The Aneurin Great War Project: Timeline

Part 2 - Royal Wars (Without Gunpowder), 731 to 1272

 

Copyright Notice: This material was written and published in Wales by Derek J. Smith (Chartered Engineer). It forms part of a multifile e-learning resource, and subject only to acknowledging Derek J. Smith's rights under international copyright law to be identified as author may be freely downloaded and printed off in single complete copies solely for the purposes of private study and/or review. Commercial exploitation rights are reserved. The remote hyperlinks have been selected for the academic appropriacy of their contents; they were free of offensive and litigious content when selected, and will be periodically checked to have remained so. Copyright © 2013-2016, High Tower Consultants Limited.

 

 

 

 

First published 09:00 BST 6th June 2013. This version [16.1 routine correction and upgrade] 12:00 GMT 21st January 2016 [BUT UNDER CONSTANT EXTENSION AND CORRECTION, SO CHECK AGAIN SOON].

 

 

This timeline supports the Aneurin series of interdisciplinary scientific reflections on why the Great War failed so singularly in its bid to be The War to End all Wars. It presents actual or best-guess historical event and introduces theoretical issues of cognitive science as they become relevant.

 

UPWARD

Author's Home Page

Project Aneurin, Scope and Aims

Master References List

 

BACKWARD IN TIME

Part 1 - (Ape)men at War, Prehistory to 730

 

FORWARD IN TIME

Part 3 - Royal Wars (With Gunpowder), 1273-1602

Part 4 - The Religious Civil Wars, 1603-1661

Part 5 - Imperial Wars, 1662-1763

Part 6 - The Georgian Wars, 1764-1815

Part 7 - Economic Wars, 1816-1869

Part 8 - The War Machines, 1870-1894

Part 9 - Insults at the Weigh-In, 1895-1914

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1914

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1915

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1916

 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1917

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1918

Part 11 - The Poetry and the Science, 1919 to date

 

 

***** MAJOR TIME BREAK *****

DARK AGE BRITAIN BECOMES ANGLO-SAXON ENGLAND

 

From this point onwards the dominant political forces in the south and east of the British Isles are the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Wessex, Essex, Sussex, Kent, Mercia, and Lindsey, and their associated bishoprics. The surviving indigenous Celtic peoples are held at bay in the north and west of the land, and across the Irish Sea in Ireland. The ruling houses on both sides, even if closely related, spend most of their energy conspiring to depose, steal from, murder, or overthrow each other. The bishops and archbishops likewise.

 

 

731 [11th February] After the death of Pope Gregory II [Wikipedia biography] the Syrian bishop Gregorius ascends the Papacy as Pope Gregory III [Wikipedia biography], and sets about strengthening the church against incursions by the Lombards. One of his first acts is to promote (Saint) Boniface [<=718] to be Archbishop for all Germany. Around the same time the British monk Bede [Wikipedia biography] uses his monastery library to compile Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum [in English as "The Ecclesiatical History of the English People"], in which he chronicles the Church's role in British history and generally emphasises its unifying influence. Other works by Bede will include the Vitae [= "Lives"] of Cuthbert, Wilfred [<=660], the Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow, Ceolfrith, and St. Brendan.  [=>743] [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

**********  CHARLES FINALLY EARNS HIS MARTEL  **********

732 [??th October] The Battle of Tours/Poitiers: This battle is fought as part of the Umayyad Islamic Invasion [<=719] between a Frankish army under Charles (Martel) [<= 714] and the Umayyads under Abdul Rahman al-Ghafiqi [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a decisive Frankish victory. As with the Battle of Toulouse before it [<=721], the battle is noteworthy for halting the Islamification of western Europe. It also raises the profile of Charles, who, for hammering the Moors, now acquires the cognomen "Martel" [= "the hammer"].  [=>737] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR ART: Check out Charles de Steuben's (1847) "Battle of Poitiers".

 

735 Pépin III (the Short) [<=714] marries Leutberga [no convenient biography]. The couple proceed to have five children in quick succession, but Leutberga will eventually be judged as insufficiently noble for her offspring to count in the succession and Pépin will then remarry. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

735 Pope Gregory III [<=731] upgrades York to an archdiocese from a diocese and instals Ecgbert of York [Wikipedia biography] as the first Archbishop. [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

737 Still the hero of the Battle of Tours/Poitiers [<=732] Charles (the Hammer) Martel becomes Mayor of the Frankish Palace but declines to take the formal title "king".  [=>741] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

739 Faced with Lombardian advances into Umbria, Pope Gregory III [<=731] appeals unsuccessfully to the Franks for military support. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

740 Pépin III (the Short) [<=735] marries Bertrada of Laon [Wikipedia biography]. Their first son Karl/Carolus [= Charles = Charles I] - the future Charlemagne [= Charles the Great] - will be born 2nd April 742. Another - Pépin - will die in infancy, and a third - Carloman [the Younger] - will not arrive for a few years [=>751]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: We shall follow Karl/Carolus under the name Charles I until his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in 800, and thereafter switch to Charlemagne [= "Charles the Great"].

 

741 [22nd October] Charles (the Hammer) Martel [737<=>750] dies and the mayorship of the palace passes to his son Pépin III (the Short) [<=740] and his brother (i.e., Pépin's uncle) Carloman [the Elder].  [=>743] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

741 [10th December] After the death of Pope Gregory III [<=731] his aide-confidant Zacharias of Calabria is elected Pope Zachary I [Wikipedia biography]. Pope Zachary is noteworthy in the present context for complicity in the ousting of the Merovingian dynasty by the Carolingians [=>747]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

743 After seven years without a king, Pépin III (the Short) [presently mayor but not king, remember] arranges for Childeric [Wikipedia biography], the extant Merovingian heir, to be crowned Childeric III of the Franks. Childeric will spend nine years as a figurehead king and then be deposed when he no longer serves any purpose [=>747]. The Mayor also supports (Saint) Boniface [<=716], now Archbishop of Mainz, in evangelising eastwards across Germany. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR ART: Check out Évariste Luminais' (1883) "The Last of the Merovingians".

 

746 The Council of Canstatt: Having suppressed a long-standing rebellion by the Duch of Alemannia [<=496], Pépin III (the Short) [<=743] and his older brother Carloman [the Elder] [<=741] condemn and execute several thousand Alemmanic nobility. Carloman [the Elder] now rules Austrasia, Alemannia, and Thuringia, whilst Pépin rules Neustria, Burgundia, and Provence [map]. The following year Carloman retires to the monastery at Monte Casino [website] and Pope Zachary [<=741] names Pépin as the "true king" of the Franks. However as there are still dissenters to this amongst both Merovingians and Carolingians it will be another five years before a coronation of any sort can take place. [=>752] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

748 Reims is elevated to an archdiocese under Archbishop Turpin [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

750 The Abbasid Revolution in Syria: The Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus is toppled by descendants of Muhammad's youngest uncle, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, and an "Abbasid Caliphate" is established in Baghdad. The Abbasid take-over is noteworthy in the present context because it changes the balance of power amongst the Moors in Hispania. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE CAROLINGIAN DYNASTY APPROVED  **********

**********  GERMANY AND FRANCE STILL FRIENDS  **********

750 Having been proposed as such by Pope Zachary three years before [<=746], Pépin III (the Short) is finally accepted by the Frankish nobility as their king, thus discontinuing the Merovingian dynasty and replacing it with the Carolingian. Pépin will have two formal coronations [=>752 (5th March) and 754 (6th January)]. Modern historians will note that the Vatican's motivation in installing and supporting this dynasty was not entirely selfless, thus ...

 

"The Pope, alarmed by the Iconoclast Schism with the Greek Orthodox church, now turned to the west and embraced the Carolingians. After all, Pépin's father [Charles (the Hammer) Martel [<=741 (22nd October)]] had saved western Europe from Islam by defeating the Moslem invaders [...] at the battle of Poitiers in [<=732 (??th October)]. [...] In 800 Pépin's son [Charles I [740<=>768 (24th September)]] was crowned Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor in Rome itself. [...] He was an inspired leader of men, suggesting that he understood the importance of propaganda in war. [...] Campaigns were carefully prepared and planned, supply trains organised, and pillage forbidden until enemy territory was reached. The principal prize was booty. Subsequently, great victories were celebrated in verse and in song. [...] Such poetic songs had a long tradition and demonstrate the continuing need to celebrate victory, as do contemporary murals and other court decorations" (Taylor, 1990, pp50-51).

 

The Franks will remain undivided until the Salian practice of all sons inheriting (rather than just the eldest) fragments the kingdom and sets the seeds for French Franks west of the Rhine and German Franks east of it [=>817, 840(20th June), and 843 (10th August)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

751 [28th June] A second son is born to Pépin III (the Short) and named Carloman I [Wikipedia biography]. [=>768 (9th October)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: This Carloman is conventionally referred to in textbooks as Carloman I. The historically less significant earlier Carloman - the one we have been calling "the Elder" - is still in retirement in the monastery at Monte Cassino, and will die in 754.

 

752 The Siege of Narbonne: This seven-year siege is a Christian attempt to drive back the Muslim presence in southwestern France [<=719], Narbonne having been the Andalusian Muslims' northernmost stronghold since first taken in 719. The Carolingians are led by Pépin III (the Short), assisted by displaced Goths eager to regain their former lands. The outcome is that the city eventually falls to the Christians. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

752 [5th March] Having been "in post" for the past ten years, Pépin III (the Short) is finally formally crowned King of the Franks at Soissons by the Archbishop of Mainz, (Saint) Boniface [<=731], thus finally formally establishing the Carolingian dynasty. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

754 [6th January] Pope Stephen II [Wikipedia biography] further consecrates Pépin III (the Short) as Protector of the Church. Pépin duly repays the favour by organising a campaign against the Lombardian conquests threatening the Papal States from the north. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

756 Newly arrived from Syria, the Umayyad nobleman Abd al-Rahman [Wikipedia biography] seizes power in southern Hispania, proclaims himself Emir, and establishes an administration in Cordoba and Seville. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

757 The crown of Mercia [= the modern English "Midlands"] passes to Offa [Wikipedia biography], who spends much of the ensuing 40 years stabilising the Wales-Mercian border with a 150-mile long defensive earthwork now known as "Offa's Dyke" [BBC image]. [=>787] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  CHARLES I REPLACES PÉPIN  **********

768 [24th September] Pépin III (the Short) dies and - 15 days later - his two sons, Charles I [<=740] and Carloman I [<=751], become joint kings of the Franks. [=>771] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

771 Charles I [<=768] marries Hildegard of Vinzgouw [Wikipedia biography]. It is his third relationship, but the one which will establish his dynastic line. The union will be blessed with eight children, including ...

