Rachel Fulton

Department of History

The University of Chicago


Autumn 2005

War in the Middle Ages 


In modern popular culture, the Middle Ages are often imaginatively synonymous with war: knights in shining armor, Vikings in their longships, Robin Hood with his longbow and “merry men.” This lecture/discussion course seeks to complicate this image by examining warfare as a central fact of European civilized life. Problems to be addressed include the technology and economics of warfare, the sociology of warfare, major phases in the development of European warfare from the Carolingians through the Hundred Years’ War, and the literary, legal, religious, and psychological significance of war for the development of European civilization.


Books available for purchase from the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore

John France, Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades 1000-1300 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1999) [D160 .F73 1999]

Edward Peters, The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and Other Source Materials, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998) [D161.1F57 1998]

Robert of Clari, The Conquest of Constantinople, trans. Edgar Holmes McNeal (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996) [D164.A3R62]

Joinville and Villehardouin, Chronicles of the Crusades, trans. M.R.B. Shaw (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963) [D151.S53]

Froissart, Chronicles, trans. and ed. Geoffrey Brereton (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968). [D113.F8996]

Christine de Pizan, The Book of Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry, trans. Sumner Willard, ed. Charity Cannon Willard (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999) [U101 .C47413 1999]

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Art of War, trans. Ellis Farnsworth, with Introduction by Neal Wood (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965; reprint Da Capo Press) [U101.M1613 1990]

Bernald Díaz, The Conquest of New Spain, trans. J.M. Cohen (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963) [F1230.D544]


Both books for purchase and all other readings are available on two-hour reserve in Regenstein Library.  Other readings on-line at the Internet Medieval Sourcebook (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html)


Course requirements

¨      This course will depend upon both lectures and discussions.  The discussions will focus on the primary sources as indicated in the syllabus.  Some days we will focus more on discussion, others more on lecture.  Texts to be discussed in depth are marked with an asterisk.  To prepare for the discussions, you will be expected to post questions and comments that you have about the primary source readings (*) onto the Chalk discussion boards.  You should post at least three such comments (about 500 words each) over the course of the quarter, although you are welcome to post more.  Extra credit will be given towards your participation for posting responses to the discussions and to each other’s comments by way of the discussion board threads.  You may post these additional responses and comments at any time before or after our class discussion, but for your comments to count towards your required three, they must be posted by 12noon on the day we are to discuss the texts in class.  No exceptions!


In addition, there will be two larger writing assignments:


¨      A take-home mid-term exam (5-7 pages), to be handed out in class on Thursday, October 27, and due in class the following Tuesday, November 1.  This exam will constitute 35% of your final grade.

¨      A final essay (8-10 pages), to be turned in no later than Thursday, December 8.  This essay will be an exercise in constructing an imaginative—but appropriately researched and documented—narrative based on one of the encounters or themes that we will have discussed over the course of the quarter.  This essay will constitute 45% of your final grade.



Reading and Discussion Assignments


September 27  Knights’ tales


September 29  Carolingian warfare

Einhard, Life of Charles, chaps. 4-17, 22-29 (trans. Lewis Thorpe, Two Lives of Charlemagne [Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969], pp. 59-72, 76-82) [DC73.32.T51].  Also trans. Samuel Turner, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/einhard.html#Reforms.

Capitularies relating to the Army (trans. Paul Edward Dutton, Carolingian Civilization: A Reader [Peterborough: Broadview, 1993], pp. 69-74) [DC70.C37 1993]

Engelbert at the Battle of Fontenay (trans. Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, pp. 363-65) [DC70.C37 1993]

Nithard, Histories (trans. Bernhard Walter Scholz, Carolingian Chronicles [Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1970], bk. III, ch. 6, pp. 163-64) [DC70.A2S36].

Hincmar of Rheims, Letter to Charles the Bald (trans. Elizabeth Magnou-Nortier and Amy Remensnyder, in Thomas Head and Richard Landes, eds., The Peace of God: Social Violence and Religious Response in France around the Year 1000 [Ithaca: Cornell, 1992], pp. 343-46) [BT736.4.P44850 1992]


October 4  Vikings

Annals of Saint-Vaast for the Years 882 to 886 (trans. Dutton, Carolingian Civilization, pp. 477-81) [DC70.C37 1993]

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a.d. 835-924 (trans. and ed. M.J. Swanton [London: J.M. Dent, 1996], pp. 62-104) [DA150.A756 1996]  Also trans. James Ingram (collation from different versions) http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/OMACL/Anglo/

Battle of Maldon (ed. Donald Scragg, The Battle of Maldon AD 991 [Oxford: Blackwell, 1991], pp. 18-31) [DA154.7.B380 1991]


October 6  Feudal warfare I

Hugh of Lusignan, “Agreement with William of Aquitaine” (in Patrick Geary, Readings in Medieval History, 2nd ed. [Peterborough: Broadview, 1997], pp. 367-72) [D113.R422 1998]  Also trans. Paul Halsall http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/agreement.html

William of Poitiers, William of Jumièges, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Florence of Worcester, Bayeux Tapestry, and Carmen de Hastingae Proelio on the Battle of Hastings (ed. Stephen Morillo, The Battle of Hastings: Sources and Interpretations [Woodbridge: Boydell, 1996], pp. 3-53) [DA196.B320 1996]


October 11  Just War” I

Augustine, City of God, Book I, chap. 21; Book XIX, chaps. 7, 12-16 (trans. Henry Bettenson [Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972, 1984], pp. 32, 861-62, 866-76) [BR65.A9D31B56 1984]

