The Medieval World

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Medieval Battles - One Thousand Years of Warfare!

Framlington Castle, Suffolk

The medieval period is littered with wars and battles, from Empire shattering to the insignificant. General chronological timelines begin the Medieval period with the fall of the Roman Empire and immediately run into the first 500 years of the Dark ages. During these times the names and Kingdoms seem to have changed on an almost yearly basis. This is especially apparent in Europe, which saw massive amounts of migration and wave after wave of "barbarian" invaders - coming first to raid and destroy, then to settle, before succumbing to the new waves of invaders.

The European Wars …

12th Century Norman Foot Knight

Nowhere is this more apparent than with the movements of the Scandinavian peoples. After the Romans left, the more southerly tribes (Angles, Jutes etc.) migrated, eventually settling in modern Britain and France. For a few hundred years the Franks and the Anglo-Saxons were relatively settled, then the new wave of Scandinavians moved. This created the Viking raids which have truly established their place in history now. After raiding, eventually these peoples settled in Normandy, Russia, Iceland etc. It seems the convesion to Christianity, pretty much complete in western Europe around the 11th century, put a halt to the migratory invasions

Turkish Horse Archers

Despite their new religion, the warlords of Europe were still eager for new lands and, as a result of large family sizes, often had several heirs vying for their thrones. This became an ideal ground for the empirial and religious wars that characterised the second half of the medieval period. Begining with William of Normandy's Invasion of Britain we now move into five hundred years of wars, no longer overtly about plunder - these were either to claim "Due Inheritances" (as in the Norman invasions) or on grounds of Relgion. The change to religous warfare also saw a paradigm change in the ferocity and violence which characterised battles. In the Holy Lands, under the orders of various Popes, the descendants of the Vikings destroyed many cities and generally slew all the inhabitants.

Significant Battles

The Battle Of Maldon - AD 991. After a lull, the Viking raids begin again…

Stamford Bridge - AD 1066. Harald Hadrada lead a scandinavian army to try and take the throne of England from his cousin Harold Goodwinson…

The Battle of Hastings - AD 1066. A few weeks after Stamford Bridge, a Norman army led by William landed on the south coast of England…

... more soon ...