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Journal of Medieval Military History

Journal of Medieval Military History

Volume: 3
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 190
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  • Book Info
    Journal of Medieval Military History
    Book Description:

    Volume III of ‘De Re Militari's’ annual journal once again ranges broadly in its chronological and geographic scope, from John France's article on the evidence which early medieval Saints' Lives provide concerning warfare to Sergio Mantovani's examination of the letters of an Italian captain at the very end of the middle ages, and from Spain [Nicolas Agrait's study of early-fourteenth-century Castilian military structures] to the eastern Danube [Carroll Gillmor's surprising explanation for one of Charlemagne's greatest setbacks]. Thematic approaches range from 'traditional', though revisionist in content, campaign analyses [of Sir Thomas Dagworth, by Clifford J. Rogers, and of Matilda of Tuscany, by Valerie Eads], to tightly focused studies of a single document [Kelly DeVries on militia logistics in the fifteenth century], to controversial, must-read assessments of the broadest topics in medieval military history [Stephen Morillo and Richard Abels on change vs. continuity from Roman times; J. F. Verbruggen on the importance of cavalry.] CONTRIBUTORS: RICHARD ABELS, NICOLAS AGRAIT, KELLY DEVRIES, VALERIE EADS, JOHN FRANCE, CARROLL GILLMOR, SERGIO MANTOVANI, STEPHEN MORILLO, CLIFFORD J. ROGERS.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-638-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. 1 A Lying Legacy? A Preliminary Discussion of Images of Antiquity and Altered Reality in Medieval Military History
    (pp. 1-13)
    Richard Abels and Stephen Morillo

    In 1990 one of the co-authors of this article, Richard Abels, was asked by Donald Scragg to contribute a chapter on late tenth- and early eleventh-century English tactics and strategy to a volume of essays marking the millennium of the battle of Maldon. He agreed readily, though he was concerned about the paucity of source materials describing battles. Other than the poem of the battle of Maldon, he knew only two extended battle narratives for this period that might shed light on English tactics, John of Worcester’s accounts of Edmund Ironside’s victory over Cnut at Sherston and his subsequent defeat...

  4. 2 War and Sanctity: Saints’ Lives as Sources for Early Medieval Warfare
    (pp. 14-22)
    John France

    Saints’ lives were works of edification that were addressed to all Christians – but they arose from dialogue amongst the clergy themselves and very strongly reflected clerical attitudes.² Their authors were usually anonymous. Few of those whose names we know were great intellectuals or men of high importance and from what we can deduce of the vast majority of anonymous writers, they were much the same. The ideas they express, therefore, are likely to be those current among the literate clergy. The lives are, therefore, likely to be representative of the literate “Church” as a whole in a way few other...

  5. 3 The 791 Equine Epidemic and its Impact on Charlemagne’s Army
    (pp. 23-45)
    Carroll Gillmor

    Charlemagne led his Franks on campaigns of conquest in nearly every year of his reign. From this general pattern, however, the years 791–93 stand out in sharp relief. Even the strong stimulus of Count Theodoric’s defeat by the Saxons in 793 and renewed Muslim incursions from Spain failed to evoke any response by the great king himself.¹ The anomalous cluster of 792–94 events deviating from the established pattern include the natural disasters of an equine epidemic in autumn of 791 and a famine in 793. Politically, Pippin the Hunchback, Charlemagne’s eldest son, rebelled in 792, and Duke Grimoald...

  6. 4 The Role of the Cavalry in Medieval Warfare
    (pp. 46-71)
    J. F. Verbruggen

    In an article, “The Role of Cavalry in Medieval Warfare: Horses, Horses All Around and Not a One to Use,” appearing in the Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België, Bryce Lyon challenged the hegemony of the cavalry in medieval warfare.¹ He considers my conclusion concerning the supremacy of knights to be “a romantic statement of this idée fixe.” He thinks that scholars should follow the studies of Bernard Bachrach and others on warfare in the early Middle Ages to the eleventh century. From the study of Carolingian military operations, he concludes that sieges...

  7. 5 Sichelgaita of Salerno: Amazon or Trophy Wife?
    (pp. 72-87)
    Valerie Eads

    Sichelgaita of Salerno would seem to present a golden opportunity to anyone interested in studying medieval reports of women waging war. In 1081, her husband, the Norman leader Robert Guiscard, undertook an invasion of the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine historian Anna Comnena gives a lively account of Sichelgaita on the field at the battle of Dyrrachium:

    Our men resisted bravely and the enemy turned back (they were not all picked men). They threw themselves into the sea up to their necks and when they were near the Roman [Byzantine] and Venetian ships begged for their lives – but nobody rescued them....

  8. 6 Castilian Military Reform under the Reign of Alfonso XI (1312–50)
    (pp. 88-126)
    Nicolas Agrait

    Despite more attention from researchers in the past two decades, Alfonso XI’s reign remains somewhat neglected. The most important historian of this monarch is still Salvador de Moxó¹ who brought with him his concern for Castilian political and social institutions, especially the history of the nobility. Even though interest in the events and circumstances of the first half of the fourteenth century in Castile was certainly not lacking, most historians, with the possible exception of general works by Marie-Claude Gerbert, Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada and Joseph F. O’Callaghan,² gravitated towards more specific areas and interests like legal institutions,³ the development...

  9. 7 Sir Thomas Dagworth in Brittany, 1346–7: Restellou and La Roche Derrien
    (pp. 127-154)
    Clifford J. Rogers

    In terms of battlefield successes, the years 1345–47 were the most impressive in all of British military history. English troops were fighting in three theaters in France (Aquitaine, Brittany, and the north), and also on the Scottish border, and in all four areas they won remarkable victories against heavy numerical odds. The most famous of these is of course Crécy, where Edward III defeated an army which included Philip VI of France and three kings more (James of Majorca, John of Bohemia, and his son Charles, “King of Germany,” as the Emperor-elect was known before his imperial coronation). But...

  10. 8 Ferrante d’Este’s Letters as a Source for Military History
    (pp. 155-175)
    Sergio Mantovani

    Historians have devoted very little attention to Ferrante d’Este, Duke Ercole I’s second son. If he went down in history, it was because of his participation in Giulio d’Este’s plot against his half-brother Alfonso, which ended up with Ferrante dying in prison in 1540 and Giulio being freed 19 years later. Besides this, only poor and fragmentary information can be found about Ferrante. But he deserves more.

    Born in Naples in 1477, while his mother Eleonora d’Aragona was paying a visit to her father King Ferrante, Ercole’s son spent most of his youth there, coming back to Ferrara at the...

  11. Note: Provisions for the Ostend Militia on the Defense, August 1436
    (pp. 176-183)
    Kelly DeVries

    One of the most significant defeats of the Hundred Years War was that of Philip the Good’s attempted siege of Calais on 9–28 July 1436. Largely neglected by modern historians of the war who seem more concerned with the Anglo-French conflict alone and not what seems to have been a “side event,”¹ at the time, especially in England, the Burgundian failure to capture their French town was important news. As a morale booster for the English, especially after so many recent setbacks in the Hundred Years War, including the abandonment of their lengthy alliance with these same Burgundians the...

  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 184-184)