle in Medieval England By Abigail Wheatley"). However, these scholars and this idea only arose in the 19th century, whereas if you go back to the medieval era, no such distinction actually existed and many fortress residences were called castles outside of England, primarily as a derivation of the Latin Castellum in the romance languages, some examples are Gormaz Castle Spain, Castle of Trujillo Spain, Penafiel Castle Portugal, Loarre Castle Spain, Guimares Castle Portugal or Gaudix Alcazaba Spain. Big-dynamo (talk) 12:13, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm struggling to understand your point. Castles and palaces were the same, or that a castle was never a palace and vice versa? Or something else? Nev1 (talk) 12:59, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
My only point is that the distinguishing characteristic of a Castle as being a residence of a lord is a relatively new concept that came about in the 19th and 20th century. Prior to that this was not the case. Even though most frontier fortresses throughout history had a residence of a lord or noble of some sort be it a fortified palace or just a residence. Big-dynamo (talk) 13:35, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
So you would like the article to explain that the modern use of the word 'castle' does not necessarily reflect medieval usage? I have no objection to including that and there are certainly plenty of sources which say as much. Nev1 (talk) 13:44, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes. I think it does state that to some degree, but maybe some elaboration or rewording is required; in addition, I think the big piece that is missing on the 'feudal' nature of European society is the fact that it was 'feudal' because so many lords and nobles were constantly feuding with each other. You don't need a fortified residence as a noble unless you fear for being attacked by other nobles, the constant skirmishes and battles between lords and nobles fighting over land and territory is a big reason for such a concentration of such structures in Western Europe. Similarly the conflicts between Muslim and Christian in Spain and the Levant are a reason for a large concentration in these regions as well, such structures reflect conflicts within and without a society more than simply a social structure. But overall the article in my opinion is too long and probably could be condensed because a lot of the paragraphs reiterate the same points.Big-dynamo (talk) 13:51, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Photographs[edit]

There seems to be too many photos of castles from England and France. Should there not be more from other countries?213.202.172.246 (talk) 19:58, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Especially Central and Eastern European, Scandinavian and Arabian ones should be added/replace some current castles and perhaps one or two early forts from the New World. Cheers Horst-schlaemma (talk) 00:23, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Any particular suggestions for changes? Hchc2009 (talk) 02:07, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Spain has 2500 castle sites ranging from the early Islamic era to the gunpowder era. Many of these early Medieval castles predate those in Christian Europe and have all the defensive elements: towers, Keeps, curtain walls, hilltop location, etc. Couple of examples:[[1]][[2]][[3]][[4]]

Big-dynamo (talk) 03:06, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Eastern Fortifications[edit]

There is some very bad language in this article referencing Eastern/Arab fortifications.

For example:

While castles were used to hold a site and control movement of armies, in the Holy Land some key strategic positions were left unfortified. Castle architecture in the East became more complex around the late 12th and early 13th centuries after the stalemate of the Third Crusade (1189–1192). Both Christians and Muslims created fortifications, and the character of each was different. Saphadin, the 13th-century ruler of the Saracens, created structures with large rectangular towers that influenced Muslim architecture and were copied again and again, however they had little influence on Crusader castles.

