The shaping of the old-Polish military school, as well as the specificity of the Polish type of troops brought about extraordinary organizational formations, which were military camps. They were places founded in spring and operating till early autumn. After this period, the troops dispersed to so-called winter quarters. The system ... (Show more)
The shaping of the old-Polish military school, as well as the specificity of the Polish type of troops brought about extraordinary organizational formations, which were military camps. They were places founded in spring and operating till early autumn. After this period, the troops dispersed to so-called winter quarters. The system was unique in Europe, which was a consequence of the geopolitical specificity of the Polish Crown. The Polish state bordered in the south-east on the Crimean Khanate, in the functioning of which cyclical raids onto the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania played an important role. Their aim was not to conquer new territories; they had strictly economic purposes. Tartar chambuls (units of Tartar troops) robbed, took livestock, foremost abducted people, who were subsequently sold on the territory of the Ottoman Empire.
In order to protect from such expeditions, from the 16th century onwards the so called “common defense system” was organized. One of the elements of this system was military camp, fortified and supplied with artillery, from where the action of alarming the civilians could be carried out. The military camp could be easily moved adjusting its location to the intelligence and diplomatic information about the expected attack of the Tartar forces, which traveled along one of a few routes.
Those camps had become the largest cities in the Commonwealth in the periods of war threats.
The objects had walls, gates, main and smaller streets, had market/s. The function of the town hall was fulfilled by a tent (building) of the commander-in-chief. There was also an execution place. Apart from soldiers and their servants, the camp was also inhibited by the traders, artisans and prostitutes who were creating the vibrant (and hard to control) community. Those cities and their populations were recreated almost every year, according to similar rules described in the military codes and the long-standing practice of the repeated activities. In our paper we are going to focus our interest on those repeated practices that allowed the military and non-military camp populations to recreate their camp/city for many years even if in different locations, and with different commanders. (Show less)