 

·         Pépin (the Hunchback) (769-811), died without issue

·         Carolus (the Younger) (772-811), died without issue

·         Pépin (of Italy) (773-810), left one illegitimate son

·         TWIN Louis (the Pious) (778-840), left one illegitimate and four legitimate sons

·         TWIN Lothair (778-780), died in infancy

·         Drogo (of Metz) (801-855), died without issue

·         Hugh (802-844), died without male issue

·         Dietrich (807-818), died without male issue

 

On 5th December, Charles' 20-year-old brother Carloman I [<=768] dies suddenly, leaving him sole king. [=>774] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

774 [??th September] The Siege of Pavia: This nine-month siege is fought out between a Frankish army under Charles I [<=771] and the Lombard garrison at Pavia under Duke Desiderius [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a slow-but-sure victory for the Franks. The siege is noteworthy in the present context for greatly reducing the fortunes of the Lombards, who will eventually be confined to Lombardia [= a province of modern Italy]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

775 Charles I's Saxony Campaign: Charles I now embarks upon an eight-year drive eastwards into Saxony, offering them the choice of converting to Christianity or being put to death. The conversion rate is high. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

777 The Diet of Paderborn: Having received an appeal from the pro-Abbasid nobility in northern Spain for help against the Cordoba-based Umayyads in al-Andalusia, Charles I [<=771] holds a council of his nobles at Paderborn and agrees to help. [=>778] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

778 The Saragossa Campaign: As agreed by the Diet of Paderborn [<=777] Charles I now leads a Frankish army south of the Pyrenees, and, in a short campaign, lays siege to Saragossa and sacks Pamplona. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

778 [15th August] The Ambush at Roncesvalles Pass: This incident occurs towards the end of Charles I's Saragossa Campaign [<=778] and involves a Carolingian baggage column escorted by Roland of Brittany [Wikipedia biography] being jumped by an historically obscure force of local brigands. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for being written up after the event in the Chanson de Roland [= "Song of Roland"] [=>1100]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Roncesvalles Pass is on the Way of St. James [details], and features in Emilio Estevez's (2010) movie "The Way" as the place where Daniel (Estevez) dies of exposure and - months later - his father Tom (Martin Sheen) spreads the first of his son's ashes. RULE #4 APPLIES - GOLD DISTORTS HISTORY: The events at Roncesvalles Pass boil down to some missing treasure and no living witnesses. Not surprisingly, therefore, it was rumoured at the time (and has been repeatedly suggested ever since) that the ambush was little more than a straightforward highway robbery by conspirators unknown - possibly even some opportunist Carolingians themselves - of treasure looted during the Saragossa and Pamplona engagements.

 

785 The Battle of Gerona: This battle takes place as part of the counter-offensive against the Moors in Iberia, between a Frankish army under Charles I [<=778] and the Muslim defenders of Gerona. The outcome is a victory for the Franks. [=>797 (Battle of Barcelona)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

787 Offa of Mercia [<=757] founds the Archdiocese of Lichfield, to counterbalance the power of Rome as exercised through Canterbury. [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

788 Charles I's Hungarian Campaign: Charles I [<=778] now commits his oldest son Pépin (the Hunchback) [Wikipedia biography] to an eight-year drive eastwards into the lands of the Avars, a Eurasian tribal grouping who have recently started to settle south-central Europe. He duly recaptures Dalmatia [= that region of modern Croatia along the eastern Adriatic], Slavonia [= the northeastern horn of modern Croatia], and Pannonia [the Carpathian basin]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

792 The Septimanian Jihad: The Umayyad Emir of Cordoba, Hisham I [Wikipedia biography], calls a Jihad - a Holy War - to secure the north of Spain against Frankish insurgents. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - IS WAR EASIER WHEN HOLY?: In a word, yes! Easier to start, easier to recruit for, and easier to duck the blame should things go wrong. We shall be discussing this issue in detail in due course when looking at the part played by religion before, during, and after WW1.

 

795 A son is born to Louis I (the Pious) [<=814] and named Lothair I [Wikipedia biography]. Four further sons will follow in due course, as now listed ...

 

·         Pépin (of Aquitaine) (797-838)

·         Louis II (the German) (806-876) [Wikipedia biography] [=>817]

·         Charles II (the Bald) (823-877) [Wikipedia biography] [=>846]

·         Arnulf (of Sens) (794-841)

 

Two of these sons (Pépin and Arnulf) will pre-decease their father but even the remaining three-way succession will cause major upheaval both at the time and in the longer term. [=>840] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

797 The Siege of Barcelona: This four-year siege is fought out as part of Charles I's [<=778] response to the Septimanian Jihad [<=792] between the Frankish army and the Umayyad Muslim garrison at Barcelona. The outcome is a victory for the Franks. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for helping to establish the "Marca Hispanica", a buffer zone of Christian influence across northern Muslim Iberia. The city will not finally fall until 801. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE IS BORN  **********

**********  CHARLES I HENCEFORTH CHARLEMAGNE  **********

800 [25th December] Charles I is crowned by Pope Leo III [Wikipedia biography] in Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, as Charlemagne, Emperor of the Romans (making him the first emperor in western Europe since the fall of Romulus Augustus [<=476]). [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

814 A young Frankish monk-scholar named Rabanus Maurus [Wikipedia biography] is ordained as a priest. During his lifetime [d. 856] he will produce many commentaries on the scriptures. His accumulated library also fortuitously gets hold of the sole surviving copy of Tacitus' Germania [<=98CE]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

814 [28th January] Charlemagne dies, but has already passed his throne on to his oldest surviving son, Louis I (the Pious) [<=795]. The ensuing 25 years will see a series of armed disagreements and civil wars. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  FRANCE AND GERMANY START TO SEPARATE  **********

817 When his older brother Lothair I [<=795] becomes joint "Emperor of the Romans" with their father Louis I (the Pious) [<=814], the 11-year-old Louis II (the German) [<=795] is made King of Bavaria. This marks the beginning of the separation of Middle Francia [soon to be France] from East Francia [soon to be Germany], upon which the Divisio Imperii will be based 26 years later [=>843]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

823 The Carolingian Civil War: Entry to follow. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

828 The Welsh monk Nennius [Wikipedia biography] compiles Historia Brittonum [= "The History of the Britons"] from earlier manuscripts. Historia [full text online] presents the Anglo-Saxon account of British history some 400 years after the Anglo-Saxon invasion had driven the indigenous British westwards. It includes the Trojan legend [<=1130BCE], and names twelve Arthurian battles, as follows [for what little else is known (or can be guessed) about these battles see the individual entries, 480-516] ...

 

"Then Arthur along with the Kings of Britain fought against [the Saxons] in those days, but Arthur himself was the military commander [dux bellorum]. His first battle was at the mouth of the river which is called Glein. His second, third, fourth, and fifth battles were above another river which is called Dubglas and is in the region of Linnuis. The sixth battle was above the river which is called Bassas. The seventh battle was in the forest of Celidon, that is Cat Coit Celidon. The eighth battle was at the fortress of Guinnion, in which Arthur carried the image of holy Mary ever virgin on his shoulders [perhaps shield] and the pagans were put to flight [...] The ninth battle was waged in the City of the Legion. The tenth battle was waged on the banks of a river which is called Tribruit. The eleventh battle was fought on the mountain which is called Agnet. The twelfth battle was on Mount Badon in which there fell in one day 960 men from one charge by Arthur; and no one struck them down except Arthur himself ..."

 

Nennius also helpfully identifies four bards by name. In Section 62 he includes the text: "At that time Talhaiarn Cataguen was famed for poetry and Neurin and Taliesin and Bluchbard and Cian [...] were all famous at the same time in British poetry". In Section 63 he also identifies the backbone of the British resistance as the four kings Urien [<=570], Rhydderch Hael [<=570], Gwallawg [<=590], and Morgaut [<=640 (Morgan Mwynfawr)]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

830 A son is born to Louis II (the German) [<=817], and named Carloman of Bavaria [Wikipedia biography]. Two further sons, Louis (the Younger) and Charles (the Fat) [Wikipedia biography], will follow in 835 and 839, respectively. [=>843] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

*****  THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND SLOVAKIA ARE BORN  *****

830 Thanks to the Carolingian victory against the Avars [<=788], Slavic communities have developed in the Avar-free areas of north-central Europe. These are now brought together into a fledgeling new nation by Mojmir I [Wikipedia biography]. The name of the new state is "Great Moravia", and it consists of two component provinces - Moravia and Nitra - which approximate to the modern Czech Republic and Slovakia, respectively. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

840 [20th June] The Second Carolingian Civil War: Upon the death of Louis I (the Pious) [<=814 (28th January)] the disagreements over the succession re-surface, to be settled three years later by the Treaty of Verdun [=>843]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE DIVISIO IMPERII [= "division of the empire"]  **********

**********  FRANCE AND GERMANY DRIFT FURTHER APART  **********

843 [10th August] The Treaty of Verdun: This treaty divides the Carolingian Empire between the three surviving sons of Louis I (the Pious) [<=840], the senior grandsons of Charlemagne, thereby bringing an end to the Carolingian Civil War [<=823]. The eldest son, Lothair, becomes Lothair I, Holy Roman Emperor [Wikipedia biography], and gets Middle Francia, a north-south swathe of territory from the Low Countries down through Lothringen [= modern Lorraine], Alsace, Burgundy, Provence, and the northern states of Italy, including the Imperial Capital itself. The second son, Louis II (the German) [<=795], gets East Francia, that is to say, Alemannia, Pomerania, Saxony, Franconia, Bavaria [devolved to his son Carloman of Bavaria [<=830]], Carinthia, Bohemia, and Moravia. The third son, Charles II (the Bald) [<=795] gets West Francia, that is to say, all lands west of the Rhône. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

844 [uncertain] The Battle of Clavijo: This (possibly fictional) battle will be reported centuries later as having been fought between an Asturian army under King Ramiro I [Wikipedia biography] and a Moorish army. The outcome is reputedly a victory for the Asturians. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for the reports of St James [<=44CE] coming back from the grave on a white charger to rally the Christian troops. [THREAD = RELIGION AND WAR]

 

ASIDE: Much will be made by WW1 historians of the cameraderie which pervaded life in the trenches. "Campfire" storytelling is a central part of this way of life, and the dynamic of such get-togethers is such that campfire tales will often be deliberately embellished. We presume that the tale of St. James' appearance at the Battle of Clavijo derives from narrative bravado of this sort.

 

**********  DYNASTIC LOUIS II OF FRANCE IS BORN  **********

846 [1st November] A son is born to Charles II (the Bald) [<=795], and named Louis II (the Stammerer) [Wikipedia biography]. [=>863] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

862 The Moravian Mission: The Greek missionaries Cyril and Methodius [Wikipedia biography] travel northwards into Moravia [= modern Czech Republic, easternmost] to promote the Byzantine form of Christianity over the Roman. This mission is noteworthy in the present context for introducing what is now known as the "Cyrillic alphabet" [Wikipedia details] when translating Biblical manuscripts for preaching in spoken Slavonic. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

863 A son is born to Louis II (the Stammerer) [<=846], and named Louis (III (of West Francia)) [Wikipedia biography]. A second son, Carloman II [<=843] will be born three years later. [=>876] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

870 Alsace and that part of Lothringen [<=843] which maps onto modern Lorraine merge to become a duchy within the Holy Roman Empire. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

876 [28th August] Upon the death of Louis II (the German) of East Francia [<=843] the throne of Bavaria stays with Carloman of Bavaria [<=830], whilst that of East Francia passes to his youngest son Charles (the Fat) [<=830]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE ANGEVINS ARE BORN  **********

877 Around this time a Frankish nobleman named Ingelger [Wikipedia biography] is appointed Count of Anjou, thereby establishing the "House of Anjou", a.k.a. the "Angevins". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

879 [10th April] Upon the death of Louis II (the Stammerer) [<=846], his youngest son Carloman II [<=863] becomes King of West Francia, jointly with his brother Louis III [<=863]. A third son, Charles III (the Simple) [Wikipedia biography] will be born 17th September. [=>882] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  CROATIA IS BORN  **********

879 Pope John VIII [Wikipedia biography] recognises Branimir [Wikipedia biography] as the first home-grown duke of the Croat people. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

881 [12th February] Pope John VIII [<=879] crowns Charles III (the Fat) of East Francia [<=876] as Charles III, Holy Roman Emperor. Three years later he will inherit West Francia, making him the last Carolingian to rule over a united Frankish kingdom. [=>884] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

882 [5th August] Louis III of West Francia [<=879] dies, leaving his brother Carloman II [<=879] sole king. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  KIEVAN RUS' IS BORN  **********

882 The northern Russian nobleman Oleg of Novgorod [Wikipedia biography] relocates his capital from Novgorod to Kiev. Here he embarks on a 30-year mission as Grand Prince of Kievan Rus' to forge a single nation out of its northern and southern elements. [=>972] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

KEY VOCABULARY - RUS': The Rus' [pronounce to rhyme with "Bruce"] people are the eastern Slavic tribes, who lived in what is now the Russian Federation and the Ukraine.

