‘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.

Who actually died at the Battle of Crecy?

Edward III counting the dead on the battlefield of Crécy

This battle, fought on August 26, 1346, was one of the most important victories for England during the Hundred Years War. New research about the battle has revealed how much confusion existed about who actually died during the battle.

Medieval Warfare and the Value of a Human Life

Battle of Agincourt

It has always seemed to me illogical and inhumane that the people of our world have frequently decided matters of relatively little importance by sending a large number of their young males out to be killed.

King Stephen’s Siege Tactics

Lincoln Castle - Photo by Gustavo Faraon / Flickr

I will describe Stephen’s siege tactics in three general areas: (1) indirect assault, (2) direct assault, and (3) non-weapon engineering.

From Alfred to Harold II: The Military Failure of the Late Anglo-Saxon State

Death of Harold Godwinson in the Battle of Hastings

Most historians now acknowledge that Hastings was indeed a close-run affair, won more by luck and perhaps generalship than because of fundamental structural or tactical differences in the forces or disparities in their military technologies.

Owain’s Revolt? Glyn Dŵr’s role in the outbreak of the rebellion

Owain Glyn Dwr statue at Corwen-  photo by Lyn Dafis / Flickr

This article asserts that Owain Glyn Dŵr was neither the instigator nor, initially, the sole leader of the revolt for which he has become well known. It also challenges the idea that there was just one rebellion and casts doubt on the notion that he proclaimed himself Prince of Wales on 16 September 1400.

The Medieval Tournament: Swords and Swordfish

The Ms.Thott.290.2º is a fencing manual written in 1459 by Hans Talhoffer for his own personal reference and illustrated by Michel Rotwyler.

Tournaments were a uniquely medieval phenomenon that were part-military training, part-sport, and of a character all their own. Full of colour, pageantry, and action, the tournament was a marked part of medieval society for centuries.

Conflicting Perspectives: Chivalry in Twelfth-Century Historiography

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscrits, Division occidentale, Français 226, fol. 256v, Bataille de Tinchebray (1106)

Historians have found the task of defining medieval chivalry to be an elusive task.

Why did Attila leave Italy?

16th century paingint by Raphael showing the Meeting between Leo the Great and Attila depicts Leo, escorted by Saint Peter and Saint Paul, meeting with the Hun king outside Rome.

Reporting on the paper ‘Attila’s Appetite: The Logistics of Attila the Hun’s Invasion of Italy in 452′, by Jason Linn, given at the International Congress on Medieval Studies

The Frankish War-Machine of Charles Martel

Charles Martel in the Battle of Tours - 19th century painting by Charles de Steuben

The Franks had a war-machine that was a highly effective and mobile under the leadership of Charles Martel. It fought from the North Sea in the north to the Mediterranean Sea in the south and from Aquitaine in the west to Bavaria in the east.

The Vikings on the Continent in Myth and History

viking ship - photo by John Lillis / Flickr

This article examines the evidence for the Vikings’ supposed cruelty, cunning and remarkable height and investigates how true the stereotypes were.

The Hammer of the Scots: Edward I and the Scottish Wars of Independence

The Hammer of the Scots

This book offers a fresh interpretation of Edward’s military career, with a particular focus on his Scottish wars. In part this is a study of personality: Edward was a remarkable man. His struggles with tenacious opponents – including Robert the Bruce and William Wallace – have become the stuff of legend.

Special issue of Medieval Warfare: 1415 – The Battle of Agincourt

mw-special-the-battle-of-agincourt-5f3

Take a look at this special issue of Medieval Warfare magazine, commemorating the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt

Crafting the Perfect Army: Innovation and the Assizes of Arms in Plantagenet England

Prince Edward and his army - from British Library Harley 1766   f. 259v

Daniel Franke, Assistant Professor for medieval and military history at the United States Military Academy, examines military obligation towards English rulers and how the crown raised armies for their campaigns against enemies such as France and Scotland.

Enumerating the Battles, Skirmishes, and Naval Actions at the Siege of Acre

Philip Augustus and Richard I receiving the surrender of Acre

Hosler examines the many episodes during the siege, which involved Saladin’s Egyptian and Syrian troops, fighting against crusader forces that were eventually joined by kings Philip Augustus and Richard I.

Defenders of the Faith: Augustine, Aquinas, and the Evolution of Medieval Just War Theory

medieval warfare -  Mediaeval and modern history (1905)

Christianity has always had a difficult relationship with the concept of war. After all, it is impossible to follow Christ’s command to ‘love one’s neighbor’ on the battlefield.

What sword would you use in the Medieval or Renaissance eras?

which sword

You need to wield a mighty blade in the Middle Ages. What kind will it be?

medievalverse magazine