Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Peer review/Citadel of Damascus

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Citadel of Damascus[edit]

This article has just reached GA. I am interested in getting it to A or maybe even FA, but since this would be my first attempt to get an article to that status I thought a peer review might be useful. Points of interest:

  • is the complex history clear enough?
  • is the description of the citadel sufficient?
  • is a map needed for that status (AFAIK, there is no free map and the oldest one I could find only gets into the public domain in a few years from now)? -- Zoeperkoe (talk) 19:01, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Are the images sufficient (given that the citadel is not open to the public, it is hard to find good images)?
  • does the text read well or is it too condensed (a comment I have received in the past)?


Hi, sorry you've had to wait so long for some comments. Unfortunately I don't have any knowledge of the content, so I can't say much in that regard. I've taken a quick look over the article and have the following comments. Feel free to disregard if you don't agree:

  • the article is well cited and referenced;
  • File:Damascus-citadel.JPG needs an author added to the summary section on the image description page;
  • File:Damaskus1.jpg - I think the "Permission" field is not correct. "PD-OLD" wouldn't be the correct licence, as the image is clearly recent. I think it should be be "PD-SELF" or something similar as the author has released it into the public domain. For instance, see the Permission field on File:Damaskus4.jpg;
  • I am not sure what to do here. Should I fix this myself or contact the person who uploaded these images?
  • I think that the number of images would be fine for A-class. I'm not sure about FA, though (I don't normally review at that level);
  • OK. I'll decide what to do on that later. Admittedly, I haven't looked at all whether free images are available outside WP, so that is something I can still do.
  • in the lead, there is some repetition: "old city of Damascus" and then "Ancient City of Damascus";
  • in the lead, this looks like a typo: "Except for briefs period in 1300" (the word "briefs" is the issue here);
  • in the lead, I think this should be tweaked: "The citadel has gates on its north, west and east flanks." It would probably read more smoothly as: "The citadel has gates on its northern, western and eastern flanks.";
  • in the lead, I think this should be tweaked: "Extensive repairs in response to sieges and earthquakes have been carried out in the Mamluk and Ottoman periods." It would probably read more smoothly as: "Extensive repairs in response to sieges and earthquakes were carried out in the Mamluk and Ottoman periods.";
  • in the Saladin to Al-Adil section, there is a typo here: "hosilities broke out in 1194 between" ("hosilities" should be "hostilities");
  • in the Construction by Al-Adil section, this should not be hyphenated: "and numerous closely-spaced". Per WP:HYPHEN, a hyphen is not used after a standard "-ly" adverb;
  • in the World War I section, this should not be hyphenated: "newly-appointed Ottoman military" (per above comment);
  • in the Gates subsection of the Citadel today section, same as above for: "central unusually-shaped dome";
  • in the Gates subsection, there is a typo here: "while the the vaulted" ("the the" is the issue here);
  • in the Location and layout subsection of the Citadel today section, "Mameluk" - this is inconsistent with previously used "mamluk";
  • in the Towers subsection, there is a typo here: "All towers are crowned by a double parapet equipped with with" ("with with" is the issue here);
 Done--Zoeperkoe (talk) 00:03, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Anyway, overall the article looks quite good to me. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 11:05, 1 April 2011 (UTC)


Ditto, apologies - I missed this when it first came up. I thought this was a well-researched article, which I enjoyed reading.

In answer to your specific points:

  • A map would certainly help, but if there isn't one in the public domain, then that's going to be rather hard.
  • I didn't find the text dense, but there was a lot of wider history interwoven into the history of the Citadel (unsurprisingly!) which made it feel dense at times.
  • I was trying to find a good balance between giving context on the citadel, and not writing a history of Damascus as a whole, but I take it that the general story is more or less understandable?
  • Yes, definitely. Hchc2009 (talk) 08:29, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd have liked to see some more images, but as you say, that does depend on their being available!
  • I could try and find some free images outside WP, but that might take some time.
  • It would be worth it, I think, as it castles and fortresses do come to life. I think I've found a 19th century one that is in PD - I'll double check later. Hchc2009 (talk) 08:29, 2 April 2011 (UTC)


  • You sometimes use "between 1203 and 1216" as a construct, and sometimes "between 1213–1215" - you'll want to be consistent, and it may be worth checking with the MOS which is right (I think the "and" version is the preferred one, but I might be wrong)


  • "the emirs of the subsequent Burid and Zengid" "Burid and Zengid dynasties"?
  • " and had its defences" - probably "had the defences", as you've already specified which building it is earlier in the sentence.
  • "the Mongols had it largely dismantled" - read a bit oddly to me. "the Mongols had most of it dismantled"?
  • " the Mamluks controlled the citadel until 1516. In 1516, Syria fell into the hands of the Ottomans. " - repetition of 1516.
  • "The citadel continued to serve as barracks and prison" - "a barracks and prison"?
  • "Extensive repairs in response to sieges and earthquakes have been carried out " - tense: "sieges and earthquakes were carried out"
All  Done

