Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part III: On the Move

This is the third part of a three part (I, II, III) look at some of the practical concerns of managing pre-industrial logistics. In our last post, we outlined what 'foraging' actually entailed - how armies got supplies both from friendly populations but also from neutral or hostile populations. In particular, we focused on the … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part III: On the Move

Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part II: Foraging

This is the second part of a three part (I, II, III) look at some of the practical concerns of managing pre-industrial logistics. In our last post we outlined the members of our 'campaign community,' including soldiers but also non-combatants and animals (both war- and draft-); they required massive amounts of supplies, particularly food but … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part II: Foraging

Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part I: The Problem

In this three-part series (I, II, III) we’re going to be bowing to reader demand and taking a close look at the nuts and bolts of maintaining an army in the field.  In our last series, after all, we noted that before gunpowder the ability of a general to affect the course of a battle … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part I: The Problem

Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part II: Subsistence on the Hoof

This series is now available in audio format. You can find the playlist here. This is the second part of a four part (I, II, III, IV) look at the Dothraki, the fictional horse-borne nomads of the A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones series. We're looking at, in particular, the degree … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part II: Subsistence on the Hoof

Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Addendum: Rice!

Thanks to our helpful volunteer narrator, this entire post series is now also available in audio format! As an addendum on to our four-part look at the general structures of the farming of cereal grains (I, II, III, IV) this post is going to briefly discuss some of the key ways that the structures of … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Addendum: Rice!

Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part I: Farmers!

Thanks to our helpful volunteer narrator, this entire post series is now also available in audio format! This essay will hopefully be the first post in a series (II, III, IV, A) covering some of the basics of how things in the past, particularly in the ancient world, were made. This isn't a how-to guide … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part I: Farmers!

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part I: Bargaining for Goods at Helm’s Gate

This is the long-awaited first part of a series (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII. VIII) taking a historian's look at the Battle of Helm's Deep from both J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson's 2002 film of the same name. We're going to discuss how historically plausible each sequence of events … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part I: Bargaining for Goods at Helm’s Gate