 

884 [12th December] Upon the death of Carloman II [<=882] in a hunting accident, the throne of West Francia, which should rightly pass to his half-brother Charles III (the Simple) [<=879], passes instead to Charles III (the Fat) [<=811]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

885 [25th November] The Siege of Paris: This 11-month siege is fought out between Odo, Count of Paris [Wikipedia biography], defending his capital, and a Viking invasion fleet having sailed in up the Seine. The outcome is that a relief army under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles III (the Fat) [<=881], arrives in sufficient time to drive the Vikings off before they can do too much damage. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR ART: Check out V. Schnetz's (1834) "Count Odo Defends Paris".

 

**********  THE CAROLINGIANS START TO FRAGMENT  **********

888 [??th January] Upon the death of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles III (the Fat) [<=881], the Carolingian Empire elects to be ruled as four sub-kingdoms without an overriding Holy Roman Emperor. The sub-kingdoms are as already described [<=843 (10th August)], save that the old Middle Francia now splits into Upper and Lower Burgundy. Odo of Paris [<=885] becomes Odo of Neustria/West Francia. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

891 The earliest surviving manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is copied from an original (since lost) by an unknown scribe at Winchester. Eight later copies will be maintained in different abbeys across England. Here are some typical entries ...

 

"286    In this year St. Alban, the martyr, suffered martyrdom" (Peterborough manuscript, p11).

 

"430    In this year Patrick was sent by pope Celestine to preach baptism to the Scots" (Peterborough manuscript, p11).

 

"449    In this year Mauricius and Valentinian obtained the kingdom and reigned seven years. In their days Hengest and Horsa, invited by Vortigern, king of the Britons, came to Britain at a place which is called Ypwinesfleot [= Ebbsfleet] at first to help the Britons, but later they fought against them" (Winchester manuscript, p12).

 

"495    In this year two princes, Cerdic and Cynric his son, came to Britain with five ships (arriving) at the place which is called Cerdicesora and the same day they fought against the Welsh" (Winchester manuscript, p14).

 

The Chronicle is a major source-work for the Anglo-Saxon side of British history, but it will remain rather one-sided until Geoffrey of Monmouth [=>1136] reminds the Normans of the Celtic side of the story. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

893 A son is born to Arnulf of Carinthia [Wikipedia biography] and named Louis (the Child) [=>900]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE HUNGARIANS ARRIVE  **********

895 The Magyars under Grand Prince Árpád [Wikipedia biography] begin a 15-year incursion into the Pannonian/Carpathian basin [= modern Hungary]. The Arpadian dynasty will rule here until 1301 and the Magyar's distinctive language - neither Germanic nor Latinate - will help define them as a nation in their own right. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Click here to see Pannonia/Carpathia on the map. The "Magyars" at this point in history are just another nomadic ethnic group seeking the best pastures. As with the Burgundians in Burgundy, the Lombards in Lombardy, the Alemanni in Alemannia, etc., etc., they are about to become psychologically tied to a particular geographical region. WAR ART: Check out Arpad Feszty's (1895) "Arrival of the Hungarians" as an example of the sort of "knight on white charger" reverence for the fathers of nations common in the Romantic Era. We shall be discussing this issue as one of the main causes of WW1 in due course. NOTE THE THOUSAND YEAR TIME LAG BETWEEN THE EVENT AND THE GLORIFICATION OF THE EVENT.

 

898 Upon the death of Odo of West Francia [<=888], the throne finally passes to Charles III (the Simple) [<=884]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

900 The Canon Episcopi: Around this time these instructions to Catholic priests include taking steps to "thoroughly eradicate the pernicious art of divination and magic, invented by the devil, from their parishes". [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

900 [4th February] Upon the death of his father Arnulf of Carinthia [<=893] the throne of East Francia passes to the seven-year-old Louis (the Child). [=>911] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

910 [22nd June] The (First) Battle of Augsburg: This battle is fought between the Franks under Louis (the Child) [Wikipedia biography] and the Magyars. The outcome is a Magyar victory thanks to their successful use of the feigned retreat stratagem. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

911 Upon the death of 18-year-old Louis (the Child) [<=910] the throne of Lotharingen [<=843] passes to Charles (the Simple) [<=898] whilst that of East Francia passes to Konrad I [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  NORMANDY IS BORN  **********

**********  THE VIKINGS BECOME NORMANS  **********

911 The Treaty of Saint-Clair sur Epte: This treaty is signed by Charles III (the Simple) [<=898] and gives the Vikings under their King Rollo [Wikipedia biography] legal recognition to the lands they had already been occupying for the last 50 years. The treaty is noteworthy in the present context for helping to turn the Vikings from itinerant rapers and pillagers to nation-based rapers and pillagers just like the rest of Europe. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

919 Later Chinese archival histories will describe the use around this time of the Pen Huo Qi [image], a rudimentary flamethrower. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

**********  EAST FRANCIA BECOMES WEST GERMANY  **********

**********  WEST FRANCIA BECOMES FRANCE  **********

919 Upon the death of Konrad I of East Francia [<=911] Henry, Duke of Saxony, is elected King Henry I of Germany [Wikipedia biography]. During what will turn out to be a 17-year reign, he recovers Lorraine (925) and Brandenburg (928) for Germany, as well as making progress eastwards against the Slavs and southwards against the Magyars. [=>933] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  FIRST GERMAN UNIFICATION  **********

933 [15th March] The Battle of Riade: King Henry I of Germany [<=919] leads the first all-German army against the invading Magyars under Harka [= "leader/lord"] Bulcsú [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a victory for the Germans, followed by the (temporary) withdrawal of the Hungarians to the southeast. [=>955] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Riade is the first battle in which the Germans fight as a nation. What this gives us, of course, is a Germany containing Germanic peoples who call themselves German, surrounded on three sides by other Germanic (but not necessarily friendly) peoples ranged in an enormous crescent from the north [the Scandinavians], east [the Anglo-Saxons], southeast [the Franks], and south [the Lombards and the residual Goths]. WAR MUSIC: The character of Henry I was resurrected 900 years later as Henry the Fowler, the idealised unifier of the German nation, in Wagner's opera Lohengrin [=>1850].

 

936 [2nd July] Upon the death of King Henry I of Germany [<=919] the throne passes to his son Otto I [Wikipedia biography], who continues his father's struggles for a more powerful Germany. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

955 [10th August] The (Second) Battle of Augsburg, a.k.a. the Battle of the Lechfeld: This battle is fought between an all-German army drawn from across its component states and led by Otto 1 of Germany [<=936 (2nd July)] and an invading Magyar army under Harka Bulcsú [<=933]. The outcome is a hard-won but convincing victory for the Germans. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for setting a limit to the Magyar invasions. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  POLAND IS BORN  *********

960 In about this year Duke Mieszko of the Polanie Tribe [= "People of the Fields"] begins to be recognised abroad as Mieszko I of Poland [Wikipedia biography], thereby establishing the House of Piast as the first royal dynasty of a Polish nation. The new country is landlocked, with Pomerania standing between it and the Baltic to the north. Brandenburg Germany lies to its west, Bohemia and Moravia to its south/west, Hungary to its south/east, Russia to its east, and Prussia to its north/east [and with neighbours like that, as they say, you don't need enemies - Ed.]. It will become a Christian state in 966. [=>992] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - WHEN DO TRIBES BECOME NATIONS?: Being recognised by its neighbours is one of the signs that an emerging nation has some chance of surviving. Sadly the history books never have access to the full behind-the-scenes diplomacy and deal-making involved. As to whether it also takes God to make a nation, see the separate INSET concerning papal recognition of Poland [=>1000].

 

962 [2nd February] Otto I of Germany [<=936] is crowned Holy Roman Emperor. [=>969] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

963 A young Gerbert [Wikipedia biography], takes a novice's position in St. Gerald's Monastery, Aurillac. He learns the ropes so quickly that four years later he will move on to the monasteries of Catalonia, and there make himself an expert in mathematics and Arabian science. [=>969] [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

ASIDE: Gerbert is known to have travelled widely in his early ecclesiastical career, and is rumoured to have acquired various hermetic secrets and skills, which he subsequently used to win friends and see off rivals.

 

969 Gerbert d'Aurillac [<=963] undertakes a pilgrimage to Rome, where he is introduced to Pope John III [Wikipedia biography] and Emperor Otto I [<=962]. Impressed with the young man, Otto I appoints him tutor to his 14-year old son Otto [II]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

972 [??th March] After the death of King Sviatoslav of Novgorod and Kiev the succession is fought over by his first and second sons, Oleg and Yaropolk [Wikipedia biography], Oleg is killed, and a third brother, Prince Vladimir [Wikipedia biography] flees to safety in Sweden. [=>980] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

975? The oldest surviving version of Annales Cambriae [in English as "The Annals of Wales"] [full text online] is compiled from fragmentary earlier sources by monks at St. Davids, Pembrokeshire. We have already introduced many of the characters and events listed in this source. [=>1286] [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

975? The Harleian Genealogies [<=1753] [full text online] are compiled around this time under the patronage of the king of Deheubarth, Owain ap Hywel [Wikipedia biography], containing valuable - albeit curt and not invariably consistent with other sources - genealogies of the Welsh ruling houses. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

980 Having assembled an army of liberation while in exile, Vladimir Sviatoslavich [<=972] returns to Kiev, retakes the land, and kills his rival, Yaropolk. He then devotes the remaining 35 years of his life to Christianising his nation after the Byzantine model, earning himself the sobriquet "Vladimir the Great" in the process. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR ART: Check out Viktor Vasnetsov's (1890) "Baptism of Prince Vladimir" and Ivan Bilibin's highly mediaevalised (1902) "Feast of Prince Vladimir" as examples of long-after-the-event nationalist adulation. We shall be discussing this issue as one of the main causes of WW1 in due course. NOTE THE THOUSAND YEAR TIME LAG BETWEEN THE EVENT AND THE GLORIFICATION OF THE EVENT.

 

983 The Great Slav Uprising: This Slavic uprising against missionary interference out of Germania sets back the Christianising of the eastern Baltic tribes until the Wendish Crusades [=>1147]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

983 Around this time Gerbert d'Aurillac [<=969] starts to promote Hugh Capet [Wikipedia biography] as a candidate for the Frankish throne next time it becomes vacant.  [=>987] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  FRANCIA BECOMES FRANCE IN ALL BUT NAME1  **********

987 [3rd July] Six weeks after the death of Louis V of the Franks [Wikipedia biography] Gerbert d'Aurillac [<=983] and Archbishop Adalberon of Reims [Wikipedia biography] persuade the electoral assembly at Senlis to pass the crown to Hugh Capet [<=983]. Capet is noteworthy in the present context (a) for establishing Paris as the French capital, and (b) for founding the longest ruling dynasty in European history, including all French kings up to and including the very last, Louis Philippe [<=1830]. [=>998] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

1 They become France by name in 1190.

 

992 Upon the death of Mieszko I [<=960], his son ascends the Polish ducal throne as Duke Boleslaw I Chrobry [= "the brave"] [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1000] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

998 Pope Gregory V [Wikipedia biography] promotes Gerbert d'Aurillac [<=987] to be Archbishop of Reims. This will turn out to be one of the 27-year-old pontiff's  final acts of charity because on 18th February the following year he will die a highly suspicious death, whereupon the alchemically skilled Archbishop Gerbert of Reims [<=998] will be elected Pope Sylvester II. [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

1000 The Holy Roman Emperor Otto III [Wikipedia biography] visits Duke Boleslaw I [<=992] and declares the Polish duchy a foederatus state and instals Radzim Gaudenty [Wikipedia biography] as the first Archbishop of Gniezno. With his position thus strengthened, Boleslaw embarks upon a 25-year programme to expand his nation's influence. Not surprisingly this will not always go down well with his neighbours, not least the Germans to his west, the Austrians to the south, and the Slavs to his east. He even contributes a cavalry regiment to Cnut the Great's invasion of Britain [=>1015]. [=>1025 (25th December)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - DOES IT TAKE GOD TO MAKE A NATION?: The history books suggest that the Papacy's recognition of a religious Poland, complete with its own archbishopric centred on Gniezno, helped establish the Polish national identity. Poland was not just the place the Poles saw as Polish, but also the place God saw as Polish. Religion, in other words, helped establish a sense of national identity every bit as much as did the winning of wars and the singing of anthems. We raise this issue because there is currently [2013] no cognitive science of the mental processes which underlie national identity! More on this issue in due course.

