HIST 371 Lecture Outline (Fall 2016 – Week 7)


Week 7: Warfare



Wel dyma’r borau gorau i gyd,” played on medieval Welsh bagpipe (3:12 min.):


Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, pp. 68-89 (Wales and Scotland), 252-269 (warfare and troops)

Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters of Medieval Life, pp. 115-24 (Documents 29-33)


Thibaut, ou les Croisades (trailer for French TV series, c. 1968; 0:30 min.)
(theme music only, 1:38 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnEmSS5oyY8&feature=related

Castle — Rochester and Hedingham, Episode 2
(46:43 minutes; begin at 14:40-26:00 for Magna Carta and siege of Rochester Castle, 1215; continue at 32:00-end)


The Angevin “Empire”:

Henry III’s territories:

Medieval England and Wales:

Wales and the Marches in the Thirteenth Century:

Map of England by Matthew Paris

Family Trees:

The Norman and Angevin/Plantagenet kings of England, 1066-1377:

The descendents of Henry II and Eleanor of Acquitaine:

Topics and Terms:

What was the most common type of warfare in our period?

How did the king raise an army?

What types of military service did tenants-in-chief and vassals typically have to supply?

What explanation(s) can you suggest for the general reduction, between the 12th century and the 13th, in the number of knights that tenants-in-chief had to supply?


Garbing of a new knight and Kneeling knight (by Matthew Paris)
Clothing, Armor, and Weapons of a Mid Thirteenth-Century English Knight (by Andy Goddard, medieval re-enactor)
Dubbing: Queen Elizabeth II dubbing Professor Sir Basil Markesinis, QC, FBA, Knight Bachelor at Buckingham Palace, 9 March 2005, for Services to International Legal Relations.

Drawings of armed knights:
Jousting knights, by Matthew Paris, c. 1250

Images from the Maciejowski Bible (1234-44):








More images from the Maciejowski Bible:

Building the Tower of Babel
Delivery of military supplies
Siege engine used as gallows?
Murdering the commander
Another murder (Jael murders Sisera)
Execution by hanging

Rolled up mail shirt found near the site of the battle of Kungslena, Sweden (1208)

Battle scenes from the Maciejowski Bible (Paris, c. 1234-44):

Skeletons from the battle of Visby on the island of Gotland, Sweden (July 1361):
Brief website on battle and skeletons
Skulls: with mail coif, with projectiles, with coif and smashed face


Thibaut, count of Champagne (1201-53): “Seigneurs, sachiez qui or ne s’en ira” (sung by René Zosso, 3:44 min.):

Anonymous: “Chanson de Guillaume” (12:26 min.):


Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, pp. 269-283 (castles)
Carlin and Crouch, Lost Letters of Medieval Life, pp. 99-111 (Documents 24-26)

Money Quiz:

You are an English baron whose castle in the Welsh March needs to be defended by a permanent garrison. Your garrison consists of:
two knights, each of whom is paid 1s. per day
one mounted sergeant, who receives 4d. per day
ten soldiers, each of whom receives 2d. per day

a) What is the DAILY cost of your garrison’s wages?
b) What is the ANNUAL cost of your garrison’s wages, in pounds?
c) If your annual income is £365, what PERCENTAGE of your income is represented by the garrison’s wages?

Major Tactics and Technologies of Medieval Town and Castle Sieges included:

Besiegers’ Tactics and Technologies Defenders’ Corresponding Tactics and Technologies
Blockade supplies to starve town (very slow and expensive)
  1. Good provisioning & food rationing
  2. Counter attack or outside help to break blockade
Scaling Ladders
  1. Wet moat or Dry moat
  2. man walls to repel scalers
Siege towers and engines (springalds; mangonels; trebuchets); including hurling cadavers to terrorize
  1. Moat
  2. fire arrows or other burning missiles
  3. Destroy siege engines by sortie or by rival engines; hurl or display cadavers back at the besiegers
  1. Moat
  2. countermines
battering rams (against gates)
  1. Moat
  2. drop rocks or boiling liquids on ram and crew
  3. shoot crew with bows or crossbows
Cannon (beginning later 14C.) Destroy cannon and kill gunners by sortie or by rival cannon.
Negotiation and threats (e.g., “surrender now or face the dreaded sack”) Counter-negotiation (eg., “if no relief arrives within 40 days, we will surrender peacefully”)


“Medieval Trebuchet” (excerpt from Nova documentary, 7:32 min.):

Rochester Castle

Aerial view
Plan of keep
Interior of keep
The keep and forebuilding
The keep (SE tower at right)

Hedingham Castle, Essex (c. 1140)

keep; close-up of walls
great hall; another view; unlighted view
Gallery Passage
Circular stairway

Images of Sieges

Attacking the castle
Storming a castle
Archer (detail)
Trebuchet (detail)
Siege engine used as gallows?
Use of scaling ladders and crossbows
Use of Trebuchets by besieged; trebuchet used by besiegers
A successful sortie
A succesful attack on a fortress (here, the city of Hai)
The defenders sue for peace (here, by the gibeonites)