Author Spotlight: Conor Robison

The defeat of the Latin Emperor Baldwin outside Adrianople in April 1205, one year to the day since the warriors of the Fourth Crusade conquered hitherto invincible Constantinople, must be amongst the unhappiest of anniversaries anywhere in history and is the focus of my MWCC.11 article: "The Battle of Adrianople: 'Who would never consent to flee'" (16-19). While the slaughter of the Roman army at the hands of the Vandals over eight hundred years before on the same ground dominates historical attention, the events of 1205 were just as consequential though obscured by the earth-shattering conquests of 1204.

Reconstructing this key encounter began with the participants themselves. Any historical project I undertake begins with the primary sources, and though they may be standoffish at times, the joy of the historian in me is rekindled anew when they shuck off their shyness and reveal what history has handed down: some aspect of the living, breathing, human beings that once were. Thankfully, with Adrianople, there were enough contemporary accounts to gain a sense of the arrogance and anguish; the fear and doubt and turbulent emotions that wracked the combatants during those bloody April days. History is, after all, the story of humanity, and Adrianople was a story worth telling. 

While my training as a writer, and professional experience as a historian and researcher, were enough to weave an article into being, to Medieval World must go the credit of presenting it to the world. I began reading the magazine back when it was Medieval Warfare, and its transition to emphasize other aspects of medieval history only enhances works that deal with combat. You cannot divorce an army from the culture and society that produced it. The best example of this, in my view, must be John France’s Victory in the East, his book-length treatment of the First Crusade, which more than holds up thirty years on from its initial release not only as a military history but also as a cultural analysis of the major combatants, be they the Crusaders or their Muslim foes. I hope that Adrianople, in presenting the clash of two very different military systems, was able to expose something of the larger culture from which the armies and their commanders hailed. 

This is my first publication for the medieval period, though I have written on other eras of conflict for such periodicals as History Ireland and the Journal of the American Revolution, and am excited to be able to enhance my knowledge of warfare further as an MA student in Military History at Maynooth University. Although my studies will now take center stage, I aim to use the acquired knowledge to keep my writing creds with Medieval World up-to-date.


You are brilliant! Your accomplishment fills me with joy.

Susan Rachma Howai
Cheering you on Connor.
Andi Everding

Great Job Connor! Keep up the good work. I am so proud of where you are and are going.

Jason Carr

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