The Sicilian Vespers

The latest issue of Medieval Warfare, issue VI-2, will return from the printer’s shortly. This one has been a real collaborative effort, with everyone in the office pitching in. The issue’s theme is the War of the Sicilian Vespers, which started with the successful rebellion of the Sicilians against the rule of the French king Charles I, on Easter in the year AD 1282. It’s a war that caused conflicts between kings and, in true medieval fashion, also involved the pope.

This issue sees the welcome return of Peter Konieczny. Peter will, as he has in the not-so-distant past, supply news articles for every issue of Medieval Warfare going forward. With Sandra Alvarez, he runs the popular website Medievalists.net, which is probably the largest community on the internet when it comes to those with a passion for the Middle Ages.

Jona Lendering, editor of Ancient History Magazine, wrote this issue’s historical introduction, which also features a very clean map of the theatre of the war by Carlos García. Marc DeSantis, one of the regular contributors to all three of our history magazines, wrote this issue’s Source article based on a naval contract, and deals with different types of medieval ships.

Arnold Blumberg, another one of our stalwarts, wrote an article on the crusade against Aragon in 1285, one that ‘produced no great battles, no innovations in strategy or tactics, and no significant alterations of the frontiers.’ So why is it a subject worth writing about anyway? Well, I’m not going to reveal that. You’ll just have to read the issue!

The Italian and Sicilian armies of the late thirteenth century are the subject of an article by Rob Holmes, and feature a custom piece of artwork by cover artist Angel García Pinto. William Welsh’s contribution deals with Charles of Anjou and features a family tree by Julia Lillo. A short article by Daniel Mersey deals with a fresco depicting two duelling knights.

Alberto Raúl Esteban Ribas turns to the heart of the matter in a longer article on the conflict between Peter of Aragon and Charlos of Anjou. The centrefold illustration that accompanies this piece is once again made by Zvonimir Grbasic, one of the most talented centrefold artists we’ve had in Medieval Warfare so far, at least in my estimation.

We then turn to the non-theme-related articles. Richard Kroes’s article deals with the Battle of Karbala in AD 680 (in what is today Iraq), and features a battle map by Carlos García. David Balfour’s article is perhaps my personal favourite: it deals with the ‘War of the Two Mathildas’ (1141), which pitted Queen Mathilda of Boulogne against Empress Mathilda (widow of Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor).

A short article by Jonathan Sneddon deals with the Siege of Caerlaverock Castle. Mike Ingram discusses the Battle of Shrewsbury (1403) and delves into a lot interesting detail. Sidney Dean, another author who writes for all three of our magazines, wrote an article on Scottish leaders, with a particular emphasis on William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

New to Medieval Warfare is a new segment dubbed ‘Movie Knights’. Like the ‘Hollywood Romans’ department in Ancient Warfare, this part of the magazine focuses on depictions of the Middle Ages in film. The first instalment is written by Murray Dahm and deals with movie portrayals of King Arthur. In true movie fashion, it will have a sequel published in Medieval Warfare issue VI-3, so that’s definitely something to look out for.

I think that covers just about everything. If you don’t have a subscription yet, my question is: why not? You can subscribe to the magazine or order a single copy of issue VI.2 via our webshop. The issue is still available for pre-order (and thus a discount), but this will only last until the issue returns from the printer’s next week, so get it while you can!

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