This implies that square towers in Eastern/Islamic fortresses only started with Saladin which is blatantly false, it also implies that the crusaders 'introduced' complex military architecture to the east which is also false as such architecture originated in the east in the first place. Both square and circular towers have been found in the East for thousands of years and in Islamic/Arab fortresses since the beginning of Islam as they inherited their traditions from the East, the earliest Islamic Castles in Spain featured square towers going back to the 7th century and the Islamic Mosque at Samarra famously has circular towers. Can we remove the passage or update it so it is more accurate?Big-dynamo (talk) 16:05, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Big-dynamo, personally I'm not reading the passage you've highlighted in quite the same way. I wouldn't have read that as suggesting that the crusaders introduced anything; rather, just that the architecture "became more complex" as a result of the ongoing tensions. I'm also not seeing anything there stating that the square towers only began with Saphadin, or that there were only square towers and no round ones, just that the ruler in question built square towers which were influential in the local Muslim architecture, but which didn't influence the Crusader castles. Hchc2009 (talk) 16:43, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Square towers were built before Saladin is my point. Saying that makes the implication that this is 'new' influence on Islamic architecture, when it is not, at best it is misleading and at worst it is totally incorrect. If the article is not going to give a broad understanding of the trends in military architecture from before the rise of 'castles' in Europe then we should avoid such flimsy one liners and passages because they are woefully inadequate; in the region that the crusaders entered you had ancient Persian castles, Roman fortresses, Islamic fortresses/castles, Armenian castles and so forth with all sorts of styles of military architecture all predating Saladin. This region was an area that was the focus point of intense warfare for thousands of years and certainly most military architectural styles were not new.Big-dynamo (talk) 01:44, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Case in point. The fortified palace of the Aljaferia was built in the late 11th century, during the same time period as the Norman invasion. It was based on earlier fortresses in Baghdad and Cordoba, like the Great Mosque of Cordova and Al-Ukhaidir_Fortress. Big-dynamo (talk) 12:57, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Eurocentrism[edit]

  • Most of the article is about the Castles in Europe. Not much about other regions of the world like China, India, Persia etc, this article in its current shape should have a title like "Castles in Europe". The article 'Castle' should be rewritten. ماني a.k.a. [[User:Mani1]] (talk) 06:14, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
The word 'castle' has a very specific meaning in English, it is narrowly defined as a building combining the functions of a royal or noble palace, and a military fortress. In most other languages there's no word with this precise meaning, for example its cognate in Spanish, 'castillo' is also frequently used to refer to sites that would be called forts in English, and its French cognate 'chateau' is the opposite, referring to any grand residence regardless of fortification.

If there are specific sites outside of Europe you have in mind that fall within this scope, then I can't see anyone objecting to their addition.

Then you haven't read the archives here, or the extended discussions at the FAC! Johnbod (talk) 14:51, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Because even if you (User Man1) can find examples in other countries or languages in which there is a fortified residence of a noble, but also used as a military headquarters, the small group of Eurocentric editors who claim custody of this article will dig in their heels and claim the word "castle" has some special esoteric meaning that only they, as true castle scholars, can understand. Any quoted sources will be dismissed as too broad or too specialized, but not specialized in the right way. - Boneyard90 (talk) 13:22, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Ultimately it just makes sense to keep different traditions like the shiro (Japanese castle), perhaps the closest, in their own articles (not all of which yet exist). The subject is big enough as it is. Johnbod (talk) 14:04, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
It is Eurocentric in the sense that this combination of fortress and royal residence are new when they are not. All civilizations and cultures have had such structures since thousands of years ago. Case in point the early images of fortified palace walls in Egyptian temples and tombs as a symbol of royalty; in Babylon, Egypt, Persia, Armenia, Islamic North Africa, Islamic Spain, Central Asia and Rome you had similar structures and these are just a few cultures who directly influenced such structures in Europe. Unfortunately, that is not so much a wikipedia issue, as it is an issue with the scholarship around such structures within the larger academic community. So we cannot expect wikipedia to go against current scholarship in that regard. Big-dynamo (talk) 15:37, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

This article should be about castles in general, the current article as-is should be moved to the redirect page at European castle. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 20:38, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

