Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels examines the motives and terrors of war during the Middle Ages, the rise and fall of ethnic and religious groups, and the actions of good and evil military leaders during this violent and colorful period. In this sweeping chronicle, historical figures and major campaigns such as Charlemagne, the Magyars, and the Crusades are presented not as icons but as a living part of their times, with all their achievements and human failures. Santosuosso asserts that war, for most of the Middle Ages, was carried out for God, personal gain, and honor. Both Christians and Muslims often explained their acts of violence in war as the will of God. Besides the religious motivation, soldiers, if upper class, believed that acts of bravery were a necessary aspect of gaining honor in society. Finally, war constituted a way to make material gains in a period of chronic underemployment and low prosperity. Particular emphasis is given to massive transitions from one period to the next in the medieval era. The author explains how these changes reflected an environment where charismatic leaders, the Church, and the aristocracy played leading roles as "managers" of the art and practice of war and normally as main actors on the battlefield.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.36(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.18(d)|
About the Author
Antonio Santosuosso is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Western Ontario and author of Storming and Heavens, and Soldiers, Citizens, and the Symbols of War. He lives in London, Ontario.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Interesting overview of the Middle Ages. Good information where the author chose to drill down, but certainly not every aspect was covered. Personally, I would have liked more Dark Ages information, but I suppose that's why they are called the Dark Ages - we don't know a lot about that time in Western Europe.
This book provides an excellent outline of the migration of the people that pushed, fought, and absorbed each other and eventually formed the nations and city states of Europe by the end of the medieval era. It also describes the rise and spread of Islam by conquest and the lengthy confrontation between East and West. "Ways of Medieval Warfare" is descriptive of a period that knew little respite from hostility and warfare. It is little wonder that there is conflict and warfare today. We had a millennium of practice before hostilities during the Renaissance and modern period which would seem to indicate that this is a normal state of affairs. Other topics include the Norman Conquest, the ebb and flow of the fortunes of England and France during The Hundred Years War, and the widespread use of mercenaries from the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries especially in the Italian city states. The strategy and tactics employed during major battles is reviewed as well as the deployment and evolution of cavalry, foot soldiers, archers and artillery.
It is full of details: location, names, tribe, armour......lots of information, but difficult to read. Although it is written by a journalist, if i am not mistaken, it does not inspire and it is very difficult to read.