 

1002 [7th June] Upon the death of Otto III of Germany [<=1000] the throne passes to  Henry II of Bavaria [Wikipedia biography]. [1014] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE "EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS" IS REBORN  **********

**********  (BUT RULES IN GERMANY)  **********

1014 [14th February] Henry II of Germany [Wikipedia biography] now attends St. Peter's in Rome, where Pope Benedict VIII [Wikipedia biography] crowns him Romanorum Imperator [= "Emperor of the Romans"]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

KEY CONCEPT - THE "ELECTORS": The Holy Roman Empire was an "elective" monarchy, in which a council of "electors - senior noblemen and churchmen - picked whoever they considered best qualified to do the job. Needless to say, this process involved a lot of secret deal-doing and dirty deeds. The new king only became a holy emperor, however, if the Pope approved him "holy" enough to be so elevated.

 

1015 [?? September] The Invasion of Britain: The Danish crown prince Cnut the Great [Wikipedia biography] takes a fleet of 200 long-ships across the North Sea and lands 10,000 troops - including Boleslaw I's regiment of Polish cavalry [<=1000] - at various points along Britain's southern coast. He will spend the next 15 months mopping up Anglo-Saxon resistance before being crowned King of England at London. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

STUDENT EXERCISE [MIDDLES AND SENIORS]: The rule of thumb for transporting armies in WW1 is that five men take up the same amount of space as one horse [check it out]. This means there is a significant cost transporting cavalry as opposed to infantry. Assuming that each long-ship can carry 60 men, that the Polish cavalry had equal numbers of men and horses, and that the Danes took no horses at all [in practice unlikely], answer the following questions ...

 

Q1: How large was Boleslaw's cavalry regiment?

Q2: How many Danes would have to be left behind in order to transport a cavalry regiment twice the size?

 

1018 [30th January] The Treaty of Bautzen: This treaty helps establish Poland as a nation alongside the German states, but outside the border of the Holy Roman Empire. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1020? Around this time a certain Radbot, Count of Klettgau [= near Schaffhausen, modern Germany] [Wikipedia biography] builds a castle at Habsburg [= Aargau County, modern Switzerland] [Wikipedia details]. [=>1045] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1025 [17th June] Upon the death of Boleslaw I [<=1000], his son ascends the Polish ducal throne as Duke Mieszko II [Wikipedia biography]. It will not be long, however, before his neighbours decide to put him in his place. [=>1031] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1027 [26th March] Konrad II of Germany [Wikipedia biography] is crowned Holy Roman Emperor and passes the throne of Germany on to his 11-year-old son, who will rule when of age as King Henry III of Germany [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1039] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1031 Mieszko II [<=1025] is driven into exile by coordinated German and Russian invasions a month apart. In the ensuing confusion his older brother Prince Bezprym [Wikipedia biography] sides with Konrad II of Germany [<=1027] and seizes power. His success is doomed to be short-lived, however, for he will be murdered the following year. [=>1034] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Similarly coordinated German and Russian attacks will take place in September 1939 at the start of WW2.

 

1034 [11th May] Mieszko II [<=1025] dies in suspicious circumstances and his son becomes (House of Piast) Casimir I in exile [Wikipedia biography]. Basing himself in Cologne at the court of his uncle Herman II, Archbishop of Cologne, Casimir engages in several unsuccessful campaigns against the Russian occupation forces in Poland. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1038 The Battle of Milan: This battle is fought between the Milanese under Archbishop Aribert of Milan [Wikipedia biography] and the Imperial army under Konrad II of Germany [<=1027]. The outcome is a victory for the Milanese. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for introducing the form of mobile battle altar known as a caroccio. [=>1176 (Battle of Legnano)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1039  With support from Henry III of Germany [<=1027], and having reached an understanding with the Russians, Casimir I [<=1034] retakes the Polish throne, earning him the title "Casimir the Restorer". A period of relative peace and prosperity follows. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR ART - CASIMIR AND LATER NATIONALISM: Check out Wojciech Gerson's (1887) "Casimir the Restorer" as an example of the nineteenth century Romanticisation of national identity. We shall be discussing this issue as one of the main causes of WW1 in due course. NOTE THE 848 YEAR TIME LAG BETWEEN THE EVENT AND THE GLORIFICATION OF THE EVENT.

 

1044  The Chinese historians Zeng Gongliang, Ding Du, and Yang Weide, publish the "Weijing Zongyao", the first book in history to include instructions for the manufacture and use of gunpowder. [THREADS = THE MAKING OF WW1 SMALL ARMS and WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

KEY CHEMISTRY - OXIDATION AND OXIDANTS: Chlorate salts, nitrate salts, azides, and peroxides are important to the manufacturers of fireworks and explosives because they are capable of burning, that is to say, "oxidising" other substances, thereby releasing heat [Wikipedia chemistry if interested in the technicalities]. The resulting pocket of hot gases then rapidly expands, creating an "explosion". KEY VOCABULARY - "DEFLAGRATION": Gunpowder is a "low explosive" rather than a "high explosive" because microscopically it contains separate particles of oxidant [traditionally potassium nitrate] and fuel [traditionally sulphur and charcoal]. If a gunpowder explosion is studied in very slow motion then the particles of oxidant can be seen to be melting in turn as the flame front arrives, with the oxidation happening only where the melt comes into contact with particles of fuel. This process is known as "deflagration", and, as chemical reactions go, it takes place comparatively slowly. Deflagration needs to be carefully distinguished from "detonation" [=>1837], where a single (but inherently unstable) chemical compound - a "high explosive" - already has all the energy it needs within its particular molecular structure. High explosives tend to be more powerful than low explosives, pound for pound, because they do not need the flame front to mix the ingredients - they're good to go just as they are. They therefore release their energy far more quickly, and to greater destructive effect.

 

1045  Upon the death of his father Radbot, Count of Habsburg [<=1020], the title passes to Werner I, Count of Habsburg [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1096] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1053 [18th June] The Battle of Civitate: This battle is fought as part of the initial Norman settlement of the southern Italian coastline between a Norman battle-group in southern Italy under Humphrey of Apulia [Wikipedia biography] and a Papal army raised by Pope Leo X [Wikipedia biography] under Rudolf of Benevento [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a Norman victory. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for strengthening the Norman bridgehead in the southern half of modern Italy, and for encouraging them into a full invasion eight years later [=>1061]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1056  After the death of Henry III of Germany [<=1027] the throne passes to the six-year-old Henry IV of Germany [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1073] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1061 [May]  The Norman Invasion of Sicily and Southern Italy, 1061-1091: The slow re-conquest of Arabian-occupied (but ethnically Greek) Sicily is led by the Norman knights Robert Guiscard [Wikipedia biography] (who had been awarded the empty title "Duke of Sicily" by the Pope and told that the land would be his if he could only capture it) and his younger brother Roger Bosso [Wikipedia biography]. It is followed by expansion up the western side of mainland Italy towards Naples. Here are some of the most significant events ...

 

·         The Battle of Cerami, 1063

·         The First Siege of Palermo, 1064

·         The Capture of Amalfi, 1073

·         The Siege of Salerno, 1076

·         The Siege of Trapani, 1077

·         The Siege of Catania, 1081

·         The Corfu Expedition, 1081

·         The Siege of Syracuse, 1085

·         The Capture of Malta, 1091

 

The overall outcome of these campaigns is that the central Mediterranean becomes a strategically well-placed southern extension of the Norman Empire. [=>1063] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1063  The Battle of Cerami: This battle is fought as part of the Norman Invasion of Sicily [<=1061] between Roger Bosso's spearhead battle-group - reportedly only 136 knights - and a large Muslim army - reportedly some 50,000 strong - sent to eliminate them. The outcome is an against-the-odds Norman victory (so much against the odds, in fact, that one starts to doubt the reliability of the war correspondents involved). [=>1064] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: The reports at the time stated that Saint George himself took part in the battle alongside Bosso's heavily outnumbered Normans, and that the 137 of them managed to kill 15,000 of the enemy (Baldwin, 1969).

 

1064  The First Siege of Palermo: This siege is fought out as part of the Norman Invasion of Sicily [<=1061] between a besieging Norman battle-group, the Muslim garrison at Palermo, and a plague of tarantulas in the countryside. The outcome is a victory for the arachnids, who temporarily drive the Normans from their trenches. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1066  The Norman Invasion of Britain, 1066: Having had excellent results to date in their Sicilian Campaign [<=1061], the Normans now turn their attention to the British Isles. This is nothing new, of course, for (as Vikings) they have been harassing Britain's coastal communities for several hundred years. Here are the most significant events ...

 

·         The Battle of Stamford Bridge, 1066

·          The Battle of Hastings, 1066

 

The Norman Invasion is noteworthy for many things, but most importantly in the present context for putting in place the British class system as it will be seen in the division between the officer class and the "other ranks" in WW1 [more on this in the TIME BREAK panel below]. [=>25th September] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1066 [25th September] The Battle of Stamford Bridge: This battle takes place between an Anglo-Saxon army under Harold Godwinson of England [Wikipedia biography] and an invading Viking army under Harald Hardrada of Norway [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a clear but costly victory for the Anglo-Saxons, sweetened a little perhaps by the death of Hardrada. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for weakening the Anglo-Saxons in the face of the imminent invasion by the Normans 250 miles further south, (b) for demonstrating the value of thorough reconnaissance, (c) for demonstrating the difficulties defending the line of a river with your back to it, and (d) for marking the end of the Viking Age. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Taking a calculated risk Godwinson's Anglo-Saxons had forced march northwards in the weeks before the battle, leaving southern England temporarily defenceless. They lost 5000 troops at Stamford Bridge, and those who survived were then forced marched back southwards to meet the Norman threat at the Battle of Hastings three weeks later [=>14th October].

 

1066 [14th October] The Battle of Hastings: This battle is fought at the beginning of the Norman Invasion between the Norman invasion army under William (the Conqueror) of Normandy personally, and a defending Saxon army under Harold Godwinson, attempting to drive them back into the sea [YouTube animated reconstruction]. The outcome is a historically pivotal victory for the Normans. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for demonstrating yet again how effective a well-managed feigned retreat can be at breaking an enemy's cohesion. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR ART: The best known piece of war art from this period is undoubtedly the 1077 Bayeux Tapestry, now carefully preserved in its own museum in the town of its creation [museum website]. Taylor (1990) describes it as "a means of winning over English hearts and minds" (p56).

 

 

***** TIME BREAK *****

1066, "THE NORMAN CONQUEST"

The Normans are a Germanic people themselves, lately arrived among the Franks and the Bretons of the Cotentin peninsula, and not particularly welcomed by either. They bring with them the French language to replace (and eventually blend with) Anglo-Saxon, and they strongly prefer stone buildings to wooden ones. The ensuing century will see a growing interest on the part of the ruling Normans in the history of the land they have conquered. For example, 12th century Norman authors progressively make British and Anglo-Saxon history their own [<=especially 1136 (Geoffrey of Monmouth)]. Note also that the phenomenon we now refer to as "the class struggle" grew out of the Norman practice of imposing Norman "lords of the manor" onto the already feudal indigenous village life. To this day [2013] the English language has long and short words for most important things, the longer (and often snootier) ones deriving from ruling class French and Latin, and the shorter (and often earthy) ones deriving from working class Anglo-Saxon [check it out].

