Friday, March 02, 2012

Tactics used in late medieval deeds of arms -- Will McLean speaks

Until rather recently, serious scholarship has had little to say about how medieval combat worked.  That's because few scholars had any acquaintance with armor and weaponry, while few who were interested in combats could handle the source material with skill.  (In fact it was worse: fighters almost never had access to some of the most useful sources.

Things have changed, or at least are changing.

One of the best of the current scholars of medieval combat is Will McLean, who knows the sources well and, as a long-time re-enactor, has some notion of the physical realities.  I mention him now because his blog, A Commonplace Book, has been featuring a series of interesting posts on Armor vs. Weapons, focused on the interaction of strength, skill and equipment in late medieval deeds of arms.  The discussion is based on Will's deep knowledge of the medieval accounts, which he quotes extensively in  his own translations.

Highly recommended.

On a related note, I have been sent a copy of the new book, The Soldier Experience in the Fourteenth Century to review.  I will let you know when  the review appears.

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