  • @107.3.44.127: It is original research to act on "a castle is defined as X, and this article should discuss structures that fall under this definition". This article should discuss structures referred to in English-language reliable sources as "castles", regardless of whether they fit whatever super-narrow (and unsourced) definition of the word "castle" you want to apply. Hijiri 88 (やや) 07:58, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
  • @Hijiri88: Who is that IP that you pinged? Anyhow, this article shouldn't explicitly limit castles to "Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages" or outright claim that they are solely "a European innovation". This claim that the word "castle" has such a difinitive meaning in English is invalid; it's used just as willy-nilly as castillo, château, and gusuku. This article should be broadened or moved to a Europe-specific title and a general article created. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 06:09, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
  • The global and general article is Fortification, to which "Stronghold", "Fortress", and "Fort" redirect. These are the appropriate way to go - "fort" is the normal English term used in Africa, India and elsewhere (and Indian forts can be closer to the castle definition than most), as well as in Europe outside the Middle Ages, the article is not bad, on a quick look, but can be improved considerably. This article is already 95K bytes long, and could not fit additional global/all periods material at the same depth. Johnbod (talk) 12:12, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
@Sturmgewehr88: The second user to comment in this thread. The indentation is messy, and they didn't sign their post, but they are the one who wrote "The word 'castle' has a very specific meaning in English...". That said, I highly doubt pinging them made a difference. I only did so to indicate to whom I was responding.
@Johnbod: I don't want to go into detail (I am sure Sturmgewehr88 is more than capable), but you are mistaken. In English-language historiography on Japan, the word "castle" is always used for a particular type of structure that flourished throughout Japan in the Sengoku period (in Japanese called shiro or -jō). "Fort" is usually a translation of a different Japanese word (toride), although it is sometimes (rarely enough) used to refer to much earlier, and unrelated, structures that were also called shiro that were built in northern Japan. The same is no doubt true of other cultures, as is indicated by the broad attestation of the phrase "Indian castle" ([5]).
Hijiri 88 (やや) 13:42, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
Most of those actually seem to relate to North America. Instead of 3k, there are 14K for the same search with "fort", the same is not true of other cultures, see Forts in India, large numbers of which are larger than most in Europe or Japan - eg Amer Fort, Agra Fort, Red Fort etc. Johnbod (talk) 13:56, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
No, I included the -"New York" bit to eliminate the North American results, but even if they did refer to "Native American castles" (?) as opposed to bona fide castles in India, this would have the same effect on the argument. The fact that the phrase "Indian fort" also exists and gets more GBooks hitsis irrelevent: there are forts in Europe as well. Hijiri 88 (やや) 04:00, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
There certainly are European forts, but they are not castles, nor are they covered here. Many Indian ones are fortified princely residences, very similar to castles, but they are usually called forts. I'm not sure what your point is. Johnbod (talk) 22:45, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Per WP:COMMONNAME, the article should cover the subject of the definition of "castle" as used by widely recognized authoritative sources (dictionaries and other encyclopedias, in this case); stating opinions and google results aren't very relevant. --A D Monroe III (talk) 22:38, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

You are right of course. That is why I think the article should not arbitrarily cut out non-European structures that are always (or in some cases often) referred to as "castles" because of the opinions of a few Wikipedia editors, even if these opinions are shared by a small number of reliable sources. Hijiri 88 (やや) 04:00, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
To clarify, if the great majority of these word-definition (tertiary) RSs include castles outside of the European influence, then that's what the article must cover, per COMMONNAME. If the great majority are Eurocentric, then this article must be also. So, the only thing we need to do is list such sources. We only need to discuss further if the sources aren't consistent. --A D Monroe III (talk) 22:17, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
This is a purely semantic issue. In reality all fortifications arise from the same purpose: the need to defend a region or residence from outside attack. And this has always meant that royals and "elites" were more likely to have fortifications for their residences than lay people, this is not a "new" concept that came about in Middle Ages Europe. Yet that is exactly the underlying logic behind this semantic debate, the word "castle" may be a European term but the underlying reasons behind building fortifications, whether for royalty, an entire town or a garrison are not new. In fact the only distinction that I really see here is that in frontier warfare where you have heavily contested zones between multiple warring parties you will have more types of fortifications built of all types by all parties to defend their territories. And of course this kind of frontier warfare would include more residential types of fortifications for local lords and their garrisons who are responsible for defending certain portions of a larger territory, this would be the basis for the rise of "castle" warfare in Europe, both as a result of the frontier warfare of the Islamic Era in Spain and the Feudal era of Europe proper. But this kind of frontier warfare also existed in other historical eras, including the frontiers of the Persians vs the Romans, the frontiers between the Byzantines and the spreading Islamic armies in North Africa and the Levant, the frontiers between Israel and Babylon and so forth, the crusades were a prime example of frontier warfare as well, but most of their fortifications are derived from older styles of fortifications already in the area from Byzantines, Persians, Armenians (the first Christian nation) and so forth. And this also includes the frontier warfare between various warring clans in Japan during the shogun era, the key difference being that in other large Empires, there wasn't as much delegation of authority for defending local towns and regions to "lords", hence defense was centrally controlled from the main ruling authority via the deployment of generals and their garrisons which required much larger defensive structures to cover much larger areas, such as Hadrian's wall, great Wall of China, etc. Whereas with a delegated heirarchy of lords or vassals, each was responsible for their own defense within their sector with or without support from the central authority. Big-dynamo (talk) 13:31, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

