In an effort to branch out from reading mysteries and scifi I’ve indulged in the reading of history! It’s all good really, I get to invest my free time in learning and get to enjoy reading things as well. A win-win really.

War and Chivalry is a discussion of how chivalric codes changed over the course of the High Middle Ages, with especial relevance to changes in modes of warfare. Naturally, this is only interesting or useful if you’re a history buff. And if you’re not, then, those who forget are bound to repeat, blah blah blah.

There were a couple of arguments I found interesting. The first was that the development of artillery did not mean that it was useful on the battlefield. Quite the opposite. It was only practical and useful in sieges.

The second was that chivalric orders served as something of a primogeniture of national societies. Explaining that statement would involve me having to delve into a long and boring discussion, and these reviews are most often “notes to self”. All the same, fascinating.

Also, meaningless factoid. You know how people sometimes insist that suits of armour were extremely heavy and prevented movement and the like? Well, armour worn in combat during the C15th actually weighted (on average) less than the kit carried by your average WW1 infantryman! However armour worn during jousting was substantially heavier. There you go, you can trot that out during your next quiz nite!

Advertisements