Collections: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and the Unfortunate Implications

We're going to be a bit silly this week (in part because the ending of this compressed semester has left me with little time) and talk about the recently released historical action-RPG computer (and console) game, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, set in 9th century Norway and England. And, as with the last time we did this, … Continue reading Collections: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and the Unfortunate Implications

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part IV: Men of Rohan

This is the fourth part of a series taking a historian's look at the Battle of Helm's Deep (I, II, III) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. In the last part, we looked in some depth at the organization of the host of Saruman … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part IV: Men of Rohan

Collections: A Trip Through Bertran de Born (Martial Values in the 12th Century Occitan Nobility)

This week we are taking another trip through a medieval author, this time the Occitan noble and troubadour Bertran de Born. This trip ought to be read closely with our trip through, Dhuoda of Uzès, as both exemplify the values and thinking of the medieval European aristocracy (though note that Dhuoda writes some 350 years … Continue reading Collections: A Trip Through Bertran de Born (Martial Values in the 12th Century Occitan Nobility)

Collections: Archery, Distance and ‘Kiting’

This week, we're going to look at how the effectiveness of arrow fire - especially against armored targets - varies over distance. This is, in a sense, a continuation of my previous post on armor penetration, "Punching Through Some Armor Myths," so you may want to refer back occasionally. This is going to be a … Continue reading Collections: Archery, Distance and ‘Kiting’

Collections: Punching Through Some Armor Myths

This week, we're going to talk about armor effectiveness, comparing the value of body-armor before gunpowder with what gets portrayed in fiction and broader pop culture. What does it take to defeat armor? What weapons were effective at defeating armor - and what kinds of armor were they effective against? I should note that I … Continue reading Collections: Punching Through Some Armor Myths

New Acquisitions: How It Wasn’t: Game of Thrones and the Middle Ages, Part III

The following is the third part of a three part series where we look at the question "how medieval is Game of Thrones?" and - if not the Middle Ages - what period of European history does Game of Thrones most draw from? This part will look at the political (and to a degree) economic … Continue reading New Acquisitions: How It Wasn’t: Game of Thrones and the Middle Ages, Part III