Peace of God and Truce of God, selected documents (ed. Head and Landes, Peace of God, pp. 327-42) [BT736.4.P44850 1992]

Gregory VII to Henry IV (1074) (in Julius Kirshner and Karl Morrison, Readings in Western Civilization 4: Medieval Europe [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986], pp. 140-42) [CB245.U640 1986 vol. 4]

Urban II at the Council of Clermont, November 27, 1095 (ed. Peters, The First Crusade, pp. 25-37, 49-53)


October 13  First Crusade

*Fulcher of Chartres, Chronicle, bk. 1 (ed. Peters, The First Crusade, pp. 47-101)

*The Siege and Capture of Jerusalem, June-July 1099 (ed. Peters, The First Crusade, pp. 238-82)

*Godfrey of Bouillon, Raymond of St. Gilles and Daimbert to Pope Paschal II (ed. Peters, The First Crusade, pp. 292-96)


October 18  Feudal warfare II

*Abbot Suger, Deeds of Louis the Fat (trans. Jean Dunbabin, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/suger-louisthefat.html), chaps. 1-2, 5, 9, 11-16, 19, 21, 26, 28-29, 33-34


October 20 Chivalry I

Bernard of Clairvaux, “In Praise of the New Knighthood” (trans. Conrad Greenia, in Treatises III, Cistercian Fathers Series 19 [Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1977], pp. 127-67) [BX890.B50 1970 vol. 3]

“The Primitive Rule” (trans. J.M. Upton-Ward, The Rule of the Templars: The French Text of the Rule of the Order of the Knights Templar [Woodbridge: Boydell, 1992], pp. 19-38) [CR4737.T46130 1992]

Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani, al-Fath al-qussi fi l-fath al-qudsi [“Ciceronian Eloquence on the Conquest of the Holy City”], trans. Francesco Gabrieli, Arab Historians of the Crusades, trans. E.J. Costello (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1969), pp. 125-39 [D151.G1603]


October 25  Chivalry II

Lancelot of the Lake, trans. Corin Corley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 47-60, 103-20 [PQ1489.L158 1989]

“The History of William the Marshall,” trans. L. Algazi, in Medieval England, 1000-1500: A Reader, ed. Emilie Amt (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 2001), pp. 190-98 [DA170.M43 2001]

“An episcopal blessing for a new knight (c. 1295),” trans. J. Shinners, in Medieval Popular Religion, 1000-1500, ed. John Shinners (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 1997), pp. 262-64 [BR252 .M42 1997]

Geoffroi de Charny, The Book of Chivalry, chaps. 35-36, trans. Richard W. Kaeuper and Elspeth Kennedy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996), pp. 155-71 [CR4513 .K34 1996]


October 27  Fourth Crusade

*Villehardouin, The Conquest of Constantinople (trans. Shaw), pp. 29-97

*Robert of Clari, The Conquest of Constantinople (trans. McLean), pp. 30-128


November 1  Chivalry III

*Joinville, Life of St. Louis (trans. Shaw), pp. 191-276, 289-94, 306-16, 345-50


November 3  Just War” II

Giovanni da Legnano, Tractatus de bello, de represaliis et de duello (ed. Thomas Erskine Holland, trans. James Leslie Brierly [Printed for the Carnegie Institution of Washington at the Oxford University Press, 1917], pp. 209-11, 216-31, 238-41, 245-46, 247-54, 264-67, 269-73, 278-80, 284-86) [JX 2060.L5T7]


November 8  Hundred Years’ War

*Froissart, Chronicles (trans. Brereton, pp. 37-38, 46-112, 120-45, 193-98, 211-30, 280-94, 309-15, 373-81).


November 10  Chivalry IV

*Christine de Pizan, The Book of Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry (trans. Willard, pp. 11-79, 104-44, 150-55, 163-64, 180-81, 197-99, 215-19)


November 15 Joan of Arc

*Trial transcript (trans. W. P. Barrett, The Trial of Jeanne d’Arc [New York: Gotham House, 1932], pp. 19-22, 45-6, 49-82, 93-7, 113-27, 138-70, 279-80, 310-20) [DC105.6.A3 1932]  Alternate version: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/joanofarc-trial.html, pp. 1-5, 31-32, 34-75, 88-92, 111-27, 145-79, 302-3, 340-50

*Christine de Pisan, Ditié de Jehanne d’Arc (ed. and trans. Angus J. Kennedy and Kenneth Varty [Oxford: Society for the Study of Mediaeval Languages and Literatures, 1977], pp. 41-50 [PQ1575.D6 1977]


November 17  Gunpowder

*Francesco Guicciardini, History of Italy (trans. and ed. Sidney Alexander [New York: Macmillan, 1969], pp. 3-4, 43-52, 61-72, 95-105, 108-9, 176-82, 189-90, 203-7, 212-15, 244-52, 298-302, 319-23, 334-35, 340-43, 376-86) [DG 539.G9303]


November 22  Just War” III

*Machiavelli, Art of War (trans. Farnsworth, pp. 3-5, 14-33, 44-64, 76-81, 87-99, 125-37, 150-9, 168-80, 183-88, 202-12)




November 29  War in the New World

*Dìaz, Conquest of New Spain (trans. Cohen, pp. 14-16, 44-51, 57-87, 140-65, 175-84, 203-4, 210-19, 234-48, 250, 268-311, 353-413)


FINAL PAPERS due December 8 by 12noon (no extensions!) in HM-E 686


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