I started to search with multiple combination of words, each time clicking on “explore” and then “find” : art, fortifications, war, universal art of fortifications, drawing… I did get decent results but nothing very relevant enough really. After a few more attempts, I then input the following words : “fortifications” and “treatise”. I wanted to find a book that collects theoritical principles related to fortifications. Eventually, I came across Renaissance and Baroque Architecture from Payne with the following quote : “A treatise on fortifications became inconceivable without an introductory chapter on Euclidean geometry and surveying techniques.” What interested me in choosing this work was the emphasis on geometry, which links the two books together (since The Universal art of Fortifications is a theoritic book related to fortifications). It shows how theory and principles are important in the definition of a concept, in this case : fortifications. It is even more relevant especially because more than three centuries separate these book.
The second book I found was with : “war” as topic and “art of fortifications” as text, which led me to the folowing book : Frederick the Great On the Art of War, or more precisely the following quote from said book : “The true principles, the rules for encamping, must be borrowed from the art of the defense of fortifications.”
This book shares a lot of similarities with The Universal Art of Fortifications from Jean du Breuil. To start with, the term “Art” binds both works together, after all, this word is in both title. Then, They share the theme of war, indirectly. Frederick’s work is explicitly about war while du Breuil’s work is about fortifications in the context of war. The most interesting element from both book, which made me choose this work from Frederick, would certainly be that both define and acknowledge fortifications – or more precisely the defense of them – as an art. That is even more interesting considering the fact that roughly three centuries separates both works, and yet they seem deeply correlated, even though the mechanisms of wars and battles have greatly changed and evolved between the 17th and 20th century. It seems that – just like the first book chosen – even through time and changes, the fundamental principles and definition of fortifications and defense have not really changed and seem quite resilient to the passage of time.