The relationship between Edmund Ironside and Cnut covered the entire spectrum of ‘Otherness’, from ‘Strange’ to ‘Familiar’. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the metamorphosis of their relationship, beginning with them opposed as defender and invader. Despite being adversaries, both were kings and sought the same crown. The hostility between Edmund and Cnut will be explored in the context of the war they waged but it will also be shown that reconciliation replaced enmity. It will be argued that the settlement at Olney initiated a process of transformation that began with them becoming ‘partners’ and concluded with Edmund being Cnut’s posthumous ‘brother’.
The way military men dealt with their fear in battle in the Late Middle Ages is understandably difficult to pin down. Works of literature, such as stories of Arthur, can provide some insight. However, those types of stories do not necessarily have to worry about real people with real reputations. This paper includes other types of writing – chronicles and handbooks of chivalry – to show how some writers thought men should behave in potentially deadly situations, whether the advice led to glory and/or a bloody death. The scope of this paper roughly corresponds to the opening years of the Hundred Years War, and the military career of the French knight Geoffroi de Charny in particular.