Archive for the ‘Thugs In Armour’ Category

I Drub Thee, Sir Knight

The original knighting ceremony had nothing to do with “chivalry,” as we were taught to understand that term in the Arthurian romances. It was simply adoption into a brotherhood of warriors, symbolised by the “dubbing”; which was more of a hazing than a gentle tap. (Elizabeth Moon gets the buffet right in her Gerd cycle, […]

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 12:42 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

Nice Little Republic You Have Here, Guv, Pity If Something Happened To It

The Ditmarschen affair in the early thirteenth century illuminates an aspect of the period that does not make it into popular histories, let alone films. We find the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen and various counts cutting a deal to apportion the dues to be extracted from an area, once the free peasant republic that existed there […]

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 10:57 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

Imperial Star Destriers

With the best will in the world, no movie director, not even Peter Jackson, can show us what a medieval “destrier” or warhorse really looked like and how he behaved. They are extinct. No living person has seen one, any more than he has seen a tyrannosaurus. Not because of any process of natural selection, […]

Posted on November 11, 2009 at 10:13 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

More Militaristic Than Thou?

We think of the Middle Ages as a militaristic epoch. But consider this: the knightly class, whose sons were trained in arms from an early age, was only a fraction of the population. To this may be added the city militias, and a probable martial facility on the part of the peasantry (women all carried […]

Posted on November 12, 2009 at 08:53 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

The Knight’s Bonus

Hollywood and cod fantasy do not seem to think about how a knight lived from day to day – that is, where his next meal came from. Older textbooks talk about the knight’s fee as a measure of land, giving the impression that every knight was the lord of a village and was fed by […]

Posted on December 1, 2009 at 09:29 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

The First Crusade: Aggression Or Liberation?

In the beginning was the patriotic view of the Crusades. As recently as the works of Chesterton we find complete certainty that the Christians were right to march to Jerusalem, take it and rule it, either in self-defence, as a superior culture, or simply because Deus vult. There was some awareness that the Muslims were […]

Posted on September 5, 2010 at 09:45 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

In Defence Of The Almoravids

Much of the Spanish tourist industry, and the whole of the Spanish early-music movement, revolves around the slogan of the Tres Culturas; by which is meant the peaceful coexistence of Jews, Christians and Muslims in both Andalusia and Christian Spain. The motivation for this is apparently a kind of national repentance for the Expulsion and […]

Posted on April 9, 2011 at 10:38 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

Sauce For The Gander Is Sauce For The Goose

In the beginning was the Standard Model of “feudalism,” according to which a 12th-century lord received lands from the king on condition of future military and other service. This was challenged first by Elizabeth Brown and later also by Susan Reynolds, both of whom believed that this feudal contract was an ex post facto construction […]

Posted on April 10, 2011 at 11:03 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

You Go, Girl-Knight

Various historical-fiction, fantasy and SF writers have posited that in hard times many women might become warriors for the same reasons as their brothers, namely to make a living and to rise in the world. Which is indeed what we are seeing with the American armed forces today. It is rather a pity that the […]

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 08:31 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour

We’ve Missed A Conspiracy Theory!

Reading one day the memoirs of ‘Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani (as one does), I was greatly struck by a passage about the Christian agitation for the Third Crusade. He has just described how some knights, being captured and relieved of their armour, were found to be female – an aspect of the wars that deserves to […]

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 10:42 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, Thugs In Armour