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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 504: The Spoils of War: Plunder and Profit in Medieval Warfare

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Northern Network for the Study of the Crusades
Organiser:Connor Wilson, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London
Moderator/Chair:John France, Department of History, Swansea University
Paper 504-aMoney, Mendicancy, and Mercenaries in the Early Crusading Era, c. 1100-c. 1200
(Language: English)
Matthew Bennett, Department of History, University of Winchester
Index terms: Economics - General, Military History
Paper 504-bThe Role of Plunder in Portuguese Warfare in North Africa, 1415-1521
(Language: English)
Paulo Alexandre Mesquita Dias, Instituto de Estudos Medievais (IEM), Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Index terms: Maritime and Naval Studies, Military History
Paper 504-cBattlefield Spoils and Looted Treasure in the Early Latin Narratives of the First Crusade
(Language: English)
Connor Wilson, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Military History
Paper 504-dFrom Umayyad Madinat al-Zahra to Almohad Seville: The Plunder and Reuse of Andalusi Capitals
(Language: English)
Barbara Ċ panjol Pandelo, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences University of Rijeka
Index terms: Archaeology - Sites, Architecture - General, Art History - General, Islamic and Arabic Studies

Taking spoils of war, be it victuals and livestock, treasures, or captives for ransom, formed a central dynamic element of medieval conflict, as a driver of conquest, a motivator for service, and a supplement for pay. Unlike lands and titles, movable wealth occupied a unique place in medieval warfare and society, demarcated by its immediacy and mobility. Whether by capture or recapture, gifting, or sale, spoils flowed from frontiers and battlefields to the centres of secular and religious authority. Traversing national and international boundaries, as well as diverse geographies, the use of and attitudes to war spoils communicate histories of cross-cultural contact, as well as conflict.