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Indented Trace
#1
What is the indented trace in Greek fortification? I don't understand what type of defence the term precisely means.

I guess it has nothing to do with the trace italienne of the Renaissance bastion, has it?
Stefan (Literary references to the discussed topics are always appreciated.)
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#2
It would seem to indicate a section of convex wall that follows the contour of the topography in a meandering way , instead of a straight level wall.
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#3
In the book ''Hellenistic Fortifications from the Aegean to the Euphrates'', McNicoll and Milner, the indented trace is equated with the French term ''en cremaillere'' (possessing an acute accent on the first e and a grave accent on the penultimate), which I looked up. Via Wikipedia (hardly a respectable source, but this article seems well-referenced) I can produce:

''During the 17th to 19th centuries the term was widely applied to lines of entrenchment that are usually formed in a saw-tooth pattern, known as indented lines, particularly during sieges.These lines are usually employed on banks of rivers, or on ground which is more elevated than, or which commands, that of the enemy. The defence of these lines is sometimes strengthened by double redans, and flat bastions constructed at intervals, along their front. Just such a constructed defence was used at Centreville in 1862 during the American Civil War.''

I am not an expert, remotely, but there seems to be some relation insofar as both forms consist of a defensive wall with [sharp?] projections or salients towards the enemy.

P.S. Feinman's definition is better than mine (which was merely a guess) and is supported by e.g. the walls of Colophon, which are quoted by McNicoll and Milner and seem to show minor topographical irregularities, following the landscape:

https://homepage.univie.ac.at/elisabeth....lophon.htm
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
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#4
That all sounds good to me! I think it was used where standard walls were not feasible, or a feature of the terrain already provided protection, but I'm just guessing, without doing research.
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#5
F.E. Winter has an article The Indented Trace in Later Greek Fortifications available at JSTOR which can either be downloaded if you are a subscriber or read for free if you are a guest.
 Another book which the article uses as a source is Greek Walls written by Robert Scranton in 1941. It seems out of print but there is an online edition available below which you can read or download a pdf of a page but not the whole book unless you are a subscriber. If you have the patience just type indented trace in Find feature on top right of page and it gives you a list of pages where indented trace is mentioned and then you can look the various pages up by using the Jump to feature, couldn't find an index so the find feature is it.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=w...=1up;seq=9
Regards
Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#6
Thank you for the reference -- it is most interesting.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
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#7
Just to point out that the Phocian Wall at Thermopylae has a serrated zig-zag pattern in most if not all of its length, which looks nothing like anything else I have seen on greek fortifications, and immediately reminds of rennaissance walls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUqraAcNsJ0&t=28s
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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