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Anglo-Saxon vs. Medieval Time Period
Transcript of Anglo-Saxon vs. Medieval Time Period
"Defense, to throw their javelins and spears," (Beowulf 836)
"Alas for the mailed warrior!" (The Wanderer 96)
There are many references to swords, spears, and javelins in Anglo-Saxon literature but very few tell of archery. Chain Mail Helmet Shield Sword Intricately woven links of iron allowing for a strong yet flexible coat. Made of plates of iron to protect the face from cuts and blows Primarily made of aluminum or wood to keep a low weight Equipped with pommels and crossguards made of organic material while the blade was made of iron and steel Spears and Javelins a long wooden shaft carved into a point at the end or fixed with an iron tip A typical battle in this period would include the two conflicting forces to form a defensive line called a shieldwall. A shieldwall is composed of rows of soldiers interlocking their shields in the direction of their enemy in hopes of deflecting spears, javelins, and arrows
"Advanced again to fierce battle, weapons raised up, shields to defense, and towards these warriors they stepped," (The battle of Maldon 130-133)
"Broke the shieldwall, split shields with swords," (The battle of Brunanburh 5-6). General Shieldwall Battle Sequence Preliminaries Advance to close quarters Exchange of Projectiles Shield to Shield Rout and Pursuit Soldiers form their ranks and leaders give inspirational speaches Battle cry is raised and both sides advance Arrows, javelins, rocks, etc. are thrown to break enemy's resolve The gap between the two armies close and swords and spears are used as well as pushing their shields out to try and break the enemy line. As one side gives way either a final stand will be made or a retreat will commence. The victors would pursue, killing all they could. Important Battles of the Anglo-Saxon Period Told in Poems Battle of Brunanburh 937: Viking invasion of England
Heavy casualties on both sides, ultimately an English victory
" Nor was there more slaughter on this isle yet, so many folk felled," (The Battle of Brunanburh 65-67) Battle of Maldon 991: Viking invasion of England
Vikings offer peace if English pay tribute, which was refused resulting in this battle. Many characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon warriors are shown here that are rarely spoken of. The Vikings claimed victory.
"Mind must be firmer, heart the more fierce, Courage the greater, as our strength diminishes," (The Battle of Maldon 323-325) Medieval Period In the Medieval period weapons and armor greatly advanced Blades Dagger
Messer Blunt Weapons Club
War Hammer Pole Weapon Halberd
Spear Ranged Bow
Javelin Body Armor Leather
Plate Shields Helmets With the Medieval ages new technology for warfare became available Artillery and Siege Animals Battering Rams
Siege Towers Camels
War Pigs The Medieval age is where religion was truly inserted into warfare. The Practice of carrying relics into battle is described by by Bonvesin de la Riva in his book on the "Marvels of Milan" The Crusades, or Holy Wars, are a prime example of the effect of religion in war "Since the siege and the assault was ceased at Troy,
The walls breached and burnt down to brands and ashes," (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 1-2) Medieval Tactics The fact that the Medieval time period extended past the borders of England and into Europe and beyond along with the new weaponry made the tactics and battle strategies very greatly. Castles were erected to withstand the brutality of a siege, cavalry was introduced onto the battlefield, and the use of artillery and siege weapons made this a era of war different than any other before and after. The infantry unit was still the most highly used in battles however, with the advancing military strength they became obsolete on their own (Geoffori de Charney). Important Wars of the Medieval Period Teutonic War 1410-1422: between the kingdom of Poland and the Teutonic Knights Battle of Hastings 1066: During the Norman invasion of England Normans vs. English
Norman victory The Barons War 1263-1267: between King Henry III and his Barons The Crusades 1096-1291: Holy War, waged for ownership of many Holy sites in the Middle East During the Medieval times, the focus of the period went beyond the shores of England and into the rest of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The Christian Religion began to compel wars to be waged. " With many a noble expedition had he been. In fifteen mortal battles he had engaged," (Canterbury Tales 60-61)