It must be asked ‘what was there in the life of a blacksmith aside form hammering out swords for lords?’ What sort of world did he inhabit and what were the rules he had to play by?
The sources for this essay are a series of military manuals written by Byzantine army commanders first in the late sixth century and then again in the tenth century.
Have you ever wondered how medieval people really fought with swords?
In particular, it will consider the way each author explores themes of prudence, friendship and loyalty as expressed through oath-making for what these themes tell us about Barbour and Hary’s engagement with chivalry.
As Yaqub ibn Layth gained power and followers, his ambitions grew, ultimately leading to a confrontation with the Abbasid Caliphate.
Rebellion in Late-Medieval and Early Modern England has generally been regarded as posing little military threat to the realm, with conflicts between loyalists and insurgents commonly dismissed as one-sided routs of hopelessly outclassed, poorly armed peasants.
During the ninth century a simple craftsmen would take up arms, hoping to put an end to the warfare and violence plaguing his corner of the world. In the first part of the story of Saffarid Dynasty, Adam Ali tells the story of coppersmith who would form an empire and challenge the rulers of Baghdad.
Read the Introduction to Medieval Warfare magazine’s Issue VII:5 – The murder of Charles the Good.
Not only practical for those who wish to hone their equestrian skills, they also give us a glimpse into Duarte’s mind and the medieval art of riding at large.
By the late 11th century the Roman Catholic Church began to evolve into a distinctive – and powerful – controller of military power.
This thesis is a study of the men who served as archers in the armies of the English kings between 1367 and 1417. However, the focus is not the archers in their military capacity, but the motivations behind their service and their position in late medieval English society.
If you could alter history, change one subtle event, what would you pick? For a Viking fan, the answer might be as simple as it is iconic.
The location of Brunanburh, however, is still an unsolved mystery. For the last 300 years or more, antiquarians and historians have puzzled over the question. Over thirty sites have been suggested, but none has passed rigorous scrutiny, let alone gained general acceptance.
How was war understood in late medieval culture?
In this thesis, I will investigate whether shieldmaidens’ symbolic meaning in the collective imaginary had originates in a timeless heritage or whether they are the re-elaboration of specific figures.
Ravaging land, burning crops, stealing livestock and killing peasants: this is how war was fought in the middle ages. These tactics constituted a form of warfare that minimised the dangers of meeting an enemy in battle, while maximising the destruction that could be inflicted upon the opposition.
The Introduction to the Medieval Warfare magazine issue on ‘A War for England – the First Barons’ War’
After being abandoned for nearly 400 years, some of the ancient Iron Age hill forts were re-occupied and re-fortified in the later fifth and early sixth centuries. Interestingly, some ‘new’ hill forts were also erected at this time.
This article examines the complex phenomena of the Farfan, a Christian knight serving a Muslim ruler during the religious wars of 13th century Iberia.
The analysis discusses their account of food provision and how Crusaders managed to provide for themselves during their journey from Venice to Constantinople in the period between June 1202 and May 1204.
For women, slaves, or in self-defence – what made the Vikings explode out of Denmark and Norway around the year 800?
The large French expeditionary force that landed in England in May 1216 allied with baronial rebels against King John to divide the country for eighteen months. For a year the French occupied and ruled the richest one-third of England, including the capital, London.
Ms. I.33 is not only the oldest of the known fencing treatises in European context, it is also the only one showing a woman fighting equally with contemporary men.
The idea of the Knights Templar looked good on paper. Have knights from across Europe join a monastic order that would defend the Holy Land from non-Christians. They would be devout warriors fighting on behalf of God, an example for all of Christendom. What could go wrong?
In this paper I will examine a number of theories about the origin of this particular marching formation, based on the manuals attributed to the Byzantine Emperors Maurice (582–602), Leo VI (886–912) and Nicephoros Phocas (963– 69) and several anonymous Byzantine military treatises of the sixth and tenth centuries.