Medieval

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Royal Deaths: John the Blind

Patrick Boniface on the deaths in battle of regal warriors. According to a popular Czech tradition, before he committed himself to combat in a battle already lost, King John the Blind said, ‘God forbid that a Bohemian king should ever flee from a fight.’ Jang de Blannen (John the Blind) was born on 10 August […]

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Stamford Bridge: the last Anglo-Saxon victory

The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was not only a seminal event in British history, it is also widely regarded as a turning point in military history: the moment when a ‘Dark Age’ way of war based on heavy infantry gave way to a ‘medieval’ way of war based on armoured cavalry. But was this really so? Shift the focus from Hastings, and events take on a new aspect.

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Afghanistan: graveyard of armies

A huge, mountainous, landlocked Central Asian state, Afghanistan has defied invaders for 2,500 years. Jules Stewart takes a look at the country’s military longue durée.     Taken in historical context, the 13-year presence of NATO combat troops in Afghanistan amounted to scarcely a footnote to centuries of foreign military intervention in the country. From the […]

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The myth of the invincible Vikings

The Vikings have a formidable military reputation. But much of this, argues Martyn Whittock, is hype. We need some serious analysis.   In AD 866 there were four independent Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. By 874, there was just one. A ‘blitzkrieg’ of Viking attacks had obliterated three kingdoms. In eight short years, the Vikings had […]

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10 things you didn’t know about the Norman conquest of Ireland

Most people are familiar with the tumultuous events of England in 1066, but how much do you know about ‘the other Norman conquest’, launched a century after the Battle of Hastings? In spring of 1169, a small band of Normans set sail from South Wales bound for Ireland, landing in May of that same year. This […]

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What happened at Hastings?

Medieval historian and former MHM Assistant Editor Hazel Blair analyses one of the most decisive battles in British history, 950 years after it was fought.

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