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - SOCIAL CLASS IN WW1: All armies have a command hierarchy, from senior commanders (generals), down through junior commanders (colonels, captains, and lieutenants) to the senior enlisted men (sergeants and corporals), and, through those, down to the front-line troops, the private soldiery. This historically standard command structure does not automatically reflect technical prowess - far from it, sometimes - but rather social rank, financial means, lust for adventure, debt or disgrace back home, or even plain stupidity. The armies we have been hearing about so far routinely had nobles as generals and high-born sons as captains. They also had whoever the recruiting sergeants could get their hands on (including many straight out of the gutters of society) as private soldiers. So it was the well-groomed - the knights, the paladins, and the chevaliers - in charge of the rough-and-ready. This it what famously prompted the Duke of Wellington to describe his own troops as frightening him at least as much as they frightened the enemy [full story]. In WW1 the social divisions between the officer class and their men were at least as bad (and perhaps even worse); even the medals they were awarded were different. [And still, in 2013, the British Army's nickname for an officer is a "Rupert", this being a name few 21st century working class families would countenance for any son of theirs.] We shall be revisiting all these issues in detail in due course.

 

 

1071 The Second Siege of Palermo: This siege is fought out as part of the Norman Invasion of Sicily [<=1061] between a Norman battle-group in north-western Sicily and the Muslim garrison at Palermo. Without the tarantulas to help the defenders this time [cf. 1064] the outcome is a victory for the Normans. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE GERMANS BECOME TEUTONS  **********

1073  [See firstly 1014 (the ASIDE about the King of the Romans)] Pope Gregory VII [Wikipedia biography] starts to refer to the German kings - crowning themselves as Romanorum Rex - as Teutonicorum Rex [= "King of the Germans"], which, when translated back into German, became König der Deutschen. Gregory VII will remain pontiff until 1085, and develop something of a reputation for his interest/skill in alchemy [see fuller story]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1073  The Capture of Amalfi: This battle is fought out as part of the Norman Invasion of Southern Italy [<=1061] between a Norman amphibious assault fleet under Robert Guiscard [<=1061] and the Capuan defenders of Amalfi. The outcome is a victory for the Normans. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for extending Norman control of southern Italy towards Naples. [=>1076] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1076 [13th December] The Siege of Salerno: After a seven-month blockade as part of the Norman Invasion of Southern Italy [<=1061] the town of Salerno finally falls to a Norman amphibious assault led by Robert Guiscard [<=1061]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1077  The Siege of Trapani: This siege is fought out as part of the Norman Invasion of Sicily [<=1061] between a Norman battle-group in western Sicily and the Muslim garrison at Trapani. The outcome is a victory for the Normans. [=>1081] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE HOHENSTAUFEN DUKES  **********

1079  Henry IV of Germany [<=1056] appoints Count Frederick I of Staufen [Wikipedia biography] as Frederick I, Duke of Swabia. The new duke's family seat is at Hohenstaufen [= "the heights of Staufen"] Castle [image], and so the new dynastic line takes the name Hohenstaufen. Two generations later, Frederick I (Barbarossa) will bring the Hohenstaufen family name to the ears of the world [=>1152]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1081  The Siege of Catania: This siege is fought out as part of the Norman Invasion of Sicily [<=1061] between a Norman battle-group in eastern Sicily and the Muslim garrison at Catania. The outcome is a victory for the Normans. [=>next entry] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1081  The Corfu Expedition: This sea-borne expedition is fought out as an adjunct to the Norman Invasion of Sicily [<=1061] between the Normans and the Byzantine Empire's outpost on Corfu. The outcome is a victory for the Normans. [=>1085] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1085 [22nd May]  The Siege of Syracuse: This siege is fought out as part of the Norman Invasion of Sicily [<=1061] between a Norman battle-group in south-eastern Sicily and the Muslim garrison at Syracuse. The outcome is a victory for the Normans. [=>1091] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1090  An unknown scribe commits the Culhwch ac Olwen [<=590] legend to manuscript, probably from earlier written material since lost, but ultimately from bardic rote memory. This manuscript will be collated in due course into Llyfr Coch Hergest [=>1382]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  SERBIA IS BORN  **********

1091  The ethnic Serbs break away from the Byzantine Empire and their warlord Vukan [Wikipedia biography] becomes Grand Prince of a new Serbian realm [roughly the ancient Roman province of Moesia Superior]. Vukan's descendants will rule until the Vukanović dynasty dissolves into the Nemanjić dynasty in 1166. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1091  The Capture of Malta: This risky sea-borne invasion is fought out as a late minute, but entirely sensible, extension of the Norman Invasion of Sicily [<=1061] between a Norman fleet under Roger Bosso [<=1061], now Roger I of Sicily, and the Muslim garrison on Malta. The outcome is the enfeofment of the Muslim administration rather than its total removal. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  GOD WILLS A WAR (PERHAPS)  **********

 

"In the history of propaganda Christianity figures prominently"1

1095 [27th November] The Psychologies of War [XVIII - Rhetoric, Geopolitical Identity, and Militarism (The First Crusade)]: [Continued from 95CE (Quintilian)] At the Council of Clermont [Wikipedia factsheet] Pope Urban II [Wikipedia biography] calls for a Europe-wide crusade in support of Byzantium's struggle against a Seljuk Turkish invasion out of Anatolia [study the scenario]. He pitches his appeal with precision, thus (includes second-order quotations) ...

 

"'It is the imminent peril threatening you and all the faithful which has brought us hither. From the confines of Jerusalem and from the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth ... an accursed race, a race utterly alienated from God ... has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword, pillage, and fire.' Urban then enumerated the atrocities that the Moslems had supposedly committed, including the ravaging of churches and their use in Islamic rites, the rape of Christian women, and the defiling of Christian altars. He was graphic in his details, reporting that one technique used by the Turkish with their victims was to 'perforate their navel, and dragging forth the extremity of the intestines, bind it to a stake; then with flogging they lead the victim around until the viscera having gushed forth the victim falls prostrate upon the ground.' As the crowd stirred with emotion, Pope Urban II asked: 'On whom, therefore, is the labour of avenging these wrongs and for recovering this territory incumbent, if not upon you? [...] Once Urban had announced the crusade, and even before he has completed his speech, individuals in the crowd were calling out Deus volt! Deus volt! (God wills it!). Whether this response was spontaneous, or the result of deliberate planning, we will never know, but Urban lost no opportunity and declared there and then that Deus Volt! would become the battle cry against the heathen foe" (Jowett and O'Donnell, 1992, p45).

 

Armies are rapidly raised by Raymond of Toulouse [Wikipedia biography] and Godfrey of Bouillon [Wikipedia biography]. Here are some of the main events (see separate entries) ...

 

·         The Siege of Nicaea, 1097

·         The First Siege of Antioch, 1097

·         The Second Siege of Antioch, 1098

·         The Siege of Edessa, 1098

·         The Siege of Jerusalem, 1099

·         The Battle of Ascalon, 1099

 

The overall outcome is a decisive Crusader victory, albeit with massive losses from sickness. The First Crusade is noteworthy in the present context (a) for its dimension of religious hatred over and above the military and ethnic differences, and (b) as an example of mission creep [sub-thread continues at 1100 (Chanson de Roland) ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE] [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1ASIDE: This phrase from Jowett and O'Donnell (op. cit., p47).

 

ASIDE - WAR OBJECTIVES AND MISSION CREEP: The need to capture Jerusalem was not one of the original war objectives, but became one as events unfolded. The issue of war objectives having a life of their own will resurface in WW1 when the hero-until-then Siegfried Sassoon accuses the British military establishment of prolonging the war unnecessarily [=>1917 (15th June)].

 

1096 [11th November] Upon the death of his father Werner I, Count of Habsburg [<=1045] the title passes to Otto II [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1111] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1097 [14th May-19th June] The Siege of Nicaea: This five-week siege is fought as part of the First Crusade [<=1095] between a column of Crusaders under various Paladins and the Seljuk garrison at Nicaea under Kilij Arslan I of Rum [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is a victory for the Crusaders. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1097 [20th October] The First Siege of Antioch: This eight-month on-and-off siege is fought as part of the First Crusade [<=1095] between a Christian army under Raymond of Toulouse [<=1095] and the Muslim garrison at Antioch. The outcome is that the city will eventually be captured the following June, whereupon ... [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1098 [5th June] The Second Siege of Antioch: Raymond of Toulouse's Crusaders are immediately bottled up in the city they have just taken by a newly arrived Muslim relief column under Kerbogha of Mosul [Wikipedia biography]. The eventual outcome is a victory for the attackers-turned-defenders thanks to the withdrawal of the Muslims. The second siege of Antioch is noteworthy in the present context (a) for the discovery of one of the claimant Holy Lances1, and (b) for stories of Christian saints descending from Heaven to help out in the fighting. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE] [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

1ASIDE: [See firstly 326 (Saint Helena and the "Cult of Relics")] The Holy Lance is the spear reputedly used by the Roman Centurion (Saint) Longinus to hasten Christ's death on the Cross. As with many holy relics there are many rival claimants to authenticity, possibly [because Rule #4 applies] all false.  Thus there are claimants for the holy spear-head in Rome, Vienna, Armenia, and Krakow. The Holy Lance referred to above was excavated during the Crusader siege by the monk Peter Bartholomew following a vision [Rule #4 applies]. The Holy Lance is noteworthy in the broader context for re-appearing in the various tellings of the Parsifal legend, and for thereby helping Romanticise Germany after its Bismarckian unification in the 19th century. A 20th century version of the legend even has the relic on board U-534 [museum website] at the end of WW2!

 

1099 [7th June-15th July] The Siege of Jerusalem: This five-week siege is fought out as part of the First Crusade [<=1095] between the main Christian army under Raymond of Toulouse [<=1097 (20th October)] and the Muslim garrison at Jerusalem under Iftikhar ad-Dawla [Wikipedia biography]. The Crusader assaults are inconclusive to start with for want of siege engines, but the eventual outcome is that the walls are successfully forced. The siege is noteworthy in the present context for the massacre of Muslims - some 10,000 men, women, and children - which follows. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1099 [12th August] The Battle of Ascalon: This battle is fought as part of the First Crusade [<=1095] between the Crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon [<=1095] and an Egyptian Fatimid army under al-Afdal Shahanshah [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is an against-the-odds victory for the Crusaders. This is the battle which brings the First Crusade to a close. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1100? The Psychologies of War [XIX - Rhetoric, Geopolitical Identity, and Militarism (The Song of Roland)]: [Continued from 1095 (27th November)] About this time an unknown French minstrel commits "La Chanson de Roland" - the popular version of the tale of the Battle of Roncesvalles [<=778] - to writing [full text online]. The piece will survive as a classic of Dark Age epic poetry. It includes bold warriors, comradeship, treachery, feats of arms, heroic deaths, and due punishment [sub-thread continues at 1209 ...]. [THREAD = WW1 POETRY]

 

1100 [2nd August] Upon the death in a hunting accident of his brother William II (Rufus) of England the throne passes to Henry I [Wikipedia biography], who is immediately called upon to defend his realm against his older brother Robert (Curthose) of Normandy [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1105] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1103  The Normandy Campaign: In this three year campaign Henry I [<=1100] defeats and imprisons his brother Robert (Curthose) of Normandy to take the title Duke of Normandy. [=>1108] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1107  The Duchy of Nitra [<=830] is absorbed into the Kingdom of Hungary. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1108  The Pembroke Campaign: In this brief campaign Henry I [<=1105] strikes westward across the southern counties of Wales to bolster the Norman stronghold at Pembroke against unrest amongst the indigenous Britons. [=>1114] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1110  Around this time the minor German noblemen Frederick I [Wikipedia biography], Count of Zollern [modern Baden-Württemberg, south of Stuttgart] is a loyal servant of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V of Germany [Wikipedia biography], to the benefit of the Zollern family line. [=>1192] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1111 [8th November] Upon the death of his father Otto II of Habsburg [<=1096] the title passes to Werner II [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1167] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1114  Henry I's Invasion of Wales: This campaign of enforced pacification follows a decade of sustained Welsh insurrection under Gruffydd ap Cynan [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is the creation of a supervisory chain of new Norman estates, each with its own castle. The invasion is noteworthy in the present context as one of the first occasions when Wales resists as a unified nation. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1125  Perhaps to help the Norman nobility consolidate its intellectual hold over the newly captured British Isles, the Norman-English historian William of Malmesbury [Wikipedia biography] compiles Gesta Regum Anglorum [in English as "Deeds of the Kings of the English"] [full text online], in which he chronicles the Anglo-Saxon contribution to British history going back to 449. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1130 [25th December] The Kingdom of Sicily: Roger II of Sicily [Wikipedia biography] unites Norman territories on Malta, Sicily, and Apulia [= the "toe" of the Italian peninsular]. Not surprisingly, the new kingdom is immediately at odds with the Papal States to the north, and so Roger proceeds to establish a new and friendlier Papacy of his own, in the person of the "Antipope" Anacletus II [Wikipedia biography]. The establishment of the Sicilian Kingdom is noteworthy in the present context because it will last until 1816. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE PLANTAGENETS MAKE A WISE MARRIAGE  **********

1133 [5th March] A son is born to the (House of Plantagenet) Geoffrey V of Anjou [Wikipedia biography] and his queen, the Empress Matilda, and named Henry (II of England) [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Empress Matilda was the oldest daughter of Henry I of England [<=1108] and widow of the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V of Germany [<=1110]. Her son Henry therefore has a strong claim to the English throne as well as to the Angevin.

