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Journal of Medieval Military History

Journal of Medieval Military History: Volume IV

CLIFFORD J. ROGERS
KELLY DeVRIES
JOHN FRANCE
Volume: 4
Copyright Date: 2006
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 184
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt81ntp
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  • Book Info
    Journal of Medieval Military History
    Book Description:

    The essays in this latest edition of the 'Journal', by leading experts in the field, are a witness to the flourishing state of the subject, and provide significant contributions to various important on-going debates and controversies. They include wide-ranging discussions of state formation and the role of women in medieval warfare, and an energetic argument against viewing medieval warfare as cavalry-dominated. A trio of articles dealing with issues of bravery and cowardice, though based on Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman evidence, advance our knowledge of one of the all-pervasive aspects of the military history of the middle ages. Similarly, an experimentally-based study of the effectiveness of arrows against mail armor reaches conclusions that will cast light on combat from Visigothic Spain to Crusader Outremer to fifteenth-century Bohemia. In addition, the Journal includes in-depth studies of Iberian war-dogs, the naval battle of Zierikzee at the start of the fourteenth century, and [reflecting the editors' broad understanding of the scope of the field] the war-related activities of Dutch magistrates at the turn of the sixteenth century. Contributors: STEPHEN MORILLO, BERNARD S. BACHRACH, RUSS MITCHELL, RICHARD ABELS, STEVEN ISAAC, WILLIAM SAYERS, JAMES P. WARD, J. F. VERBRUGGEN, ROBERT BURNS

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-481-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. 1 The Sword of Justice: War and State Formation in Comparative Perspective
    (pp. 1-17)
    Stephen Morillo

    At the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo in 2002, John France’s interpretation of a vast corpus of early saints’ Lives showed that war in Christian western Europe was taken as a normal and acceptable activity in many circumstances, and that this acceptance stemmed from warfare’s connection to common judicial procedures. Warrior saints – that is, the common sort of early medieval saint whose first career had been as a warrior, before a conversion experience and entry into the priesthood – often played judicial roles, justifying or forgiving offensive warfare versus other Christians and ameliorating the sinful effects of conducting war....

  4. 2 Archery versus Mail: Experimental Archaeology and the Value of Historical Context
    (pp. 18-28)
    Russ Mitchell

    One of the real difficulties in answering high-level questions in medieval military history – for example assessing leadership quality, determining true logistic capacity, determining the effectiveness of any particular “arm” of a military force – is that we are frequently left with nothing but informed conjecture regarding physical realities on the ground. It is impossible to answer “bird’s-eye-view” questions without understanding the “worm’s-eye-view” realities that determine why one formation was used and not another, or why an event in a chronicle might be perfectly straightforward, yet sound nonsensical or else reeking of literary convention when read without contextual information taken...

  5. 3 “Cowardice” and Duty in Anglo-Saxon England
    (pp. 29-49)
    Richard Abels

    In 1984, Philippe Contamine included in what is still the best general study of medieval warfare, War in the Middle Ages, a brief chapter he entitled “Towards a History of Courage.” Contamine posed the question whether courage, defined as the strength of mind or moral character of one who masters fear in the face of imminent danger, can on its own “constitute a subject of historical enquiry.” He answered affirmatively, noting that “recent examples have shown that a history of sentiments or emotions can be attempted, especially if approached from the exterior or periphery, that is to say by the...

  6. 4 Cowardice and Fear Management: The 1173–74 Conflict as a Case Study
    (pp. 50-64)
    Steven Isaac

    A more shrewd historian than myself once reminded me that loyalty is the sort of thing usually more measurable in the breach than in the proof. The same lesson holds true for courage, which may well be more definable by its often unspoken counterpart, cowardice. An understanding of cowardice does not, of course, yield an immediate counter-image of courage. As William Miller’s recent essay aptly demonstrates, combatants have long recognized that fear abounds even among those deemed courageous. A soldier of the American Civil War demanded to know in words that might still apply today: “What is a coward, anyhow?...

