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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 1203: Castles, Weapons, and Strategy

Wednesday 15 July 2009, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Kelly DeVries, Department of History, Loyola College, Maryland / Royal Armouries, Leeds
Paper 1203-aBrian Boru and the Subjugation of Southern Ireland
(Language: English)
David Beougher, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Kutztown University, Pennsylvania
Index terms: Military History
Paper 1203-bUnconquerable Strongholds?: An Alternative View on Medieval Siege Warfare
(Language: English)
Ilya Berkovich, Peterhouse, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Military History, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1203-cMedieval Arms and Armour from the Museum Collections in Slovenia
(Language: English)
Toma┼ż Nabergoj, Narodni Muzej Slovenije, Ljubljana
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Military History

Paper -a:
This paper examines how Brian Boru was able to effectively subjugate southern Ireland at the beginning of his reign, and to maintain his control of those territories until his death. The paper suggests his use of permanent garrisons and a system of fortifications as the method for his control.

Paper -b:
Since the rise of professional military history in the 19th century, it has been the firm belief of almost all scholars that medieval warfare was dominated to a large extent by the siege of fortified places, and that in medieval siege warfare, the defence had a great superiority over the offence. This view had far reaching influence outside medieval military history. Medieval political and social historians frequently argued that the superiority of defence over offence was a cornerstone of the feudal system and a key cause for the fragmentation that characterized medieval polities. My paper questions this view with a help of statistical study based on 700 individual sieges.

Paper -c:
The paper will present medieval arms and armour from the museum collections in Slovenia as important sources for various aspects of medieval history. Not only their quality and quantity but also integration into medieval studies vary depending on historical circumstances, interests of various disciplines and institutions, as well as past ideological biases in studying Middle Ages, nobility, military history etc. Together with written and pictorial sources as well as sites like rivers, towns, castles, and fortifications they represent local and regional history of various social classes or groups but they also connect this history to its broader supra-regional and international contexts according to the role and importance of Slovene territories in medieval history of this part of Europe.