New issue of Medieval World: Medieval people up in arms

Issue 4 of Medieval World: Culture & Conflict looks at how people fought for and protected their towns and communities in the Middle Ages!

External threats and internal unrests regularly disturbed day-to-day activities and the safety of local populations in the Middle Ages. This issue explores the individuals and groups that defended and took up arms for their towns and communities, ranging from urban armies and the night watch, to martial clerics, guilds, and armed companies.


The activities of these people in arms demonstrate the level of organization in matters of defense, but also the collaborations and conflicts that ensued. In this regard, the French Jacquerie – a massive peasant revolt that began in 1358 – is a prime example of how different groups organized, interacted, and clashed in efforts to protect their own.

The theme-related articles in the current issue include:

  • Regula Schmid Keeling, “Citizens in Arms: An Urban Take on Medieval Armies”
  • Elena Magli, “The Night Watch: Night-Time Quiet in the Medieval Town”
  • Justine Firnhaber-Baker, “Commoners Against Nobles: The French Jacquerie of 1358”
  • Daniel Jacquet, “Martial Experts: Members of the Clergy and Martial Activities”
  • Mathijs Roelofsen, “Brothers in Arms: Fribourg’s Armed Companies”

The series of articles by Regula Schmid Keeling, Elena Magli, Daniel Jaquet, and Mathijs Roelofsen has been authored by the team of the research project entitled Martial Culture in Medieval Towns, University of Bern, 2018-2022, and supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.


In addition to the theme-related content, this issue features articles on medieval reliquaries, livery badges, and legendary swords, as well as contributions on the Vikings and the Crusaders, among other exciting new research.

  • Claudia Haines, “Encountering Sainte Foy: Experiencing a Renowned Reliquary
  • Thomas Banbury, “Livery Badges: Tactile English Heraldry”
  • Paul Martin Remfy, “Keeping Up Your Castle: Exploring the Medieval Pipe Rolls, 1154-1216”
  • Tim Miller, “Living On The Edge: One Viking Woman’s Epic Journey”
  • Thomas Brosset, “Hostility and Fraternity: Besieged and Besiegers During the Crusades”
  • Nicola Tallis, “Margaret of Anjou: ‘A grete and strong labourid woman’”
  • Kathryn Walton, “Legendary Weapons: A Few Famous Swords from Medieval Myth and
  • Legend”
  • Manon Henzen, “Showing Off at Dinner: Spectacular Banquet Dishes”

The issue concludes with a brief piece on “Medieval Magical Powers: The Good, The Bad, and The Magic,” and a review of the exhibition Feminine Power: The Divine to The Demonic, on view at The British Museum and now on the road through 2025.

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