Old Citadel:

  • "The Ghouta in general..." Its wikilinked, but I needed to click on it to find out what it was - worth explaining.
  • "who established himself as ruler of the city" - grammatically correct, but "as the ruler" might read more smoothly.
  • "but was defeated in 1077. Building on this success..." I read this twice, because of the "defeat" and "success" at first appearing contradictory.
  • "and had its leader, Atsiz, assassinated out of distrust " - "Tutush I took over the city and, distrusting the former ruler Atsiz, had him assassinated"?
  • " work was carried out" - you use this a couple of times - are there any more details that could be given?
  • In most cases, details on what was done are available. I just wasn't sure how much detail I should provide. I will look into it.
  • "and rebuilt or refurbished its residential structures" - unclear if this means that he rebuilt and refurbished the structures, or if we don't know which one of these he did.
  • "Nur ad-Din died of illness" - "died of an illness"
  • "Saladin died of illness" ditto

New Citadel:

  • "the old fortifications were razed and a larger castle was built at the same location, incorporating parts of the old Seljuk citadel"- I might have misunderstood, but if the old fortifications were razed (which I'd read to mean a fairly total demolishing operation), how could parts of the old Seljuk citadel be incorporated?
  • "but only one of them, As-Salih Ayyub, also modified the defences" - this read oddly to me, but I'm not sure what a good alternative would be.
  • "important changes in its " - "important changes to the defensive system"?
  • "numerous closely-spaced high, massive, square instead of round towers" - the "square instead of round" bit makes this quite hard to read - how about: "numerous closely-spaced, high, massive towers. Unlike the older towers, these were square rather than round in design."?
 Done Reworded and also explanation of function towers as platforms for trebuchets.
  • "This occurred when the citadel's garrison had been reduced to below the number needed to defend a castle of that size." - I was curious about why the garrison numbers would have affected their defence against enemy mining (did they do counter-mining at this time?)
  • You mention the introduction of cannon. Did gunpowder weapons start to affect the design of the citadel at all?
  • "In 1461, the southwest tower collapsed in a fire when missiles were fired from it to force the rebellious governor of Damascus to leave the city." - I didn't understand the link between the fire breaking out and the missiles.
  • "with the aim to open the citadel to the public" - "aim of opening the citadel"?
  • "It is expected that, once renovations are finished..." - Expected by who?

Citadel today:

  • "by the urban fabric of Damascus" - I'm not sure "fabric" is the right word here.
  • I understand urban fabric to be used for the whole of streets and buildings, and thought it was quite appropriate but I will try to find an alternative.
  • "northern walls have been cleared in the 1980s" - "were cleared"?
  • "have been constructed" - "are constructed"?
  • " All other towers" > "All the other towers"
  • "from which trebuchets could be operated" - "were operated"?
  • "Given that during the design of the citadel so much emphasis was placed on the massive towers, the curtain walls are relatively short." - I didn't understand this bit; are you saying that because they built the towers so big, they couldn't built a longer wall? If so, was this because of money, or just because of lack of space?
  • "The gate is decorated with a superb muqarnas canopy that is now hidden because the outer door is blocked" - I couldn't visualise this.
  • " it has now been shown " - you'll need to be specific about the "now" date.

Cheers, Hchc2009 (talk) 13:52, 1 April 2011 (UTC)


I'm a MILHIST-A and FAC reviewer, and stick to sourcing, bibliographies and footnotes mostly

  • ps, pps, n-dashes, commas are good. Consider filling out the ffs to actual page ranges
  • Kedourie 1964, Wright 1926, Adorni & Venturelli 2010 and Allen 1999 could do with page ranges referred to in citation
  • Check bot-supplied DOIs and ISBNs before going to FAC. Especially ISBNs as the bot may refer to an edition other than the one you cited
    • No bot was used for the refs; ISBNs/DOIs should be ok.
  • Try to supply ISBNs for all books where available if you supply it for any
    • Done. I provided ISBN where available and if not went for OCLC.
  • Some of us value translations of work titles, but it certainly isn't mandatory
  • Supply US states or State for works published in unfamiliar cities (ie: not the big seven publishing cities); this is an "all or none" type issue of consistency
    • Removed states; should be consistent now.
  • Great mixture of monographs, journal articles, chapters in edited collections
  • "Ancient City of Damascus" is part of the World Heritage List, a containing work
  • "Présentation de la mission" similarly is contained in a greater work
    • I'll try and fix it, but to be honest, I still not understand exactly the difference between "work" and "publisher" in cite web.
  • DGAM/DGCS is uncommon enough to need to be spelt out

Otherwise the sourcing, bibliography and citations look pretty good to me Fifelfoo (talk) 16:13, 3 April 2011 (UTC)