DRM Prizes

Gillingham and Verbruggen Prizes

The Gillingham Prize

past winners

The Gillingham Prize will be awarded annually to the best article in the previous year’s issue of the Journal of Medieval Military History written by a member of DRM. Selection of the winner will be made by the editors of the journal who may also award honorable mention to other articles. At their discretion, the editors may name other members of DRM to participate in the decision. Those who are eligible for the Gillingham should note the following: to be eligible for the Gillingham Prize, the author/s of an article must currently be a member/s of the Society for Medieval Military History. Consequently, it is recommended that authors whose articles have been accepted for publication and who wish to compete for the prize make certain that their membership is current. The special annual lecture which is regularly published in the following year’s issue of the JMMH will not be eligible for the prize.

The Verbruggen Prize

past winners

In honour of Jans F. Verbruggen, one of the most noteworthy scholars in the field of medieval warfare, De Re Militari has created the Verbruggen Prize, given annually for the best book on medieval military history.  All De Re Miltiari members are invited to nominate a book.


  1. The prize will be offered annually for the best book on medieval military history published within the prior three years (e.g. books published 2001-2003 will be eligible for the 2004 prize.)
  2. Authors or publishers may nominate a book, but for the book to be eligible, one copy of it must reach each of the three committee members by 30 December of the year preceding the award.  The book may be on any aspect of medieval military history, broadly conceived.
  3. The Award Committee will base their selection on the following three criteria, in descending order of importance:
    1. Importance and originality of the contribution to the field of medieval military history.
    2. Quality and depth of scholarship
    3. Clarity and quality of prose.
  4. Committee members will serve two-year terms.  The committee chair ill nominate a new committee slate at the DRM annual meeting. 
  5. The prize committee will choose the winner by majority vote by 15 March.  If there is a three-way tie, the President of De Re Militari will cast the tie-breaking vote.  The prize, a monetary award ($150 in 2004) and a framed certificate will be awarded at the De Re Militari Special Session at Kalamazoo.

Current Committee:

  • John France, Univ. of Swansea (chair)
  •  John Hosler (Morgan State Univ.)
  • Nicolas Prouteau (Université de Poitiers)

For more information, please contact John France at (J.France@swansea.ac.uk)

Past winners of the Gillingham Prize:

  • 2014 – No Prize Awarded
  • 2013 – No Prize Awarded
  • 2012 – Split award:
    • Valerie Eads “The Last Italian Expedition of Henry IV: Re-reading the Vita Mathildis of Donizone of Canossa,” Journal of Medieval Military History 8 (2010) pp. 23-68.
    • Guilhem Pépin, “The French Offenses of 1404–07 against Anglo-Gascon Aquitaine,”  Journal of Medieval Military History 9 (2011) pp. 1-40.
  • 2011 – No Prize Awarded.
  • 2010 – No Prize Awarded
  • 2009 – Rob Jones, “Re-thinking the Origins of the ‘Irish’ Hobelar.” Cardiff Historical Papers. Cardiff School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, U.K., 2008.