The Castle of Euryalos in Sicily ( History, Antecedents)[edit]

Outside Syracuse by Dionysius the Elder and which was one of the most powerful fortresses of ancient times.--87.21.109.147 (talk) 16:16, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Photo deletion[edit]

I added some more photos from castles in Portugal, yet they were deleted. Maybe I exaggerated in the number, so this time I will post only 2 photos, this article only shows English and French castles, there are other countries in Europe with a big amount of them as well, so I will give my contribution. I hope they don't get deleted this time, for the sake of fairness. Thanks! PedroLopFonMarAlves (talk) 06:28, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Of course those photos should be there, since the many of old Castles in Spain and Portugal are older than most examples given, especially in Britain and France. Case in point the Aljaferia which goes back to a time prior to the Norman invasion of Britain, which means prior to most castles in England or France. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Big-dynamo (talkcontribs) 23:43, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

the castle[edit]

many people like to go to castles — Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.68.120.206 (talk) 13:48, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

"Misapplied"[edit]

Current text says: "Castle is sometimes used as a catch-all term for all kinds of fortifications and, as a result, has been misapplied in the technical sense". Given that "castle" etymologically derives from a word meaning fortification, and given that historically (including at the time they were being built), the word was used for a variety of fortified structures, is really correct to say this is a "misapplication"? Would it not be better to say something like "Historically and informally 'castle' has been used as a catch-all term for all kinds of fortifications and, as a result, is sometimes applied to structures that don't meet this technical definition". Iapetus (talk) 15:43, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Probably better. Johnbod (talk) 16:56, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
@Wardog: I'm also happy with the suggested changed, feel free to make the change. Nev1 (talk) 21:05, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Propose to remove the experimental castle construction image added today[edit]

I am not convinced it is needed.Shajure (talk) 03:13, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Private fortified residence of a lord or noble[edit]

Currently the article states: "Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble." this is not true in Britain and Irleand. Many of the more famous castles were sometime royal residences but as medieval courts were itinerant, they were usually not occupied by the royal owner of the castle but by a garrison who's governor depending on the size and or importance of the castle might or might not be a noble.

Here are some more famous examples Dublin Castle, Stirling Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Dover Castle and the Tower of London. It seem to me that the above sentence would include Warwick Castle but exclude its near neighbour Kenilworth Castle.

The sentence further in the article In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"', is not true as the examples show. If that was to be used for this article then out would go many of the images of English castles and so would the section on Edward I's castles in Wales.

The sentences "...castles were not communal defences but were built and owned by the local feudal lords, either for themselves or for their monarch. Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service and the expectation of loyalty, the lord would grant the vassal land", is to ignore the fact that in England for much of the middle ages the Crown ruled through sheriffs appointed for a year, and not the feudal aristocracy, who were often the main threat to the Crown.

"In scholarship the castle, as defined above, is generally accepted as a coherent concept" It is not coherent if it excludes royal castles, there to help achieve the crowns interests, which may or may not include keeping the aspirations of the nobility in check.

Also the slighting and demolition of castles at the end of the Anarchy (1135 and 115) ought to be mentioned, as that is an example of where castles were built for nefarious reasons that are not currently mentioned in the article.

The summary on the caption for the image of the Tower of London is probably better "The Norman 'White Tower', the keep of the Tower of London, exemplifies all uses of a castle including city defence, a residence, and a place of refuge in times of crisis."(although as Simon Sudbury found out -- not always a city defence or a refuge in a time of crisis).

I am not sure how to fix this article, (because citations are going to be needed) but I think the current quotes and the sentences derived from them are inadequate and are contradicted by other parts of the article.

