Art of War in the Middle Ages: A.D. 378-1515 / Edition 1by John Beeler, Charles Oman
Pub. Date: 06/28/1960
Publisher: Cornell University Press
This history of medieval warfare, originally written in 1885 when its authorlater one of the great medievalistswas still an undergraduate at Oxford, remains for students and general readers one of the best accounts of military art in the Middle Ages between Adrianople in 378 A.D. (the most fearful defeat suffered by a Roman army since Cannae in 216 B.C.
This history of medieval warfare, originally written in 1885 when its authorlater one of the great medievalistswas still an undergraduate at Oxford, remains for students and general readers one of the best accounts of military art in the Middle Ages between Adrianople in 378 A.D. (the most fearful defeat suffered by a Roman army since Cannae in 216 B.C.) and Marignano (1515 A.D.), the last of the triumphs of the medieval horseman. It was extensively revised and edited by John H. Beeler in 1953 to incorporate many new facts uncovered since the late nineteenth century.
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Table of Contents
FOREWORD, by Edward W. Fox
PREFACE, by John H. Beeler
The Transition from Roman to Mediaeval Forms in War (A.D. 378–582)
Disappearance of the legionConstantine's reorganizationThe German tribesBattle of AdrianopleTheodosius accepts its teachingVegetius and the army at the end of the fourth centuryThe Goths and the HunsArmy of the Eastern EmpireCavalry all-important.
The Early Middle Ages (A.D. 4761066–1081)
Paucity of data for the periodThe Franks in the sixth centuryBattle of ToursArmies of Charles the GreatThe Franks become horsemenThe Northman and the MagyarRise of feudalismThe Anglo-Saxons and their warsThe Danes and the fyrdMilitary importance of the thegnhoodThe HousecarlsBattle of HastingsBattle of Durazzo.
The Byzantines and Their Enemies (A.D. 582–1071)
Character of Byzantine Strategy
Excellence of the Byzantine armyScientific study of the art of warLeo's TacticaWars with the FrankWith the TurkWith the SlavWith the SaracenBorder warfare of Christendom and IslamDefense of the Anatolic themesCavalry as a defensive forceProfessional and unchivalrous character of Byzantine officers.
Arms, Organization, and Tactics of the Byzantine Armies
Reorganization of the army of the eastern empire by MauriceIts compositionArmament of the horseman, A.D. 600–1000Armament of the infantryMilitary train and engineersThe officersCavalry tacticsLeo's ideal line of battleMilitary machines and their importance.
The Supremacy of Feudal Cavalry (A.D. 1066–1346)
Unscientific nature of feudal warfareConsequences of headlong chargesTactical arrangementsTheir primitive natureNonexistence of strategyWeakness of infantryAttempts to introduce disciplineRise of mercenariesSupreme importance of fortified placesAscendancy of the defensiveThe mediaeval siegeImprovement of the arts of attack and defense of fortified placesGeneral character of campaignsThe Crusades.
The Swiss (A.D. 1315–1515)
Character, Arms, and Organization
The Swiss and the ancient RomansExcellence of system more important than excellence of generalsThe column of pikemen The halberdierRapidity of the movements of the SwissDefensive armorCharacter of Swiss armies.
Tactics and Strategy
The captains of the ConfederatesThe echelon of three columnsThe wedge and the hedgehog formations.
Development of Swiss Military Supremacy
Battle of MorgartenBattle of LaupenBattle of SempachBattIe of ArbedoMoral ascendancy of the SwissBattle of GrandsonBattle of MoratWars of the last years of the fifteenth century.
Causes of the Decline of Swiss Ascendancy
The tactics of the Swiss become stereotypedThe Landsknechte and their rivalry with the SwissThe Spanish infantry and the short swordBattle of RavennaFortified positionsBattle of La BicoccaIncreased use of artilleryBattle of MarignanoDecay of discipline in the Swiss armies and its consequences.
The English and Their Enemies (A.D. 1272–1485)
The longbow and its origin, Welsh rather than NormanIts rivalry with the crossbowEdward I and the battle of FalkirkThe bow and the pikeBattle of Bannockburn and its lessonsThe French knighthood and the English archeryBattle of CrécyBattle of PoitiersDu Guesclin and the English reversesBattle of AgincourtThe French wars, 1415–1453Battle of FormignyWars of the RosesKing Edward IV and his generalshipBarnet and TewkesburyTowton.
Ziska and the HussitesThe wagon fortress and the tactics depending on itAscendancy and decline of the HussitesBattle of LipanThe OttomansOrganization and equipment of the JanizariesThe timariot cavalryThe other nations of EuropeConcluding remarks.
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