Author Archives: DRM_peter

Observations upon a Scene in the Bayeux Tapestry, the Battle of Hastings and the Military System of the Late Anglo-Saxon State

Observations upon a Scene in the Bayeux Tapestry, the Battle of Hastings and the Military System of the Late Anglo-Saxon State By M. K. Lawson The Medieval State: Essays Presented to James Campbell (2000) If a relative plethora of sources … Continue reading

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Guns and Government: A Comparative Study of Europe and Japan

What role does technological innovation play in shaping histori–cal change in the premodern world? In general terms, this is the problem I address in this article. Specifically, I analyze the “military revolution” that emerged from Europe in the sixteenth century and the similar military changes that characterized sixteenth-century Japan. Continue reading

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The French Chronicle of London on the Battle of Sluys and the Siege of Tournai

The French Chronicle of London, detailing events from 1259 to 1343, provides one of the best accounts of the naval battle of Sluys, and the siege of Tournai by Edward III in 1340. Continue reading

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‘Mount the War-Horses, Take your Lance in your Grip . . .’ Logistics Preparations for the Gascon Campaign of 1294

In June of 1294 Edward I decided to embark on the most ambitious and desperate campaign of his reign – the recovery of the Gascon lands seized by Philip IV, king of France. Continue reading

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‘The Lord put His people to the sword’: Contemporary perceptions of the Battle of Hattin (1187)

This study will seek to argue that such categories were of secondary importance to both Christian and Muslim contemporaries who either fought in the battle or lived through the summer of 1187 when compared with religious explanations. Continue reading

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Warfare Between England and Scotland, 1299 – 1301, according to Documents from the English Government

In the following section, one can see the preparations and actions that the Edward I and his forces undertook in their ongoing war with Scotland at the turn of the fourteenth-century. Continue reading

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Warfare between England and Scotland in the late 13th and early 14th centuries from the Chronicle of Lanercost

The Chronicle of Lanercost covers the period 1201 to 1346. The sections given below involve the ongoing warfare in Scotland between Edward the Second and Robert the Bruce Continue reading

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Warfare between England and Scotland in the late 13th and early 14th centuries from the Scalacronica

In 1355, Sir Thomas Gray of Heton, warden of Norham Castle, was captured during warfare with Scotland. While being held at Edinburgh Castle, Thomas began writing the Scalacronica, a history of England up to the reign of Edward the Third, with the work ending in 1362. Continue reading

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The Battle of the Bannockburn in 1314, according to the Vita Edwardi Secundi

The anonymous author of the Vita Edwardi Secundi provides one of the best accounts of the reign of Edward II. This includes his description of the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where the Scots under Robert Bruce defeated Edward and his army. Continue reading

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The Siege of Florence in 1312, according to Giovanni Villani

One episode in the continuous warfare between the Holy Roman Empire, the Papacy and the Italian city-states was the siege of Florence by the forces of Emperor Henry VII in 1312. This account of the siege was recorded by the Florentine historian Giovanni Villani (d.1348) Continue reading

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Naval Contract by the Papacy against the Turks (1334)

The Aegean Sea became a new theatre of warfare between Crusaders and the Turks in the early fourteenth-century. In the following document, the papal camera contracts four fully equipped galleys for service in the first naval league against the Turks. The contract is dated March 7, 1334. Continue reading

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Descriptions of warfare in The Rhyme Chronicle of Livonia

The Rhyme Chronicle of Livonia (Liulandische Reimchronik) is an account of the activities of the Teutonic Order . It was written around the end of the thirteenth century, and consists of 12017 lines of rhyming couplets written in Middle High German. It is the only major source of Baltic history for the years 1225 to 1290, since the only other chronicle, the one by Henry of Livonia, covers the period 1143 to 1225. Continue reading

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The Battle of Stillfried, 1278, from the Gesta Hungarorum

The Gesta Hungarorum, or The Deeds of the Hungarians, was written by Simon of Keza around 1280-2. Simon was a court cleric to King Ladislas IV of Hungary, and his work is highly laudatory of his king. In the following section, the writer describes the battle of Stillfield, in which the forces of Ladislas and Rudolf of Habsburg, the German king, defeated King Otakar of Bohemia. The battle was fought on August 26, 1278. Continue reading

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Military Organisation in the Guta Saga

The Guta Saga is a short chronicle, written sometime between 1220 and 1275, which details the history of Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea. One of the last sections in this saga describes the arrangements made regarding what obligations did Gotlanders have in providing ships and men for the military campaigns of the Swedish kings. Continue reading

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Warfare in Thirteenth Century Iceland

The collapse of Iceland as a self-governing country in the mid-thirteenth century is highlighted by several conflicts between various powerful chieftains. The various sagas and histories that make up the Sturlunga Sagas were written soon after the events they record, and their descriptions of some of the battles that took place on the island are among the most interesting medieval accounts of warfare. Continue reading

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Warfare between Bologna and Faenza in 1275

Salimbene de Adam, a Franciscan, produced his Chronicle in the 1280s. He left one of the most interesting and wide-ranging histories of the Middle Ages, in which he covers a variety of matters, from the political maneuvers of the Italian city-states to the practical jokes that his fellow monks played upon each other. Continue reading

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The surrender of Gaston Castle (1268), according The Catalan Rule of the Templars