Past winners of the the Verbruggen Prize

  • 2014: L. J. Andrew Villalon and Donald J. Kagay, The Hundred Years War (3 volume collection).
  • 2013: John Baker and Stuart Brookes, Beyond the Burghal Hidage. Anglo-Saxon Civil Defence in the Viking Age (Leiden: Brill, 2013)
    • “The book brings together all kinds of evidence—historical, archaeological and onomastic—to provide an understanding of how the A-S state actually managed its defense. It is genuinely original and a fascinating read – with wider implications for the way in which medieval states managed warfare.”
  • 2012: Ryan Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars: Sources and Interpretations of Anglo-Saxon Warfare in the Viking Age (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2010).
    • “This book does not constitute original research and does not pretend to do so. But it examines both sources and interpretations in a strikingly original way which illuminates not merely the military history, but the whole significance of this period in English and European history. It is also remarkably well written and well-organised.”
  • 2011: David Simpkin, The English Aristocracy at War: from the Welsh wars of Edward I to the Battle of Bannockburn (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2008).
  • 2009: Clifford J. Rogers, Soldiers’ Lives through History: The Middle Ages (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2007).
  • 2007: Kelly DeVries, A Cumulative Bibliography of Medieval Military History and Technology (Leiden: Brill, 2002 and update 2003-06)
  • 2004: Guy Halsall, Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900 (New York: Routledge, 2003)
    • Halsall offers a nuanced and at times provocative account of the transition of the composition, recruitment, and personnel of armies from the late Roman empire to the late Carolingian era in the Latin West. Despite finding a general similarity of developments in the practice of war across Europe (including England), Halsall appreciates the differences among the various barbarian successor kingdoms. He demonstrates both the lasting imprint of the late Roman military system and its transformation as paid regular armies gave way in the sixth and seventh centuries, first to armies raised from men who claimed an ethnic identity, usually barbarian, then to forces principally comprised of the landowning elite and their followings, and finally, in both England and Francia, to the raising of armies by the state according to property qualifications.  The book is certain to spur debate and, hopefully, further research into military matters in the early middle ages.
  • 2003: Clifford J. Rogers, War, Cruel and Sharp: English Strategy under Edward III, 1327-1360 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2000).
    • In War, Cruel and Sharp, Dr Rogers offers a powerfully argued and thoroughly researched reassessment of the military and political strategies which Edward III and the Black Prince employed to achieve this astounding result. Using a narrative framework, he makes the case that the Plantagenets’ ultimate success came from adapting the strategy which Robert Bruce had used to force the ‘Shameful Peace’ on England in 1328. Unlike previous historians, he argues that the quest for decisive battle underlay Edward’s strategy in every campaign he undertook, though the English also utilized sieges and ferocious devastation of the countryside to advance their war efforts.
  • 2002: Richard W. Kaeuper, Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)
    • Paul Gans, one of the members of the Verbruggen Prize Committee, gave the following speech during the presentation of this first ever Verbruggen Prize:
      The Verbruggen Prize Committer of De Re Militari consists of two distinguished knights of military history, Richard Abels and Matthew Strickland, and one squire, me. Unfortunately, neither of my betters could be presented today. Thus the honor of announcing the winner of the Verbruggen Prize falls to me. A fair number of recent books were nominated for the Verbruggen Prize and the choice was not easy. But we persevered, sweating over our emails, until a clear winner emerged.The winner is not only an excellent book in its own right, but by happy coincidence is a major extension of ideas suggested by Verbruggen’s own The Art of Warfare in Western Europe During the Middle Ages. In that book Verbruggen looks, in part, to the poetry of the period for clues to knightly behavior.
      Our winner takes this idea much further. In Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe, Richard Kaeuper examines the mentality of the knightly class and how they regard themselves in relation to the world in which they lived. Kaeuper takes as raw material the enormous amount of chivalric literature written during the High Middle Ages. This literature is filled with heroic convention, impossible feats, and descriptions of glory that would amaze even HollywooFrom this mix Kaeuper extracts attitudes. he notes the peculiar relationship knights seem to wish to have with the clergy; how they wish to be seen by the noble population, and how they wish to be regarded by royalty. Out of this we, the readers, gain an impression of the mind of the knight, the attitudes that went into it, and the views of the world that result. In our opinion, Kaeuper’s book legitimizes the careful use of romance and epic as tools to the understanding of the minds of participants in medieval warfare.
      The result is an amazing insight into the psychological forces that, for example, drove French knights at times into heroically suicidal charges into the Flemish lines at Courtrai and a refusal to acknowledge the power of English bowmen at Agincourt.
      And so it is with great pleasure that, on behalf of the Committee, I announce the winner of the 2002 Verbruggen Prize, Richard W. Kaeuper, for Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe published by Oxford University Press.

One Response to DRM Prizes

  1. Pingback: Beyond the Burghal Hidage wins 2013 Verbruggen Prize

Comments are closed.