-- PBS (talk) 08:56, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Very grand medieval personages (just like their modern equivalents) almost always had many residences, many of which were castles; this became increasingly the case as the period went on. This covers monarchs and also the most important nobles in all parts of Europe - the French kings had many more royal castles than the English, that a residence is only used for a few days a year, or even left unvisited for years, does not stop it being a residence, whether we are talking about medieval monarchs or modern billionaires. In particular, I'm surprised you choose Stirling Castle and the Tower of London as examples, as these were heavily used as residences by kings over several centuries. Obviously Dublin Castle was a bit different. Johnbod (talk) 13:17, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I chose that list because they are well known castles that and were not "private", but belong to the Crown or to the equivalent in Scotland. "Private" excludes the residences of monarchs. One could write "Fortified residences of nobles, and monarchs" and although this would exclude many properties that are also considered castles, it would be more accurate than "private fortified..." -- PBS (talk) 14:46, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure how a king's castle or palace is any less "private" than say a duke's. I think you are using modern concepts of state or public property here, that are hardly appropriate for the Middle Ages. Johnbod (talk) 15:35, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Caergwrle castle, built by Eddy I during the same Welsh campaign that bequeathed us some rather better known castles, like Beaumaris, Conway and Caernarfon, belonged to the crown but was never intended as a private residence for the monarch, despite its nickname of "Queen's Hope". --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 15:41, 4 April 2017 (UTC) (Interestingly, in its previous life as a Welsh castle, it does fulfil the definition) --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 15:44, 4 April 2017 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Johnbod, we are writing in modern English, and as such private has a specific meaning and it does not include properties that belong or belonged to the Crown. If that is not the meaning of private then it ought not to be included in the quote. An English sovereign since before the conquest was a sovereign first and foremost, as Richard I put it "I am born in a rank which recognizes no superior but God". Nobles did have superiors: their sovereigns, as such Richard I did not have private property he had control of state assets some of which were given in freehold to private individuals or to corporate entities such as the church. -- PBS (talk) 16:17, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

What nonsense! The distinction between private and state royal only property began to tentatively emerge during the period, and remained notoriously vague, but it would be more true to say there was no state public property; everything belonged to the king, personally. That is what modern historians will tell you. Johnbod (talk) 17:44, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
As the article on the crown says "The monarch is the living embodiment of the Crown and, as such, is regarded as the personification of the state" that was as true in the middle ages as it is now. The point is that 'In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"', is misleading, as private has specific meaning and castles such as Harlech do not fit that definition although most would call Harlech a castle. -- PBS (talk) 18:41, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Do we have another RS definition? --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 09:56, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Chaps, let's look at RS[edit]

The current definition is definitely awkward and is challenged here, as this source makes clear, a definition is really hard, prone to anachronism and geographic problems, but we do absolutely need a definition! It's not a new problem. People have been struggling with this since at least the 1090s.

So I looked at various sources and the best I could find was this: a “fortified military residence,” ([6]). It's similar to our current text, but I think slightly more accurate. However, I think our text could also usefully include some words, perhaps as a footnote, about the definition being a longstanding, awkward issue - using some of the material I cite above. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 11:17, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

Quick thoughts. Lise Hull (the source of the "fortified military residence" quote) is very similar to the existing Coulson definition (""a private fortified residence"): the fuller quote from Hull is "the definition of a castle is a "fortified military residence", and they simultaneously performed as a private house and a fortification".
Coulson is the stronger/more RS source, but I wonder if we couldn't go for a combination, e.g. "In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence", that "simultaneously performed as a private house and a fortification".? Either way, agree a footnote would be good. Hchc2009 (talk) 11:33, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Happy with that. Sorry, I was under the mistaken impression that our current wording was about "of a lord" etc --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 11:39, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Ah - you're right: that was the definition from the main text, but our lead, though, says "Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble." Hchc2009 (talk) 11:56, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

English is not from Latin.[edit]

Please edit. Castle is not from "castellum", it's from French, and the French is from castellum. An encyclopedia should be accurate.

It is because the word "castel" was pronounced the English way, that the word became "castle", not because of the Latin. If the French word was "Castli" or anything, the English word would have been different, because it is directly from it.