News update 8 August 2014

Now that the holiday period is over for us at Karwansaray, it is time to focus on the final two issues (our next one, about Richard the Lionheart’s campaigns in the Mediterranean, will be sent to the printers at the start of September), but even more importantly, on what we’re going to do in 2015. Our new poll for the themes of Volume V has just been activated, so if you haven’t placed your vote, don’t forget to do so.

On a related note, even though we love to offer you the chance to help us decide on future topics, we always have to pick one or two themes ourselves, in order to make sure that all periods and regions will be sufficiently covered. The same applies to Volume V, for which we have already fixed the themes of MW V-1 and V-2. The first issue will focus on Traitors in the Middle Ages (if you want to contribute, make sure you send us a proposal before 15 August), while the second is devoted to the Reign of Charlemagne. The proposal deadline closes on 15 October, plenty of time for those of you who want to write for this issue to send me your ideas. 

Some news and fun details we came across last week:

- The Leicester visitor centre for Richard III has recently opened. Now they only have to rebury him to create a nice complete new tourist attraction trail. For more information:

- Check out these inventories of war: soldiers’ kit from 1066 to 2014, including the panoply of ‘English’ warriors at the Battle of Hastings, the siege of Jerusalem of 1244, at Azincourt and at Bosworth Field.

Of further interest in the upcoming days:

- An announcement for those reenactors and living historians among you: next weekend will be the Battle of Bosworth Field festival, so don’t forget to write it down in your agenda (though I’ll remind you once more next week).

- 11 augustus in 1473 witnessed the Battle of Otlukbeli, during which Mehmed the Conqueror of the Ottoman Empire decisively defeated his Aq Qoyunlu (‘White Sheep Turks) rival Uzun Hassan. The conflict was caused in part because of Hassan’s support of the Empire of Trebizond, the remainder of Byzantine rule in the area after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Mehmed’s campaign against Trebizond in 1461 was of such a scale that Hassan had no choice but to withdraw his support, and the city fell quickly. Continued efforts to negate Ottoman power through political maneuvering by Hassan and the former emperor of Trebizond would lead to their demise. The remainder of the Aq Qoyunlu lands would later be conquered by the Safavids. For more information, read Ben Sheppard’s aftermath article in our 2014 Special.

- In 1121, the Battle of Didgori was fought on 12 August. The Battle pitted a Georgian army under King David IV against the famous Seljuq commander Ilghazi, and it would end in a decisive victory for David. Soon after, David would turn the former Muslim-held city of Tblisi into the capital of his expanding Georgian Empire. His successors would expand the empire, culminating in a Golden Age under ‘warrior queen’ Tamar of Georgia. For more information on the rising power of the Kingdom of Georgia and Tamar in particular, check out Medieval Warfare IV-2 (theme: ‘Queens and valkyries’).

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