 

1136  Svyatoslav Olgovich [Wikipedia biography] formally establishes the "Novgorod Republic", a unified state of northern Rus' people stretching from the Baltic to the Urals across the northern half of what is now the Russian Federation. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1136  Drawing heavily from the earlier work of Nennius [<=828] and an unnamed "very ancient book", since lost, the Norman nobleman Galfridus [= Geoffrey] of Monmouth [Wikipedia biography] publishes Historia Regum Britanniae [In English as "History of the Kings of Britain"] [full text online], in which he repeats the Trojan Legend [<=1130BCE] and generally allows his imagination to run free in re-dramatising the kingly comings and goings in Britain from King Lear to Vortigern, Uther, and Arthur. [=>1152 (Vita Merlini)] [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

KEY CONCEPT - PRE- VERSUS POST-GALFRIDIAN ARTHURIANA: The Arthurian legends have two distinct tellings, an early version and a late. The early tellings are those by the Welsh bards, and even the most reliable of these - Taliesin [<=590] and Aneurin [<=590] - are highly obscure. The later tellings are those by mediaeval court historians such as Geoffrey of Monmouth or court minstrels such as the anonymous author of Chanson de Roland [<=1100], Wace [=>1155], and Chrétien de Troyes [=>1170], and these have little historical value at all, obscuring the truth rather than revealing it. The WW1 poet David Jones is particularly clear on this, siding with C.S. Lewis in complaining that the Norman revisionists "have destroyed more magic than ever they invented" (In Parenthesis, p201).

 

1136  Following the death of Boleslaw III [Wikipedia biography] the House of Piast Polish Kingdom collapses down into its constituent provinces, and his second son, Boleslaw IV (the Curly) [Wikipedia biography], becomes Duke of Masovia [<=960]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1137 [9th April] Upon the death of William X, Duke of Aquitaine [Wikipedia biography], the title passes to his 15-year-old daughter Eleanor [Wikipedia biography], who then marries Louis VII (of France) [Wikipedia biography], the seven-year-old son of her guardian, Louis VI. [=>1152] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE HOHENSTAUFEN KINGS  **********

1138  [13th March] Having been duly "elected" following the death of Lothair III [<=1136] the previous December, Konrad III [Wikipedia biography] is crowned "King of the Romans" at Aachen, making him the first Hohenstaufen king of Germany. [=>1145] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1143  The doctrine of "Catharism" starts to emerge around Cologne. This variant Christianity is based on a body of beliefs seriously at odds with those of the Church of Rome, and perhaps deriving from earlier Eastern European Gnostic sects. The Cathars see themselves as Katharoi [Greek = "pure ones" (cf. "catharsis")], but because other centres of Catharism soon grow up around Albi in South West France the name "Albigensian" is also common. Their disagreements with Catholicism are fundamental. They reject church sacraments such as the eucharist, baptism, confession, and the cross, and their heresy will shortly be murderously suppressed. [=>1209] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1144 [28th November - 24th December] The Siege of Edessa: This month-long siege is fought out between a Muslim army under Imad ad-Din Zengi of Mosul [Wikipedia biography] and the defenders of Edessa, one of the Christian counties established during the First Crusade [<=1095]. The outcome is an easy Muslim victory, since the  bulk of the garrison is engaged elsewhere. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF MODERN EUROPE]

 

1145 [1st December] The Second Crusade: Spurred into action by the Muslim capture of Edessa [<=preceding entry] Pope Eugene III [Wikipedia biography] calls a second Crusade. Louis VII of France [<=1137] responds with an army which he leads personally, accompanied by his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine. Konrad III of Germany [<=1138] responds with a force of 2000 knights and some 18,000 infantry. Here are some of the main events ...

 

·         The Siege of Edessa, 1144 [the casus belli]

·         The Wendish Crusade, 1147

·         The Iberian Reconquest, 1147

·         The Siege of Damascus, 1148

 

The overall outcome is a Saracen victory in the Holy Land, but significant Christian progress in Portugal. The Second Crusade is noteworthy in the present context for being a model of how not to fight a war. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1147  Having reunited Poland as a Grand Duchy the previous year, Boleslaw IV [<=1136] attacks Prussia, but without any great success. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1147 [13th April] The Wendish Crusade: This crusade is the first of the so-called "Northern Crusades", a series of eastward drives out of Christian Germany authorised by Pope Eugene III [<=1145] as an adjunct to the Second Crusade [<=1145] being fought out further south. It is fought between bands of Saxons, Danes, Poles, and Bohemians on the one hand, and the ethnic Slavs - collectively the "Wends" - on the other. The Wendish Crusade is noteworthy in the present context for the progress made by Count Albert (the Bear) of Anhalt [Wikipedia biography] in Germanifying Brandenburg.  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

KEY CONCEPT - THE OSTSIEDLUNG: The Ostsiedlung [= "eastern settlement"] was responsible for Low German becoming the dominant language in many near-Slavic lands, German technology becoming the dominant technology, German Christianity replacing Slavic paganism, and so on.

 

1147  The Iberian Re-Conquest: This campaign of religious re-conquest takes place as part of the Second Crusade [<=1145] between a convoy of British Crusaders driven into the Portuguese port of Porto by bad weather and the Muslim garrison at Lisbon. The outcome is a Crusader victory. The campaign is noteworthy in the present context as a valuable first step in the Christian re-conquest of the Iberian peninsula. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1148  The Siege of Damascus: This one-week abortive siege is fought out as part of the Second Crusade [<=1145] between the main Crusader army in the Holy Land and the Zengid Muslim garrison at Damascus. Unfortunately the Crusaders have seriously underestimated their enemy's strength and the outcome is a humiliating withdrawal to Jerusalem. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1151 [7th September] Upon the death of (the House of Plantagenet) Geoffrey V of Anjou [<=1133] the thrones of Normandy, Anjou, and Maine pass to his son Henry (II of England). [=>1152] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1152  Geoffrey of Monmouth [<=1136] publishes Vita Merlini [in English as "The Life of Merlin"] [full text online], a collation of legends concerning the bard Merlin which establish him as the archetype for the court wizard in later Arthurian tales. The work also introduces the characters Morgan le Fay [<=480] and Peredur. [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

1152 [9th March] A few days after the death of Konrad III of Germany [<=1138/1145], Frederick III, Duke of Swabia [Wikipedia biography], is crowned Frederick I of Germany at Aachen Cathedral. The new king is a Hohenstaufen on his father's side and a Guelph on his mother's, and works hard to resolve long-standing feuds between individual German states, not least Swabia and Saxony. [=>1155 (18th June)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1152 [18th May] With her marriage to Louis VII annulled only weeks before, Eleanor of Aquitaine [<=1137] now marries Henry II, Duke of Normandy [<=1151]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1153  An Italian cardinal named Rolando of Siena [Wikipedia biography] is appointed Chancellor of the Papal States. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  BOSNIA IS BORN  **********

1154  The ethnic Bosnians [roughly the ancient Roman province of Illyria] break away from the Byzantine Empire and their warlord Borić [Wikipedia biography] becomes their first Ban, or king. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE HOUSE OF PLANTAGENET ARRIVES IN ENGLAND  **********

1154 [25th October] Upon the death of Stephen of England [Wikipedia biography] the dispute between the House of Blois and the Plantagenets resolves itself and the English throne passes to Henry II [<=1152]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1155 [18th June] Pope Adrian IV [Wikipedia biography] crowns Frederick I of Germany [<=1152] Holy Roman Emperor at St. Peter's Basilica. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1155  Drawing heavily on Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia [<=1136] but writing now in a French dialect, the Jersey-born Norman historian Wace [Wikipedia biography] compiles Roman de Brut [Project Gutenberg full text online], a detailed retelling of the Trojan Legend [<=1130BCE]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1157  After a decade of campaigning, negotiating, and installing the necessary friendly bishops, Albert of Anhalt [<=1147] is crowned Margrave Albert (The Bear) of Brandenburg [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1159 [1st September] After the death of Pope Adrian IV [<=1155 (18th June)] the Papal throne passes to Rolando of Siena [<=1153] as Pope Alexander III. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1159  Frederick I's Italian Campaigns: Pope Alexander III [<=1159] excommunicates Frederick I of Germany [<=1155] for his studied defiance of Papal authority, whereupon Frederick responds by appointing his own Pope - that is to say, an "Antipope". He chooses the defeated candidate in the Papal elections the previous year, Victor IV [Wikipedia biography], for the job. He also mounts what will turn out to be a 24-year series of armed expeditions up and down northern Italy in an attempt to subordinate the Papacy to the Empire. Here are some of the key events in this series of campaigns ...

 

·         The Sieges of Lombardy, 1159-1162

·         The Battle of Monte Porzio, 1167

·         The Lombard League, 1167

·         The Siege of Alessandria, 1174

·         The Battle of Legnano, 1176

·         The Treaty of Venice, 1177

·         The Treaty of Constance, 1183

 

The eventual outcome is that Frederick is finally forced to show a little more respect for the cloth. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1159  The Sieges of Lombardy: This three-year siege marks the beginning of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I of Germany's Italian campaigns. It is fought out between the Imperial army and the Papal garrisons at Cremona and Milan. The outcomes are slow but sure victories for the besiegers, followed by death and destruction for the besieged. Milan, for example, is turned into a city "for owls and bats, a scene of desolation to make all observers weep" (Morris, 2012 online). [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: His time in Italy also earned Frederick the cognomen "Barbarossa" [Italian = "red-bearded"], and this is how we shall henceforth refer to him.

