Hastings: An Unusual Battle


Part of the reason academic warriors have covered the ground so often is that the battle is by no means easy to understand. It was unusual in a number of ways; so unusual, that the battle demands special care in interpretation.

Trickery, Mockery and the Scottish Way of War

The earliest known depiction of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 from a 1440s manuscript of Walter Bower's Scotichronicon

This article seeks to examine two prominent themes, those of trickery and mockery, in how warfare against England was represented in Scottish historical narratives of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

New Location for the Battle of Crécy discovered

Proposed site of the Battle of Crecy, showing the English and French approaches to the battlefield and the site of the English wagenburg and defensive ditch upon the site of the Herse, superimposed upon the modern topography. Image courtesy Michael Livingston

For over 250 years it has been believed that the Battle of Crécy, one of the most famous battles of the Middle Ages, was fought just north of the French town of Crécy-en-Ponthieu in Picardy. Now, a new book that contains the most intensive examination of sources about the battle to date, offers convincing evidence that the fourteenth-century battle instead took place 5.5 km to the south.

‘The boldest and most remarkable feat ever performed by a woman’: Fiery Joanna and the Siege of Hennebont

Fierry Joanna leads the charge - from La Bretagne ancienne, published in 1859

It ranks as one of the most fascinating stories from the 14th century, one that chroniclers of that time relished in telling and historians have ever since recounted.

Five Medieval Minutes with Steven Muhlberger

combat of the thirty

Formal deeds of arms were an opportunity for one group of people to show off their skills – particularly their horsemanship – and for other people to appreciate how bold and daring they were.

Medieval Fort Building 101

16th century stonemason at work

What does it take to build a fortification in the 10th century?

The Battle of Neville’s Cross as told in the Lanercost Chronicle

Battle of Neville's Cross from a 15th-century Froissart manuscript

The year 1346 is remembered in England mostly for the Battle of Crecy, where King Edward III defeated the French forces in one of the most important battles of the Hundred Years War. That year also saw another major battle, this one fought on English soil.

The English way of war, 1360-1399

Anointing of Pope Gregory XI. Battle of Pontvallin (1370). Bibliotheque Nationale MS Fr. 2643

This thesis challenges the orthodox view that the years 1360 to 1399 witnessed a period of martial decline for the English.

Walking Tour of the Battle of Stamford Bridge

Battle of Stamford Bridge - Wilhelm Wetlesen: Illustration for Harald Hardraada saga, Heimskringla 1899-edition

The Stamford Bridge Battlefield Walk takes place on the 26th September at 10:30am, a day after the battle would have taken place in 1066, and starts at Shallows Car Park, Stamford Bridge.

The last rex crucesignatus, Edward I and the Mongol alliance

Eleanor of Castile sucks the poison out of Edward I of England

This study explores the crusading efforts of Edward I, King of England (1272– 1307), in the last decades of the thirteenth century.

‘Spurred on by the Fear of Death’: Refugees and Displaced Populations during the Mongol Invasion of Hungar


Sensitized by the grim headlines which daily announce the appalling plight of twentieth-century refugees in eastern Europe, I was motivated to investigate the behavior and conditions of medieval refugees fleeing the Mongols.

Finding the Battle of Bannockburn

Map of Bannockburn showing the new archaeological find spots and the likeliest course of the battle over 23 and 24 June 1314. © Tony Pollard / GUARD Archaeology Ltd

Between 2011 and 2014, a new search for the site of the Battle of Bannockburn took place, spurred on by the 700th anniversary of the battle and the National Trust for Scotland’s new state-of-the-art Bannockburn Battlefield Centre.

Free online course on the Battle of Agincourt begins in October

Battle of Agincourt, depicted in A pictorial history of England (1854)

One of the leading experts on the famous Battle of Agincourt will be part of a free online course that begins on October 19th.

The Justinianic Reconquest of Italy: Imperial Campaigns and Local Responses

Gothic war map - created by Cplakidas / Wikicommons

This article examines a particular aspect of Justinian’s campaigns against the Ostrogoths in Italy, one that is often overlooked, yet one that is essential to the understanding of these wars

Fourteenth-Century Weaponry, Armour and Warfare in Chaucer and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Gawain and the Green Knight

This essay attempts to re-appraise selected passages of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight from a wider military historical and archaeological perspective.

Fear – Elements of Slavic ‘Psychological Warfare’ in the context of selected Late Roman Sources


The study covered 6th century historical sources depicting the fighting methods of the Slavs. A more in-depth analysis focused on the issue of fear in relation to group conformism, described in detail in Strategikon

‘Naked and Unarmoured’: A Reassessment of the Role of the Galwegians at the Battle of the Standard

15th century map British Isles - Photo: Brooklyn Museum

Accounts of the Battle of the Standard, fought in 1138 between the army of David I, King of Scots and the northern English forces rallied by Thurstan, Archbishop of York, have unvaryingly placed the blame for the Scottish defeat on David’s Galwegian warriors who, against armoured English ranks, fled in confusion.

Landscape and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England and the Viking Campaign of 1006

William Stukeley’s drawing of the Sanctuary and related topography in 1725 ,in  Abury, a Temple of the British Druids   (London, 1725 )

The last twenty-five years have seen huge advances made in the way that battlefields can be recorded and understood through archaeological techniques, but these methods have only recently been accepted as a useful complement to traditional military history.

With a Bended Bow: An Interview with Erik Roth

with bended bow

Erik Roth presents a comprehensive examination of the archer and his weapon in a time when archery was both economically and militarily vital to the security of England, based on the study of mediaeval writings and period artefacts.

‘Virile Strength In A Feminine Breast’: Women, Hostageship, Captivity, And Society In The Anglo-French World, C. 1000- C.1300

Empress Matilda

My interest in the relationship between hostage- and captive-taking practices and gender originally arose out of the idea for a much grander project about women and warfare.

Embracing Death, Celebrating Life: Reflections on the Concept of Martyrdom in the Order of the Knights Templar

Detail of a miniature of the burning of the Grand Master of the Templars and another Templar. From the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis, BL Royal MS 20 C vii f. 48r

Although research on the concept of martyrdom during the era of the Crusades has gained considerable prominence, it has rarely been applied to the Knights Templar. This is surprising, as the Templars were the first military order and paved the way for a new monastic development; they were devoted to warfare only; and they, together with the other military orders, but unlike most Crusaders, established a permanent presence in the hostile environment of the Holy Land, consequently facing the threat of death both regularly and frequently.

A Comparative Analysis of the Concepts of Holy War and the Idealized Topos of Holy Warrior In Medieval Anatolian And European Sources

story of the crusaders

This thesis focuses on the relations between the idea of holy war and the portrayals of holy warriors in medieval narratives composed by those in the service of power-holders.

Which Ancient Warrior Are You?

ancient warriors

Are you a Knight, a Ninja, perhaps even a Samurai? Take this quiz and find out!

Is it Better to Die in Battle or to Flee? A Medieval View

death or flee - medieval - Rudolf von Ems Weltchronik (14th century)

How far should a warrior in battle? It has been a question that every soldier has probably thought about, and many have had to face. Even in the Middle Ages this was a question that was debated.

Routier Perrinet Gressart: Joan of Arc’s Penultimate Enemy

kelly devries

Even my English medievalist colleagues, however reluctantly, must admit that Joan of Arc played a significant role in the Hundred Years War.

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