  7. 5 Expecting Cowardice: Medieval Battle Tactics Reconsidered
    (pp. 65-73)
    Stephen Morillo

    In 1116, the Welsh rebel Gruffudd ap Rhys marched on the Anglo-Norman castle of Ystrad Antarron, having sacked the castle at Ystrad Peithyll. According to our Welsh source for this episode, the Brut y Tywysogyon (the Chronicle of the Princes),

    Razo the steward, the man who was castellan of that castle and whose castle had before that been burnt and whose men had been killed, moved with grief for his men and for his loss, and trembling with fear, sent messengers by night to the castle of Ystrad Meurig, which his lord Gilbert [de Clare] had built before that, to...

  8. 6 Naval Tactics at the Battle of Zierikzee (1304) in the Light of Mediterranean Praxis
    (pp. 74-90)
    William Sayers

    The French victory over the Flemings at the Battle of Zierikzee in Zeeland (1304) may have assuaged the bitterness of defeat at the Battle of Courtrai (the Battle of the Golden Spurs) two years earlier but seems not to have been conclusive, despite the peace treaty signed at Athis-sur-Orge in 1305, since the efforts by Philip IV of France to extend control over Flanders continued until at least 1320.¹ Perhaps because only two contemporary vernacular chronicles provide accounts of the battle, it has been little studied since a single article by Pierre J.-B. Legrand D’Aussy in the late eighteenth century...

  9. 7 The Military Role of the Magistrates in Holland during the Guelders War
    (pp. 91-118)
    James P. Ward

    Sources in the city and state archives of Holland show that at the beginning of the sixteenth century the magistrates of Holland were proficient in military matters of defense. During the Guelders war, which lasted until 1543, they hired and paid soldiers, arranged billets for them, confronted mutinies, controlled local military dispositions and costs, purchased and distributed weapons to their burghers, had munitions manufactured for them locally, supervised drills, mustered men, and, within their cities, organized resistance to the Guelders enemy. Two generations later, at the time of the Dutch Revolt, the same skills were needed again to help defeat...

  10. 8 Women in Medieval Armies
    (pp. 119-136)
    J. F. Verbruggen

    A number of women followed armies in the Middle Ages to supply the soldiers, and to support them by washing their clothes and caring for their wounds. Some women fought with the soldiers. Others accompanied their spouse or a friend. The presence of women on the Crusades is very commonly contrasted with their attendance in other wars, probably because they were attracted to a long expedition to visit the famous holy places as a pilgrimage rather than a short journey in their own land. Girls chose to follow their friends into distant places to look after them, and wives to...

  11. Debate: Verbruggen’s “Cavalry” and the Lyon-Thesis
    (pp. 137-163)
    Bernard S. Bachrach

    When, in 1954, J.-F. Verbruggen, who studied under Professor F. L. Ganshof at the University of Ghent, published De Krijgskunst in West-Europa in de Middeleeuwen, IXe tot Begin XIVe Eeuw, it was widely regarded as a pathbreaking work. Ultimately, it received two English editions.¹ In his 1956 review of De Krijgskunst, Bryce D. Lyon, America’s leading specialist in medieval Flemish history for a half-century, was not uncritical of Verbruggen’s treatment of some topics. Nevertheless, he concluded very fairly, “Verbruggen has written military history as it should be written, and the reviewer, for one, looks forward to his next study.”² Lyon...

  12. Document: Dogs of War in Thirteenth-Century Valencian Garrisons
    (pp. 164-173)
    Robert I. Burns and S.J.

    In the mid-thirteenth century, King Jaume I of Arago-Catalonia began to use the captured paper industry of Islamic Játiva to record his reconstruction of conquered Valencia into a multi-ethnic Christian kingdom. His wandering chancery employed local notaries to scribble much abbreviated originals, from which parchments might later be drafted as needed. Over two thousand such registered paper charters on Valencia survive from the last twenty years of Jaume’s reign. Their content is multifarious, a kaleidoscope of medieval life: military action, land distributions, personal affairs, religious institutions, pardons of crime, trial transcripts, and the parallel societies of the new kingdom’s Muslims...

  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 174-175)