 

1164  Frederick Barbarossa [<=1159] loots from the Basilica in Milan the relics of the biblical Three Kings, and donates them to Cologne Cathedral [see them now]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1165 [21st August] A son is born to Louis VII [Wikipedia biography], [House of Capet] King of France, and his Queen, Adčle of Champagne [Wikipedia biography], and named Philippe Auguste. [=>1180] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1166  Upon the death of Stefan Tihomir [Wikipedia biography], the Serbian crown passes to his younger brother Stefan Nemanja [Wikipedia biography]. In the remaining 33 years of his life Nemanja gradually develops a Serbian identity in the face of Byzantine intrusion from the southeast. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1167 [29th May] The Battle of Monte Porzio: This battle is fought as part of Frederick I's Italian Campaigns [<=1160] between elements of Frederick Barbarossa's [<=1159] imperial army led by Archbishops Rainald of Cologne [Wikipedia biography] and Christian of Mainz [Wikipedia biography] and an advancing column of the anti-imperial Papal States army. Frederick's troops are outnumbered ten-to-one, but are professional knights accompanied by experienced households, whilst the non-imperials are hurriedly levied and poorly armed civilians. The outcome is a victory for the imperial army.  [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: When eventually we come to discuss the creation of Kitchener's "New Army" in 1914, we shall be exploring how to turn civilian volunteers into hardened soldiers in the least possible time. KEY PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPT - THE LEARNING CURVE: The psychological investigation of motor skills began late in the nineteenth century as the processes of industrialisation began to place a premium on the rapid training of machine operators. Bryan and Harter (1897, 1899) investigated how quickly Morse code operators could learn the necessary keying and decoding skills. They interviewed and observed both experienced and trainee Western Union telegraph operators and plotted learning curves of performance against practice, finding distinct periods where continuing practice seemed to have no effect on ability. Because these periods showed up as flat areas of the learning curve, Bryan and Harter called them plateaus (optionally, plateaux).

 

1167  The Lombard League: This mutual assistance agreement is established between the cities of Lombardy - most significantly Milan - the better to organise their opposition to Frederick Barbarossa [<=preceding entry]. One of their first priorities is to fortify their base at Alessandria. [=>1176 (29th May)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1167 [19th August] Upon the death of his father Werner II, Count of Habsburg [<=1111] the title passes to Albert III, Count of Habsburg [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1188/1199] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

********** COURTLY CHIVALRY  **********

1170  The French troubadour Chrétien de Troyes [Wikipedia biography] promotes "Erec and Enide", the first of five Arthurian romances for the French audience. These works are noteworthy (a) because they introduce new characters and settings into the ancestral Welsh and Anglo-Saxon stories, (b) because our modern conception of mediaeval chivalry as an "Arthurian" quality comes from Chrétien's 12th century Arthur, and not from the Arthurian times themselves, some six centuries beforehand, and (c) for spreading the resulting romanticism into French and, in due course, German mythology. [=>1190] [THREADS = ARTHURIAN LEGEND and THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - CHIVALRY VERSUS GALLANTRY: This is as good a point as any to explain the difference between being chivalrous and being brave. Here are some dictionary definitions [all O.E.D.] ...

 

·         "Gallant" - "Dashing, spirited, bold"/"politely attentive"/"Chivalrously brave, full of noble daring".

 

·         "Chivalry" - "The brave, honourable, and courteous character attributed to the ideal knight; disinterested bravery, honour, and courtesy".

 

·         "Courage" - "that quality of mind which shows itself in facing danger without fear or shrinking".

 

·         "Bravery" - "a display of courage or daring".

 

·         "Gallantry" - "a brave or gallant deed".

 

As with so many important personality characteristics, some of these qualities turn out to be "orthogonal", that is to say, less than perfectly cross-correlated. This means that being high on one quality does not necessarily imply being high on another. Thus it is possible to be chivalrous without being overly brave (provided that you are exceptionally courteous), or courageous without even being in battle (when fighting cancer, perhaps), or gallant without being chivalrous (when wooing adulterously, perhaps). The often subtle distinction between chivalry and gallantry becomes more immediately apparent if one examines medal collections such as that in the Medal Gallery at the Firepower! Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich [museum website]. Here we see many awards for Chivalry, all bright and glorious, but all ultimately self-congratulatory - given by the nobility to the nobility, to make them feel worthy and look good, but reflecting no particular act of battlefield courage. We also see many awards for Gallantry, all much less visually intrusive - given by the nobility to the lesser souls who actually do the front-line fighting. And as far as WW1 is concerned the class struggle raises its head again by insisting on awarding the Military Cross [details] to officers but the Military Medal [details] to other ranks for deeds of equal valour.

 

1174 [??th October] The Siege of Alessandria: This six-month siege is fought out as part of Frederick Barbarossa's Italian Campaign [<=1167] between the imperial army and the Lombard League garrison at Alessandria. The outcome is a defeat for the attackers. The siege is noteworthy in the present context as an instance of siege engineering. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE - SIEGE ENGINEERING: Barbarossa's siege engineers used the winter months to tunnel in under the city walls and when they collapsed into the void thereby created the breach was stormed, and an entry forced. Unfortunately for the attackers the defenders had made good use of their time to build second-line defences, thus turning the breach into a killing ground. Outpushings of a defensive line are known as "salients", and one of the most famous of all salients is the one fought over in the First, Second, and Third Battles of Ypres during WW1.

 

1176  Chrétien de Troyes [<=1170] produces the second of his five Arthurian romances, namely "Cligés", purportedly a great-nephew of King Arthur. [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

1176 [29th May] The Battle of Legnano: This battle is fought as part of Frederick Barbarossa's Italian Campaigns [<=1174] between the imperial army and a Lombard League army. As it had done at the Battle of Milan [<=1038], the Lombardian army includes a caroccio, a war cart, something between a pageant float and a mobile altar [see facsimile]. It is defended by a 900-strong battalion of specially selected and highly motivated men-at-arms, known as the "Company of Death". The outcome is a decisive victory for the Lombard Leaguers. The battle is noteworthy in the present context (a) for bringing the Holy Roman Empire and the Papal States to a brief working accord, too exhausted to fight any more, and (b) as an example of the use of religion as a weapon of war. [=>1183] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR MOVIE: Renzo Martinelli's (2009) movie "Barbarossa: Siege Lord" tells the Italian side of the story of the Company of Death. Barbarossa (played by Rutger Hauer) loses because the Lombardians have something stronger to fight for than his troops do - freedom from foreign oppression. The Caroccio puts in appearances at 108 and 118 minutes in.

 

1177 [24th July] The Treaty of Venice: This treaty between the Lombard League and the Holy Roman Empire brings the first phase of Frederick I (Barbarossa)'s Italian campaigns [<=1160] to a temporary end. Humbled by his setback at the Battle of Legnano [<=1176], Frederick hereby agrees to acknowledge Pope Alexander III and dismiss his Antipope; Alexander responds by lifting his excommunication. [=>1183] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1177  The Battle of Krakow: This battle is fought as part of the internal wrangling between Casimir II [<=1173] and Mieszko III, the extant High Duke of Poland. The outcome is a victory for Casimir, followed by moves to normalise relations with Kiev. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1179 [1st November] In declining health, Louis VII of France [<=1165] has his oldest son Philip crowned Philip II [<=1165]. The following year the new king marries Isabelle of Hainault [= Hainault County, modern Belgium]. [=>1186] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1180  Frederick I's Slavic Campaign: Having achieved about as much as he is ever going to in Italy, Frederick Barbarossa [<=1177] now supports Saxony in its ongoing drive eastwards across the Elbe river into the lands of the Polabian Slavs - the "Sorbs", progressively Germanising them. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Frederick I's campaign against the Slavs will be remembered in WW2 when the Wehrmacht is looking for a codename for the Nazi invasion of Russia - they settle for "Operation Barbarossa" [check it out].

 

1181  Chrétien de Troyes [<=1170] produces the third and fourth of his five Arthurian romances, namely Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion [in English as "Yvain, the Knight of the Lion"] and Le Chevalier de la Charette [usually in English as "Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart", although the borrowed French word "tumbril" would better complement the thrust of the narrative]. [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

1183 [25th June] The Treaty of Constance: This treaty brings Frederick I's Italian Campaigns [<=1160] to an end. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1185  Henry II of England's [<=1154] fifth and youngest son, Prince John (Lackland) [Wikipedia biography] is appointed "Lord of Ireland", a newly created title, and spends the remaining 31 years of his life trying sometimes to defend, sometimes to extend, the network of Norman estates set up immediately after the Conquest [<=1066] to subdue that nation. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1187 [4th July] The Battle of Hattin: This battle is fought between the Islamic army under Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub [henceforth Anglicised as "Saladin"] [Wikipedia biography] and a Crusader army under Guy of Lusignan [Wikipedia biography]. The outcome is the total annihilation of Guy's army, followed by a Saracen occupation of Jerusalem. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for demonstrating the need not to attack out of supply [the Crusaders had run out of water and the Saracens simply placed their forces between the Crusaders and the nearest springs]. [=>next entry] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1187 [2nd October] The Capture of Jerusalem: This battle is fought between the Islamic army under Saladin [<=preceding entry] and the strategically unprepared Christian garrison at Jerusalem. The outcome is an easy victory for the Muslims. The engagement is noteworthy in the present context for demonstrating the close relationship between political preparedness and military success or failure. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1188  A son is born to Rudolph II, Count of Habsburg [Wikipedia biography], and named Albert IV, Count of Habsburg [Wikipedia biography]. A second son, Rudolph III [no convenient biography], will follow in 1198. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE] [CAUTION: None of the titles used here are yet substantive because Albert III is still alive - =>1199 for the succession proper.]

 

1189 [6th July] Upon the death of Henry II of England [<=1154] his oldest surviving son becomes Richard I (Lionheart) of England [Wikipedia biography] as well as Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine, and Cyprus. His other surviving son, John of Ireland [<=1185] will succeed him in 1199. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1189  The Third Crusade: In an attempt to recapture Jerusalem [<=1187], Pope Clement III [Wikipedia biography] calls yet another Crusade. He ends up with a "dream team" line-up of King Philip II of France [<=1165], King Richard I (Lionheart) of England [<=above], Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa) [<=1180], and Prince Geza of Hungary [Wikipedia biography]. Barbarossa sets off first with an army of some 100,000 knights and retainers, but is fated to drown crossing the River Saleph while still only half way to the Holy Land. Here are some of the later events ...

 

·         The Siege of Acre, 1191

·         The Battle of Arsuf, 1191

·         The Battle of Jaffa, 1192

 

The final outcome is pretty much a draw, in that Jerusalem is not recaptured. The Third Crusade is therefore noteworthy in the present context for costing a lot of lives and needing another war - the Fourth Crusade [=>1198] - to sort out the mess. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Just as the Third Crusade sowed the seeds of the Fourth, so too do many historians trace the roots of WW2 to a botched job at the end of WW1. We shall be returning to this issue in detail in due course.

 

1190  Chrétien de Troyes [<=1170] produces the fifth and last of his romances, namely Perceval, le Conte du Graal [in English as "Perceval, the Story of the Grail"] [full text online]. The work tells of a youth's adventures in becoming a knight at King Arthur's court, and is destined - as the work which first introduced the notion of a Holy Grail - to reappear 500 years later as one of the true classics of the Romantic Age. [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

1190  Drawing heavily on Wace's Roman [<=1155], the British cleric Layamon [Wikipedia biography] compiles "Brut" [full text online], the first English language version of the Trojan Legend [<=1130BCE]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

********** THE TEUTONS MAKE THEMSELVES KNOWN  **********

1190  A group of like-minded Germanic Crusaders based temporarily at Acre [now in modern Israel] band together as the "Teutonic Knights", the better to pursue point-of-the-sword Christianity. Because they also provide field hospital services they become one of the groups known as "Knights Hospitaller" [Wikipedia factsheet]. [=>1211] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

KEY WW1 VOCABULARY - "TEUTON" AND "TEUTONIC": The linguistic root of the word "Teuton" is probably the Old High German diot [= "people/folk"], but shaped by the Latinisation thereof as Teutones, one of the German tribes [<=107BCE].

 

**********  THE FRANKS FINALLY BECOME THE FRENCH  **********

**********  THE FIRST WW1 COMBATANT NATION TO EXIST AS SUCH  **********

1190  Phillip II of Francia [Wikipedia biography] changes his royal title from King of the Franks to King of France, thereby becoming Phillip II of France. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1191 [8th June-12th July] The Siege of Acre: This five-week siege is fought out as part of the Third Crusade [<=1189] between the British element of the Crusading army under Richard I (Lionheart) and the Muslim garrison at Acre. The outcome is a Crusader victory, but marred by an act-of-spite massacre of 3000 Muslim prisoners and civilians. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: In the run up to WW1, Kaiser Wilhelm II will take it upon himself to finance the renovation of Saladin's mausoleum in Damascus and to apologise posthumously for this British war crime [=>1898].

