Warfare through the Centuries


Warfare through the Centuries

Here we can examine and discuss the battles and wars the generals and their strategies.

Members: 23
Latest Activity: Feb 3, 2014

Ancient warfare is war as conducted from the beginnings of recorded history to the end of the ancient period. In Europe and the Near East, the end of antiquity is often equated with the fall of Rome in 476 and the beginning of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century. In China, it can also be seen as ending with the growing role of mounted warriors needed to counter the ever-growing threat from the north in the 5th century and the beginning of the Tang Dynasty in 618. In India, the ancient period ends with the decline of the Gupta Empire (6th century) and the beginning Islamic conquests from the 8th century. In Japan, the ancient period can be taken to end with the rise of feudalism in the Han period.

The difference between prehistoric and ancient warfare is less one of technology than of organization. The development of first city-states, and then empires, allowed warfare to change dramatically. Beginning in Mesopotamia, states produced sufficient agricultural surplus so that full-time ruling elites and military commanders could emerge. While the bulk of military forces were still farmers, the society could support having them campaigning rather than working the land for a portion of each year. Thus, organized armies developed for the first time.

These new armies could help states grow in size and became increasingly centralized, and the first empire, that of the Sumerians, formed in Mesopotamia. Early ancient armies continued to primarily use bows and spears, the same weapons that had been developed in prehistoric times for hunting. Early armies in Egypt and China followed a similar pattern of using massed infantry armed with bows and spears.

No clear line can be drawn between ancient and medieval warfare. The characteristic properties of medieval warfare, notably heavy cavalry and siege engines such as the trebuchet were first introduced in Late Antiquity. The main division within the ancient period is rather at the beginning Iron Age with the introduction of cavalry (resulting in the decline of chariot warfare), of naval warfare (Sea Peoples), and of course the development of an industry based on ferrous metallurgy which allowed for the mass production of metal weapons and thus the equipment of large standing armies. The first military power to profit from these innovations was the Neo-Assyrian Empire, which achieved a hitherto unseen extent of centralized control, the first "world power" to extend over the entire Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia, the Levant and Egypt).

Medieval warfare is the warfare of the Middle Ages. In Europe, technological, cultural, and social developments had forced a dramatic transformation in the character of warfare from antiquity, changing military tactics and the role of cavalry and artillery. In terms of fortification, the Middle Ages saw the emergence of the castle in Europe and spread to the Middle East. Similar patterns of warfare existed in other parts of the world. In China, weapons employing gunpowder date back to the 10th century, and the first permanent standing Chinese navy was established in the early 12th century by the Song Dynasty.

The Middle East and North Africa used very different methods and equipment than was used in Europe, and there occurred a considerable amount of technological exchange and tactical adaptation between the different cultures. In Africa along the Sahel and Sudan, states like the Kingdom of Sennar and Fulani Empire employed Medieval tactics and weapons up till the 19th century

Weaponry of Medieval Times - thank you scorpian

Discussion Forum

Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy By Susan Abernethy

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 31, 2014.

26 January 1316-Battle of Skerries

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 29, 2014.

Sir Richard FitzAlan by Ky White

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 24, 2014.

Sir John de VERE, 7th Earl of Oxford

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 23, 2014.

Sir David LINDSAY, 3rd Earl of Crawford

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 23, 2014.

Fireproofing of war machines, ships and garments By Vassilios Christides

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 16, 2014.

Owain Glyndwr

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 12, 2014.

Warfare in the History of William the Marshal by DRM_peter

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Jan 7, 2014.


Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Apr 5, 2012.

Byzantium and Islam

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Feb 27, 2011.

Greece & Rome

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Feb 26, 2011.

Military History and Warfare: The Crusades: The Battle of Hattin 1187 by Alex

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Feb 25, 2011.

Medes and Persians

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Feb 25, 2011.

Unconventional Animals in the History of Warfare By Alexander J. Knights

Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Feb 24, 2011.


Started by Dept of PMM Artists & things Feb 24, 2011.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 26, 2012 at 11:47am

Oct 25, 1415:
Battle of Agincourt

During the Hundred Years' War between England and France, Henry V, the young king of England, leads his forces to victory at the Battle of Agincourt in northern France.

Two months before, Henry had crossed the English Channel with 11,000 men and laid siege to Harfleur in Normandy. After five weeks the town surrendered, but Henry lost half his men to disease and battle casualties. He decided to march his army northeast to Calais, where he would meet the English fleet and return to England. At Agincourt, however, a vast French army of 20,000 men stood in his path, greatly outnumbering the exhausted English archers, knights, and men-at-arms.