The following is clause 180 of this text, which describes the surrender of a Templar castle after the fall of Antioch in 1268. It was against the Order’s rule for members to abandon their castles without permission, with a punishment of expulsion from the Templars to those who transgressed. Continue reading

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Muslim accounts on warfare in al-Andalus (Spain)

The second account describes the death of Sancho Ramirez, son of the Aragonese king Ramiro I, while at the siege of Huesca in 1094 (Christian accounts have Sancho Ramirez being killed by an arrow while at the siege). The third section details how James I invaded and captured the island of Majorca in 1231 Continue reading

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Three sources on the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212

One of the most important battles fought on the Iberian peninsula, this was the culmination of a major campaign by Alfonso VIII of Castile against the Almohads. The battle took place on July 16, 1212. The first account comes from … Continue reading

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Charles D. Stanton, Norman naval operations in the Mediterranean (Rodriguez)

In the last years there have been an increasing number of works about medieval naval warfare that try to fill a huge gap in the study of medieval military. The present volume is a welcome addition to this trend although it does not completely fit in it. Continue reading

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JMMH vol. 12 (2014)

journal of medieval military history volume 12 The latest collection of the most up-to-date research on matters of medieval military history contains a remarkable geographical range, extending from Spain and Britain to the southern steppe lands, by way of Scandinavia, … Continue reading

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JMMH vol. 11 (2013)

journal of medieval military history volume 11 The comprehensive breadth and scope of the Journal are to the fore in this issue, which ranges widely both geographically and chronologically. The subjects of analysis are equally diverse, with three contributions dealing … Continue reading

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William Marshal, King Henry II and the Honour of Chateauroux

William Marshal, King Henry II and the Honour of Chateauroux By Nicholas Vincent Archives: The Journal of the British Record Association Vol.25 No.102 (2000) Chance plays a large part in the survival of medieval charters. Written on parchment, and in many … Continue reading

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Profit and Loss in the Hundred Years War: the Subcontracts of Sir John Strother, 1374

Profit and Loss in the Hundred Years War: the Subcontracts of Sir John Strother, 1374 By Simon Walker The Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Studies, Vol.58 (1985) Among the Swinburne manuscripts in the Northumberland County Record Office is preserved a … Continue reading

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The Expression of Power in a Medieval Kingdom: Thirteenth-Century Scottish Castles

The Expression of Power in a Medieval Kingdom: Thirteenth-Century Scottish Castles By Fiona Watson Scottish Power Centres from the Early Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, Foster, S., Macinnes, A. and MacInnes, R., (eds.)  (Glasgow, 1998)

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Ibn al-Athīr’s Accounts of the Rūs: A Commentary and Translation

Ibn al-Athīr’s Accounts of the Rūs: A Commentary and Translation By William E. Watson Canadian/American Slavic Studies, Vol.35 (2001) The evidence on the early Rūs contained in medieval Arabic geographical literature has long been part of the Normanist/anti-Normanist controversy.1 The … Continue reading

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Turkish Raids in Friuli at the End of the Fifteenth Century

Turkish Raids in Friuli at the End of the Fifteenth Century By Maria Pia Pedani Acta Viennensia Ottomanica, edited by Markus Kohbach, Gisela Prochaska-Eisl, and Claudia Romer (Vienna: Im Selbrstverlag des Instituts fur Orientalistik, 1999) Acta Viennensia Ottomanica is collection of … Continue reading

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The Contest between Lithuania-Rus’ and the Golden Horde in the Fourteenth Century for Supremacy over Eastern Europe

The Contest between Lithuania-Rus’ and the Golden Horde in the Fourteenth Century for Supremacy over Eastern Europe By Jaroslaw Pelinski Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi, Vol.2 (1982) Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi focuses on the Eurasian steppes and adjoining regions from the fifth … Continue reading

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Invasion, Conquest, and the Creation of Livonia

Invasion, Conquest, and the Creation of Livonia By Andrejs Plakans The Latvians: A Short History (Hoover Institution Press, 1995) The section is the second chapter of The Latvians: A Short History, by Andrejs Plakans, which was published by Hoover Institution Press in 1995. … Continue reading

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Chaucer’s Knight, the Alliterative Morte Arthure, and the Medieval Laws of War: a Reconsideration

Chaucer’s Knight, the Alliterative Morte Arthure, and the Medieval Laws of War: a Reconsideration By Elizabeth Porter Nottingham Medieval Studies Vol.27 (1983)  Nottingham Medieval Studies is published by the Department of History, University of Nottingham. For more information, please see their website. … Continue reading

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Frederick II and the Rebellion of the Muslims of Sicily, 1200-1224

Frederick II and the Rebellion of the Muslims of Sicily, 1200-1224 By James M. Powell Uluslararasi Hacli Seferleri Sempozyumu (1999) In 1999 the Turkish Historical Society/Turk Tarifrh Kurumu published this volume which is devoted to the Crusades in the medieval Middle … Continue reading

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English Armies in the Early Stages of the Hundred Years War: A Scheme in 1341

English Armies in the Early Stages of the Hundred Years War: A Scheme in 1341 By Michael Prestwich The Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Studies, Vol.56 (1983) We thank the Institute of Historical Studies and the authors for giving … Continue reading

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