Dear fans of Medieval Warfare,
I wanted to introduce myself as the new editor of Medieval Warfare magazine and tell you why I am looking forward to this new role in my life.
Just over twenty years ago I was a young undergraduate student who had fallen in love with the Middle Ages. Like many of you, I found myself fascinated with the chronicles and romances of medieval writers, and reading stories that were both unbelievable to modern eyes and timeless examples of human behaviour.
Around this time I attended my first International Congress of Medieval Studies, the largest annual conference of medievalists. Every May, over 3000 scholars gather in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for four days of listening to lectures, exploring the book room, and drinking free wine. It was here that I would get involved with De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History, the academic association for historians of medieval warfare. I would meet with wonderful scholars such as Kelly DeVries, Stephen Morillo, John France and Bernard Bachrach, and they would be more than welcoming to a young student like myself.
I remember attending a special debate between Kelly DeVries and Clifford Rogers on how effective the English longbow was. Were the English victories at Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt due to the English archers killing the French, or was their clouds of arrows not necessarily lethal but able to cause confusion among the French cavalry, forcing their massed charges to flounder before reaching English lines?
The debate was held in a packed room – audiences for sessions involving medieval warfare are always large – and many other scholars would chime in with questions or points to consider. I found all this – historians talking, arguing and joking as they tried to understand the past – exhilarating and soon came to understand that this is what I wanted to study and learn about. Over the years I would give papers and write articles about many diverse topics related to medieval warfare: the treatment of prisoners of war, the city of London’s efforts to provide military support to their kings, battles in Iceland, and the Mongol conquest of Baghdad. I would also be given the opportunity to create the website for De Re Militari, which thanks to the generous support of authors and publishers, was able to offer hundreds of free articles, primary sources and book reviews for students and scholars to explore.
In 2008 I founded Medievalists.net, aiming to create a site that would appeal to everyone who enjoys the Middle Ages, from professors to gamers. Along with Sandra Alvarez and our talented team of writers, we have grown this website by offering readers a mix of intriguing and quirky pieces about the medieval world, some that expose myths about the past, and others revealing how the Middle Ages is represented in our modern media and society. Medievalists.net has been become more popular than I could ever have imagined, and it is with great joy that I read the messages and emails from our readers who have enjoyed what we have done.
Today, I am starting a new role as the editor of a magazine about warfare in the Middle Ages. I am eager to share with you the stories and scholarship I have been reading and hearing about. We are currently in an era where medieval military history is a hot topic in academia, in which a generation of young scholars are writing about issues related to strategy, tactics, logistics and equipment. They are also exploring all corners of Europe and beyond, discovering how armies fought, laid siege, and protected their realms.
As Medieval Warfare magazine evolves, I hope to bring you more and varied viewpoints, covering both well-known topics as well as some lesser-known but intriguing people and events. One thing you will notice is that I will want the voices of the sources to be heard more in our articles. The chroniclers and writers of the Middle Ages could offer compelling narratives of battles, sieges and campaigns, and I would like their words to be seen in the pages of our magazine.
I hope you also visit this blog, as I’ll be offering regular updates and short articles that will give you a taste of things to come in Medieval Warfare magazine. Thank you for reading and please feel free to contact me with ideas and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.