The battlefield lay on 1,000 yards of open ground between two woods, which prevented large-scale maneuvers and thus worked to Henry's advantage. At 11 a.m. on October 25, the battle commenced. The English stood their ground as French knights, weighed down by their heavy armor, began a slow advance across the muddy battlefield. The French were met by a furious bombardment of artillery from the English archers, who wielded innovative longbows with a range of 250 yards. French cavalrymen tried and failed to overwhelm the English positions, but the archers were protected by a line of pointed stakes. As more and more French knights made their way onto the crowded battlefield, their mobility decreased further, and some lacked even the room to raise their arms and strike a blow. At this point, Henry ordered his lightly equipped archers to rush forward with swords and axes, and the unencumbered Englishmen massacred the French.

Almost 6,000 Frenchmen lost their lives during the Battle of Agincourt, while English deaths amounted to just over 400. With odds greater than three to one, Henry had won one of the great victories of military history. After further conquests in France, Henry V was recognized in 1420 as heir to the French throne and the regent of France. He was at the height of his powers but died just two years later of camp fever near Paris.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 24, 2012 at 10:16am

Oct 24, 1648:
Thirty Years War ends

The Treaty of Westphalia is signed, ending the Thirty Years War and radically shifting the balance of power in Europe.

The Thirty Years War, a series of wars fought by European nations for various reasons, ignited in 1618 over an attempt by the king of Bohemia (the future Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand II) to impose Catholicism throughout his domains. Protestant nobles rebelled, and by the 1630s most of continental Europe was at war.

As a result of the Treaty of Westphalia, the Netherlands gained independence from Spain, Sweden gained control of the Baltic and France was acknowledged as the preeminent Western power. The power of the Holy Roman Emperor was broken and the German states were again able to determine the religion of their lands.

The principle of state sovereignty emerged as a result of the Treaty of Westphalia and serves as the basis for the modern system of nation-states.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on October 14, 2012 at 2:47pm

Oct 14, 1066:
The Battle of Hastings

King Harold II of England is defeated by the Norman forces of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings, fought on Senlac Hill, seven miles from Hastings, England. At the end of the bloody, all-day battle, Harold was killed--shot in the eye with an arrow, according to legend--and his forces were destroyed. He was the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.

Just over two weeks before, William, the duke of Normandy, had invaded England, claiming his right to the English throne. In 1051, William is believed to have visited England and met with his cousin Edward the Confessor, the childless English king. According to Norman historians, Edward promised to make William his heir. On his deathbed, however, Edward granted the kingdom to Harold Godwine, head of the leading noble family in England and more powerful than the king himself. In January 1066, King Edward died, and Harold Godwine was proclaimed King Harold II. William immediately disputed his claim.

On September 28, 1066, William landed in England at Pevensey, on Britain's southeast coast, with approximately 7,000 troops and cavalry. Seizing Pevensey, he then marched to Hastings, where he paused to organize his forces. On October 13, Harold arrived near Hastings with his army, and the next day William led his forces out to give battle.

After his victory at the Battle of Hastings, William marched on London and received the city's submission. On Christmas Day, 1066, he was crowned the first Norman king of England, in Westminster Abbey, and the Anglo-Saxon phase of English history came to an end. French became the language of the king's court and gradually blended with the Anglo-Saxon tongue to give birth to modern English. William I proved an effective king of England, and the "Domesday Book," a great census of the lands and people of England, was among his notable achievements. Upon the death of William I in 1087, his son, William Rufus, became William II, the second Norman king of England.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on May 30, 2012 at 9:29am

Hagar the Horrible Cartoon for May/30/2012

Comment by wendy on December 9, 2010 at 2:26pm
Fighting with staffs and sticks, swords and knives, I like those, up close and personal.
Comment by Rev. Allen M. Drago ~ Traveler on September 15, 2009 at 8:38pm

Comment by shysmoke on July 24, 2009 at 8:27am
I don't know or should I say I don't remember alot of many fights. But as time goes by,I am sure all will come back.
Comment by Crystalis DeCavalier on July 11, 2009 at 3:16pm
I cannot say that I recall much of battlefield strategies and the like but the actual act of battle, oh yes I certainly recall that! I look forward to seeing what comes up within these gates. Thank you for the invite my love.

Traveler, I hope it is alright that I went ahead and added a discussion. It seemed an appropriate place for the text.
Comment by Rev. Allen M. Drago ~ Traveler on July 11, 2009 at 12:24pm
So from simple stone and stick we have the ones of today. Yes many Great ones have credited the past thoughts and deeds upon there guides and wisdom. But through out time all will be studied and shown either good or bad. Bu the key is at the time when the choice was made it was done with the knowledge at hand upon that hour. Most do not understand that. But many will tell of this or that upon the return of looking upon the days past.
Comment by Sabastian DeCavalier on July 11, 2009 at 12:19pm
Why not all my friend most are connected either the evolution of particular weapons, even the statagies employed. For instance it is suggested that General George Patton thought he was Plato in a past life. He read every account of Plato's observations of warfare of the armies of the time. He would then use very much the same stratagies as Plato would describe, these were just as successful in Pattons time as they were in Platos.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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