Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 4: The Steppe warrior defeated: Otto I versus the Magyars

Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 5: Turmoil  in northern Italy:  France and the Holy League at War

Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 5: Turmoil in northern Italy: France and the Holy League at War

The main theme of this issue of Medieval Warfare magazine is the War of the Holy League or of the League of Cambrai. This early sixteenth century conflict was largely fought in northern Italy (although its ripples reached as far as Scotland), and included some of the first examples of the successful use of gunpowder weapons on the battlefield. It thus sits in the long and rather blurred boundary between the Medieval and Early Modern periods, combining the charging knight with the artillery bombardment.

We start with an overview of the war (although given the rather confused nature of the conflict the aim here is to give an impression of the general course of events rather than a detailed narrative). Two of the key battles are examined in some detail (Ravenna and Marignano) and more specialised articles look at Machiavelli' Art of War and a series of banners presented to the Swiss by Pope Julius II. This last article stood out for me, and gives some idea of the colourful appearance of a Medieval army.

Away from the main them there is an interesting look at the Anglo-Saxon mead-hall and its role in society (you couldn't find a bigger contrast with early Renaissance Italy!). The two-part article on the fortifications of the Bosporus and Dardanelles looks at the Ottoman fortifications, many of which have survived quite intact, allowing for some super photos. The battle of Evesham article actually looks at the entire campaign and the political background as well as the fighting at Evesham. There is also an examination of the use of mining during Medieval sieges, with some interesting examples of successes and failures and the countermeasures used both in the construction of castles and in their defence.

Articles
Introduction: A tale of two leagues
Machiavelli's Art of War: Learning from the ancients
Storm of steel: The battle of Ravenna, 11 April 1512
The Pope's Gift to the Swiss: Julius II's 1512 presentation banners
Blow to Swiss Ambitions: The Battle of Marignano, 13-14 September 1515
Strife over the Straits: Fortresses on the Bosporus and the Dardanelles (2): the Ottoman Empire
Going Underground: Miners and sappers - A medieval army's rough labourers
The Battle of Evesham (1265): Edward Longshank's first victory on the battlefield
The mead-hall: Fighting and feasting in Anglo-Saxon society


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