Guns and Men in Medieval Europe, 1200-1500: Studies in Military History and Technology, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Guns and Men in Medieval Europe, 1200-1500

Studies in Military History and Technology, 1st Edition

By Kelly DeVries


376 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788867
pub: 2002-11-14
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These articles are devoted to the two main aspects of medieval warfare: men and technology. Men fought, led, and ultimately killed in war, while the technology that they used facilitated these tasks. The first group of essays highlights human strengths in the fighting of medieval wars, with a focus on events of the 14th and 15th centuries, specifically the Anglo-French wars and wars against the Turks. A second group addresses the technological side of warfare, in particular the advent and proliferation of early gunpowder weapons which evolved rapidly during the late Middle Ages, although never replacing the role of men. The articles study various facets of this evolution, from the increased use and effectiveness of guns in battles, sieges, and naval warfare, to changes in their science and metallurgy, surgical treatment of wounds caused by them, and governmental centralization of the technology.


'Variorum […] has made a signal contribution […] by publishing the collected articles of DeVries…' Choice 'DeVries is amazingly prolific… DeVries, unlike so many specialists, especially specialists in the history of technology, is not carried away by the lure of his own specialism and has a clear understanding of the complexity of historical causation. This is really what makes this collection worthwhile.' Military History '… a fascinating collection… the whole is illuminating and thought-provoking. This volume belongs in the library of every university where medieval history is taught.' Technology and Culture '… it is extremely helpful to have the convenience of the assembled essays of prominent scholars.' The Ricardian

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Men: God and defeat in medieval warfare: some preliminary thoughts; Medieval declarations of war: an example from 1212; God, leadership, Flemings and archery: contemporary perceptions of victory and defeat at the Battle of Sluys, 1340; Contemporary views of Edward III's failure at the Siege of Tournai, 1340; Hunger, Flemish participation and the flight of Philip VI: contemporary accounts of the Siege of Calais, 1346-47; A woman as leader of men: Joan of Arc's military career; The lack of a Western European military response to the Ottoman invasions of Eastern Europe from Nicopolis (1396) to Mohács (1526); Guns: The forgotten battle of Bevershoutsveld, 3 May, 1382: technological innovation and military significance; The use of gunpowder weaponry by and against Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years War; Gunpowder weaponry at the Siege of Constantinople, 1453; Gunpowder and early gunpowder weapons; The technology of gunpowder weaponry in Western Europe during the Hundred Years War; The impact of gunpowder weaponry on siege warfare in the Hundred Years War; The effectiveness of 15th-century shipboard artillery; A 1445 reference to shipboard artillery; Gunpowder weaponry and the rise of the early modern state; Military surgical practice and the advent of gunpowder weaponry; Methodology: Catapults are not atomic bombs: towards a redefinition of 'effectiveness' in premodern military technology; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General