News and updates 5 September 2014

Here’s this week’s blog update. We’re in the last stages of compiling our latest issue, MW IV.5, which focuses on Richard I of England’s endeavours in the Mediterranean and the Middle East (i.e. the Third Crusade). This issue should arrive at our distribution center around the end of September, so keep an eye out for the pre-order (and make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter)!

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that we are currently working on establishing the contents of our Special of 2015, and I must say, we are doing very well so far, with confirmed contributions from experts such as Anne Curry, Brian Todd Carey, Bertrand Schnerb, Hugh Soar, and Stephen Cooper (still wondering about the Special’s theme?). Other contributions are still being discussed. Moreover, artist José Daniel Cabrera Peña has agreed to once more share his talents with us for this particular issue, so we can expect another fantastic centrefold. Make sure you check our updates regularly for more news on the 2015 Special.

And for those of you who are in the area, this weekend there are medieval festivals being held at Rochester castle, as well as in Arezzo (Italy), at the Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracen). This tournament has its origins in the early 16th century and commemorates Christian efforts to hold back the tide of Islam in the 14th century. A lively and colourful procession of costumed participants is followed by the main event in which eight costumed knights charge towards a wooden representation of the Saracen, aiming to hit the Saracen’s shield with lances. The Saracen is mounted on a swivel so that part of the task of the knight is to avoid being hit in the back. Each pair of knights represents one of Arezzo’s four rival districts and their supporters each occupy a side of the piazza. The winner receives a golden lance. (source: Festivals of Tuscany).

Also of interest next week:

- This Sunday, the 7th of  September, marks the 823rd anniversary of the Battle of Arsuf, where Richard the Lionheart defeated his Muslim enemy Saladin. The Battle of Arsuf is also the topic of our main article in MW IV.5, which also includes contributions on the conquest of Cyprus, crusader tactics, and the Siege of (and massacre at) Acre. In other words, an issue you surely don’t want to miss. (see above for a preview thumbnail of one of the illustrations in the issue).

- On 8 september 1380, Russian forces finally managed to defeat a mixed Tatar and Mongol force at the Battle of Kulikovo, which ended the advance of the Mongol horde after more than 150 years of terrible defeats and bloodshed, leading to a considerable decrease in population in Western Asia/Eastern Europe. As luck would have it, the Mongols’ advance in the west in the thirteenth century is also one of the topics of our 2015 Theme poll. In fact, at the moment, it seems to be winning. If you haven’t voted yet, make sure you do so soon!

- Some 501 years ago, on 9 September 1513, James IV of Scotland was defeated at the Battle of Flodden Field, and did not live to tell the tale. The defeat ended Scotland’s involvement in the War of the League of Cambrai, which is also the theme of Medieval Warfare II-5, focusing on the Italian stage of the conflict.

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