Visible Violence: Head and Face Wounds in Early Medieval Europe to 1000 CE

An unhealed gash on the forehead suggests that the man died a violent death, perhaps in battle. / Photo by Mauro Rubini, Creative Commons Head and facial trauma were the most serious of injuries in early medieval society due to their very visibility. By Dr. Patricia Skinner Professor of Early and Middle Medieval Europe Swansea University[…]

Medieval Tools of Warfare

A 1540s depiction of a judicial combat in Augsburg in 1409, between Marshal Wilhelm von Dornsberg and Theodor Haschenacker. Dornsberg’s sword broke early in the duel, but he proceeded to kill Haschenacker with his own sword. / Bayrische Staatsbibliothek Cod. icon. 393, Wikimedia Commons Warrior aristocrats dominated medieval society. By Dr. Hans Peter Broedel Graduate[…]

Genocide in the Ancient World

Brysa Hill ruins / Creative Commons Genocide is often viewed as a particular feature of our own current age.  Nothing could be further from the truth. By Gerard Mulligan / 01.27.2013 Introduction Genocide is often viewed as a particular feature of our own current age. This perception largely stems from the terrible events which took[…]

Evidence of a Prehistoric Massacre Extends the History of Warfare

Skeletal remains of a group of foragers massacred around 10,000 years ago on the shores of a lagoon is unique evidence of a violent encounter between clashing groups of ancient hunter-gatherers, and suggests the “presence of warfare” in late Stone Age foraging societies. The fossilised bones of a group of prehistoric hunter-gatherers who were massacred[…]

The Knights of the Front: Medieval History’s Influence on Great War Propaganda

A knight fighting a dragon, 15th-century woodcut / Rauner Special Collections Library, Wikimedia Commons The emergence of medieval imagery in the First World War propaganda. By Haley E. Claxton This article focuses on the emergence of medieval imagery in the First World War propaganda. Examining several specific uses of medieval symbolism in propaganda posters from[…]

A History of War as Culture

Image by Ancient Origins, Wikimedia Commons Ultimately, there is only one warrior culture. Its evolution and transformation over time and place, from our beginnings to arrival in the contemporary world, is the history of warfare. By Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan Military Historian Easter Island Easter Island is one of the loneliest places on earth,[…]

The Religious Wars of Europe, 1524-1648

Battle of Rocroi, 1643, attributed to Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau / Wikimedia Commons During the period of 1524 until 1648, Europe was plagued by wars of religion. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 07.29.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief During the period of 1524 until 1648, Europe was plagued by wars of religion. It is important to recognize, however, that[…]

China’s Semilegendary Period: Preliminary Orientations and Legendary Conflicts

King Zhu of the Shang Dynasty Lights the Signal Beacons, a Perspective Picture / Museum of Fine Arts Boston Archaeological discoveries over the past several decades have suddenly infused life into previously shadowy remnants of ancient Chinese civilization. By Dr. Ralph D. Sawyer Senior Research Fellow University of Massachusetts Introduction When warriors battle over territory,[…]

The Year The World Almost Blew Up – And Nobody Noticed

By Taylor Downing / 05.27.2018 Historian On November 9th 1983, the leadership of the Soviet Union nearly ordered a full pre-emptive nuclear strike against the US and Western Europe. The entire Soviet nuclear arsenal was readied. Huge SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missiles in their silos were put on standby. SS-20 mobile missile launchers deployed to their[…]

Early Modern Islam-Christian Transfers of Military Technology, 1730-1918

Château de Coussac-Bonneval / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Virginia H. Aksan / 01.14.2011 Professor Emeritus of History McMaster University Introduction Contained after 1700, the Ottoman threat to Europe evolved into an Austro-Russian-Ottoman struggle for hegemony over the remaining frontiers of the Danube, the Crimea and the Caucasus. The era from 1700 to 1900 is generally[…]

Medieval and Early Modern Warfare and Cultural Transfer, 1450-1789

By Dr. Aaron Graham / 09.22.2015 Professor of History University College London Abstract Warfare was one of the few experiences between 1453 and 1789 that almost every European had in common. Although new causes and technologies emerged during this period there were also strong continuities, and although it caused death and destruction warfare could also[…]