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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.

The Princesses Who Might have been Hostages: The Custody and Marriages of Margaret and Isabella of Scotland, 1209-1220s

In 1209, stemming from the Treaty of Norham, Scottish hostages were sent south into England. Margaret and Isabella, daughters of King William of Scotland, went along, too.

The Battle of Nicopolis (1396), Burgundian Catastrophe and Ottoman Fait Divers

The Battle of Nicopolis was the first major encounter between the Ottoman Empire and the Western European states of the later Middle Ages.

Whether a True Christian May Wage War: Hussite Polemics About Just War

Hussite warfare and ideology have been the subject of detailed reflection for nearly two hundred years now. They have represented different nations, attitudes and methodologies.

East meets West: Mounted Encounters in Early and High Mediaeval Europe

By the Late Middle Ages, mounted troops – cavalry in the form of knights – are established as the dominant battlefield arm in North-Western Europe.

Surrender in Medieval Europe: An Indirect Approach

The demise of slavery meant that for the first time women and children came to be regarded as non-combatants, and high-status warriors treated as a source of profit (ransom).

‘Greek fire’ revisited: current and recent research

The first point to make is that it seems now widely agreed that liquid fire was, in fact, a petroleum-based weapon, and had no connection whatsoever with explosive materials or mixtures,

“A New kind of monster … part-monk, part-knight”: the paradox of clerical militarism in the Middle Ages

The interaction between clerics and warfare was a source of constant tension, debate, and conflict in the Middle Ages.

Beyond the Medieval military revolution: Robert Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, and the wars of England 1298–1369

Beyond the Medieval military revolution: Robert Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, and the wars of England 1298–1369 By Daniel Franke PhD Dissertation, University of Rochester, 2014 Abstract: In the last twenty-five years, a formidable body of scholarship has emerged that argues that a military revolution in occurred in England during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). […]

Military Surgical Practice and the Advent of Gunpowder Weaponry

Using both late medieval surgical manuals and examples of gunshot wound treatment found in chronicles of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it shows instead that those late medieval surgeons who treated gunshot wounds did so in a manner not unlike their treatment of non-gunshot wounds, without cauterization.

The Viking Shield in the British Isles: Changes in use from the 8th-11th Century in England and the Isle of Man

The Viking Shield in the British Isles: Changes in use from the 8th-11th Century in England and the Isle of Man By Emma Boast Master’s Thesis, University of York, 2011 (re-edited 2017) Abstract: This investigation into the study of the Viking shield will include analysis and interpretation of archaeological material, from England and the Isle of […]

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes: Injury and death in Anglo-Scottish combat, c.1296-c.1403

For all that has been written about this period, little, however, has been produced regarding the realities of war, the impact that it had on the individual soldier, or the wounds suffered by those who engaged in these conflicts.

Willing Body, Willing Mind: Non-Combatant Culpability According to English Combatant Writers, 1327–77

In this essay I challenge these notions by exploring English combatants’ presentation of devastation and attacks against noncombatants during the wars of Edward III.

Infantry versus Cavalry: The Byzantine Response

The Byzantines encountered many different nations on the battlefield during their long history.

Henry V and the crossing to France: reconstructing naval operations for the Agincourt campaign, 1415

On 11 August 1415 a large fleet slipped out of the Solent and headed to the Chef de Caux.

The Affects of Warfare Upon Trade: Growth in a War-Torn World, Northern Europe 1000-1700

By requiring rulers to raise new revenue streams, warfare forced them to bargain for new resources. This bargaining granted concessions to cities and merchants, in the form of city charters and monopolies, which encouraged trade and therefore increased the economic well-being of the affected states.

The Lack of a Western European Military Response to the Ottoman Invasions of Eastern Europe from Nicopolis (1396) to Mohacs (1526)

On 25 September 1396, on the plains south of the central Bulgarian city of Nicopolis, a battle was fought.

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