Medieval Geopolitics: The Two Types of Warfare in Medieval Europe

In this, the first post of the Medieval Geopolitics series, I take a look at the two types of political war fought in medieval Europe.

Simon de Montfort and King Henry III: The First Revolution in English History, 1258–1265

The reign of Henry III (1216–1272) was pivotal in English political history. It saw the entrenchment of Magna Carta, the growth of parliament and the widening of political society, as well as England’s first revolution (1258–1265), led by Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester.

Historical European Martial Art: a crossroad between academic research, martial heritage re-creation and martial sport practices

This paper will propose and discuss, ideas on how to bridge the gap between enthusiasts and scholars; since their embodied knowledge, acquired by practice, is of tremendous value for scientific inquiries and scientific experimentation.

7 Devious Ways to Defeat a Medieval Army

Could you defeat a medieval army without resorting to a clash of arms? A 10th century Byzantine military manual offers several tricks that could be used to devastate your enemy.

Historiography of Falkirk (1298) as the Predecessor to Infantry Dominance

For more than a century, historians have identified the Battle of Falkirk (1298) as a turning point in infantry tactics, not only for the Scots but also for warfare in the Western World.

Collapse of the Hunnic Empire: Jordanes, Ardaric and the Battle of Nedao

This thesis examines the evidence surrounding the Battle of Nedao, an engagement between Ardaric, leader of the Gepids and other rebelling tribes, and Ellac, the eldest son of Attila.

Soldiers, Villagers and Politics: Military Violence and the Jacquerie of 1358

The Jacquerie of 1358 remains a hotly contested incident, but the importance of soldiers as a cause of the revolt is one of the few things on which scholars agree.

The Florentine Army in the Age of the Companies of Adventure

The Florentine army was, in contrast to the current literature, not an ad hoc and temporary entity but the product of careful consideration and coordination. 

When Medieval England was Almost Invaded

Froissart enthusiastically notes that many among the French host ‘considered England to be already crushed and devastated, all her men killed, and her women and children brought to France in slavery’.

Prisoners of War in the Albigensian Crusade, 1209-1229

The Albigensian Crusade is generally considered a brutal war because of the manner in which both sides treated the enemy, especially the prisoners. This article analyzes the causes of this apparent absence of war conventions.

Captives in Mediaeval Spain: The Castilian-Leonese and Muslim Experience (XI-XIII Centuries)

War in the borders between Castilian-Leonese kingdom and al-Andalus during the 11th-13th centuries was an economic activity in which booty allowed some people to enrich themselves, while captives were a substantial part of the war profits.

Modern mathematics is used to solve question about medieval war

In the year 1014, the fate of Ireland would be decided at the Battle of Clontarf. The Irish King Brian Boru would defeat a Viking army, although at the cost of his own life. However, there is one historical debate about this conflict – was it really a battle against the Vikings, or an internal civil war?

Escaping the Mongols: A Survivor’s Account from the 13th century

In the year 1241, a Mongol army invaded eastern Europe, ravaging Poland, Hungary, Croatia and Romania.

How Waterford won its Civic Sword: the battle of Ballymacaw

The battle of Ballymacaw is known from two accounts, both compiled at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth centuries.

The Anglo-Norman Vegetius: a thirteenth century translation of the “De re militari”

The De re militari of Flavius Vegetius Renatus was written and compiled towards the close of the fourth century. Dedicated to the reigning Emperor, the work is a military treatise describing the training, organization, tactics and strategy of the Roman army.

A Woman as Leader of Men: Joan of Arc’s Military Career

Though she was radically different from other contemporary military leaders, her troops followed her with a loyalty unsurpassed by any other late-medieval captain.

Combat in Saga Literature: Traces of martial arts in medieval Iceland

On a first glance, the Íslendingasögur can seem like a never-ending chain of feud killings, and many of the best known and most noteworthy saga scenes are scenes of combat.

The Battle of Poitiers, 1356

There are days when the course of the history of the world—or a large part of it, anyway—depends on the character, emotions, decisions, and actions of a few men in a single place.

Come One! Come All! Medieval Tournament Announcements

Tournaments were the big-ticket events in the Middle Ages, attracting people from all walks of life to witness great spectacles of sport and entertainment. But how did tournament organizers spread the word?

Multi-Agent Simulation of the Battle of Ankara, 1402

In 1402, at the north of the city of Ankara, Turkey, a battle between Ottoman Empire and Tamerlane Empire decided the fate of Europe and Asia. Although historians largely agree on the general battle procedure, the details are still open to dispute.

Hunnic Warfare in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries C.E.

This study examines evidence of Hunnic archery, questions the acceptance and significance of the “Hunnic archer” image, and situates Hunnic archery within the context of the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Encounters Among Enemies: Preliminary Remarks on Captives in Mongol Eurasia

While the collective experience of Mongol prisoners is one of agony and desperation, not all captives suffered such a grim fate.

Where are the dead of medieval battles? A preliminary survey

Medieval battles have always fascinated historians as well as the general public. We have to admit, however, that battles of this period are difficult to study.

The Nineteenth Century Memory of Renaissance Italian Warfare: Ercole Ricotti and Jacob Burckhardt

Renaissance Italian military history is a sad story of devolution, culminating in conquest by foreign powers. It stands as a “distant mirror” of the foreign oppression endured by nineteenth century Risorgimento Italy, when the academic study of Renaissance military history first began.

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