A look at three books from 2020 about medieval warfare

We have already detailed a couple of books that were published this year that will be of great interest to historians of medieval warfare - Le Jouvencel and The Cambridge History of War. As 2020 comes to a close, let's look at three more books that offer a lot about medieval military history:

Military Cultures and Martial Enterprises in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of Richard P. Abels, edited by John D. Hosler and Steven Isaac (The Boydell Press)

Richard Abels has long been recognized as a leading scholar in the field of medieval military history, so having this book to honour him is well due. Fourteen historians have come together to contribute to this book, and each of them is able to produce very high level research. The essays here are diverse - ranging from Carolingian warfare to the Third Crusade - but to single a couple of them out, one should definitely read Clifford J. Rogers' piece about episodes of war found in the St.Omer Chronicle, and John Gillingham's article about how male and female prisoners of war get treated.

Warfare and the Making of Early Medieval Italy (568–652), by Eduardo Fabbro (Routledge)

The Early Middle Ages tend to get overlooked by historians, especially military ones, so this new book fills something of a void. It basically looks at so-called 'Barbarian Invasions' and asks what impact did this have on early medieval Italy. The focus in on when the Lombards came and ruled this region.

The Crusader States and their Neighbours: A Military History, 1099-1187, by Nicholas Morton (Oxford University Press)

We tend to believe that after the First Crusade and the establish of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and other crusader states, that the Near East was a region where Christians and Muslims were constantly fighting. Nicholas Morton's book tries to show that the situation was far more complex than that, with numerous players involved. The twelfth century is a period when we have a lot of different types of armies involved in this region, which offers a lot for historians in terms of overall strategy and statecraft.


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