 

1191 [7th September] The Battle of Arsuf: This battle is fought as part of the Third Crusade [<=1189] between a Muslim army under Saladin in person and Richard I (Lionheart)'s Crusaders. The outcome is a Christian victory, and an open road to the strategically important city of Jaffa. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1192 The Battle of Jaffa: This battle is fought as part of the Third Crusade [<=1189] between Richard I (Lionheart)'s Crusaders and the Muslim defenders of Jaffa. Being a port, Richard decides to attack by sea, catching the defenders off guard, and winning an easy victory. The battle is noteworthy in the present context for bringing Saladin to the negotiating table and thereby ending the Third Crusade. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE HOHENZOLLERNS ARE BORN  **********

1192  As a reward for services loyally rendered to the German crown Frederick III of Zollern [Wikipedia biography] is elevated to Frederick I, Burgrave of Nuremberg-Zollern. At the same time he abandons the family name Zollern - his ancestral estate - in favour of Hohenzollern - the castle at the centre of that estate. The various branches of the Hohenzollern dynasty will remain at the heart of European politics to the present day [see full listing]. [=>1525] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE CRUSADERS FALL OUT AMONGST THEMSELVES  **********

1192  Philip II of France [<=1190] now falls out with his co-Crusader Richard I (Lionheart) [<=1189] and tries to do a deal behind his back with John of Ireland [<=1185], by now next in line to Richard's throne. After some minor manoeuvring, John declines the opportunity and leaves Philip II to go it alone with a campaign against Richard's estates in Normandy. [=>1194] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1194  Richard I (Lionheart) [<=1192] lands an army in Normandy and, over the next four years, successfully recaptures most of his lost lands. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1194 [26th December] A son is born to Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor [Wikipedia biography] and named Frederick (II) [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1197] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1197 [28th September] Upon the death of Henry VI [<=1194] the throne of Germany passes provisionally to his three-year-old son Frederick II, under the protection of his uncle (the House of Hohenstaufen) Philip, Duke of Swabia [Wikipedia biography]. Philip, however, is unable to get all the Electors on side, several of whom favour (the House of Welf) Otto IV of Brunswick [Wikipedia biography]. In return for Bohemian support in this electoral contest Philip elevates the Duchy of Bohemia to a kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire, with Ottakar I [Wikipedia biography] as its first king. [=>1230] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1198 [9th June] Otto IV of Brunswik [<=1197] is elected king of the Germans and duly crowned 12th July at Aachen. [=>1208] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1198 [15th August] The Fourth Crusade: Pope Innocent III [Wikipedia biography] issues a Papal bull calling for a renewed attempt to recapture Jerusalem by first establishing a Christian bridgehead in Egypt. The key events include ...

 

·         A period of shipbuilding, 1198-1202

·         The Siege of Zara, 1202

·         The Siege of Constantinople, 1203-1204

·         The Sack of Constantinople, 1204

 

The Fourth Crusade is noteworthy in the present context as a particularly flagrant case of mission creep in that the Crusaders go nowhere Egypt and spend their energies instead fighting fellow Christians. In addition much treasure goes astray. The only person to benefit, in fact, is Pope Innocent himself, who regains control of the breakaway port of Zara. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Innocent also signs the death warrant on the Cathars [<=1143], but takes no action until after the Fourth Crusade [=>1209].

 

1199 [9th April] The Siege of Chalus: This otherwise insignificant siege is noteworthy in the present context for the death of Richard I (Lionheart) [<=1194], following which event the English crown and the Duchy of Normandy both pass to his brother John of Ireland [<=1192]. Richard's heart is buried at Rouen, his body at Fontevraud Abbey. His soul will reputedly remain in purgatory until 1232 [33 years = one lifetime of Christ] to expiate his sins. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS - BATTLEFIELD GANGRENE: On 25th March Richard I was struck in the shoulder by a crossbow bolt fired by Pierre Basile, one of the defenders. The wound became gangrenous and Richard died two weeks later. The bacterium responsible for battlefield gangrene is Clostridium perfringens [Wikipedia factsheet]. This is an anaerobic organism, that is to say, it does not need oxygen to thrive. It is therefore well suited to reproduce in deep tissue wounds, and its effects are made more severe by the fact that the by-products of that reproduction are toxins which kill the healthy tissue adjacent to the primary site of infection. The bacterium, in short, slowly digests its victim! [Browse Google <gangrenous wounds>.]

 

1199 [25th November]         Upon the death of his father Albert III, Count of Habsburg [<=1167] the title passes to Rudolph II, Count of Habsburg [<=1188]. [=>1232] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1202  Fronted by Bishop Albert of Riga [Wikipedia biography], a company of crusaders based in Livonia [roughly modern Latvia] band together as the "Livonian Brotherhood", the better to spread the Church's influence throughout Livonia [= modern Finland and the Baltic States]. [=>1236] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1202  Philip II of France [<=1192] now invades Normandy - since 911 a fiefdom of France - and takes it back under the French crown. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1202 [10th-23rd November] The Siege of Zara [a.k.a. Zadra]: This siege is fought out as part of the Fourth Crusade [<=1198] between a Venetian-Crusader coalition fleet and dissident Croatians in the port of Zara. The outcome is a victory for the Crusaders. The siege is noteworthy in the present context for its use of specially designed amphibious assault vessels and no less than 150 siege engines. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1203 [11th July] The Siege of Constantinople: This nine-month siege is fought out as part of the Fourth Crusade [<=1198] between the Crusader army under Boniface of Montferrat [Wikipedia biography] and the Byzantine defenders of Constantinople. The defences hold out until ... [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1204 [12th April] The Sack of Constantinople: ... a concerted assault finally breaks through the walls, and is followed by a 48-hour orgy of desecration and murder. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1206 Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [IV - Early Work (Al-Jaziri)]: [Continued from 50CE (Heron)] The Arabian engineer Ismail Al-Jazari [Wikipedia biography] compiles a textbook of mechanical devices entitled "The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices", including (and thereby helping to preserve) the earlier works of Ctesibius [<=250BCE] and Heron [<=50CE] [sub-thread continues at 1248 (Albertus Magnus) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATION, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1207 [2nd February] Livonia [<=1202] is officially recognised as a province within the Holy Roman Empire, under the name "Terra Mariana". [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1208 [21st June] Following the murder of (the House of Hohenstaufen) Philip of Swabia [<=1197] the dispute for the throne dies away and it remains more securely with Otto IV [<=1197]. The following year Pope Innocent III [<=1198] crowns him Holy Roman Emperor. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1209  The Psychologies of War [XX - Purity of Thought (The Albigensian Crusade)]: [Continued from 1100] Pope Innocent III [<=1198] finally gets round to acting on his pledge to rid the south of France of the Cathars [<=1143], by calling a crusade against them. He assembles an army at Lyon under the English nobleman Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester [Wikipedia biography]. Here are the key events ...

 

·         The Battle of Béziers, 1209

·         The Siege of Carcassonne, 1209

·         A period of mopping up, 1209-1211

·         The Cathar Counter-Offensive, 1211-1213

·         A period of stalemate, 1213-1225

·         The Renewed Crusade, 1226-1229

·         The Albigensian Inquisition, 1229-1244

·         The Siege of Montsegur, 1243-1244

 

The final outcome is the extinction of one major human belief system by another [sub-thread continues at 1476 ...]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE] [THREAD = THE BATTLE FOR HEARTS AND MINDS]

 

RESEARCH ISSUE - "US" AND "THEM" AGAIN: We mentioned at the outset that human aggression is at its most unforgiving in "in-group/out-group" situations, and history tells us repeatedly that belief systems are a major factor in determining who will be an "us" and who will be a "them". And while the beliefs in question are important to those who hold (and are ready to die for) them, many turn out on objective analysis to be no more important than whether you open your soft-boiled eggs at the pointed or blunt end [=>1626 (Lilliputian Civil War)]. Unfortunately for humankind, science has no theory of the neuropsychological processes involved in being willing to die for something. We shall be returning to this issue in detail in due course.

 

1209 [21st July] The Battle of Béziers: This battle is fought out as part of the Albigensian Crusade [<=preceding entry] between Simon de Montfort's Crusading army and the Cathar inhabitants of Béziers. It lasts less than 24 hours, during which time some 15,000 alternative believers are methodically slaughtered. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1209 [1st August] The Siege of Carcassonne: This two-week siege is fought out as part of the Albigensian Crusade [<=preceding entry] between Simon de Montfort's Crusading army and the Cathar inhabitants of Carcassonne. Its outcome is a victory for the Crusaders. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1210  John I's Irish Campaign: This campaign is fought between John I of England [<=1192] and his own dissident Irish lords. The campaign is noteworthy in the present context for enforcing English [i.e., Norman] laws and customs within the Norman-ruled Irish estates (although not within the lands still ruled by indigenous Irish chieftains). [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1211  Andrew II of Hungary [Wikipedia biography] offers the Teutonic Knights [<=1190] estates in Transylvania, only to move them on again 14 years later, when they will be welcomed by Konrad I of Masovia [Wikipedia biography], who needs help clearing his Prussian territories of troublesome tribes. Although these are established tribal people, they are non-Christian. The Papacy therefore authorises a "Prussian Crusade" to convert them. [=>1230] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1212  Upon the death of Otto IV [<=1209] the crown of Germany passes to the 18-year-old (House of Hohenstaufen) Frederick II [<=1197]. [=>1220] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1212  The Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa: This surprise attack battle is fought as part of the Christian Reconquest of Spain between an alliance of Christian Spanish princes fronted by Alfonso VIII of Castille [Wikipedia biography] and the Almohad Caliphate in Muslim Andalusia. The outcome is a massive defeat for the unprepared Andalusians. The battle is historically noteworthy for marking the beginning of the end for the Muslims in Spain and Portugal. [=>1491] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1213  The Fifth Crusade: Pope Innocent III [<=1209] issues a papal bull calling upon Christendom to turn out yet again in the struggle against the Muslims. Here are the main events of interest ...

 

·         The Jerusalem Campaign, 1217

·         The Egyptian Campaign, 1218-1221

 

Both campaigns will be poorly supported (because Britain, France, and Germany are presently fighting amongst themselves), and so will be allowed to wither on the vine. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Taylor (1990) notes as follows concerning Papal propaganda (and this was Innocent's third crusade in 15 years, remember, so he was an old hand at it) ...

 

"... the Pope's letter was widely copied and provided a set of guidelines for preaching this latest campaign to all members of Christendom, regardless of class or status: '[...] So rouse yourselves, most beloved sons [...]; gird yourselves for the service of the Crucified One, not hesitating to risk your possessions and your persons [...] certain and sure that if you are truly penitent you will achieve eternal rest as a profit for this temporal labour'" (pp66-67).

 

We shall be seeing similar recruiting appeals for selfless service throughout WW1, not least Lord Kitchener's iconic "Your Country Needs You" [=>1914 (5th August)].

 

1214 [27th July] The Battle of Bouvines: This battle is fought between Philip II of France [<=1202] and Otto IV of Germany [<=1198] for the imperial crown. John I of England [<=1199] is allied to Otto IV, and devises a strategy to draw the French southwards away from Paris so that Otto might attack suddenly from the north. Philip sees through the subterfuge, however, and is able to surprise Otto. Even though considerably outnumbered the outcome is a decisive French victory. The battle is noteworthy in the present context as an early example of a Franco-British alliance against Germany. It also leaves the House of Hohenstaufen victorious in the Welf-Hohenstaufen rivalry for the throne. [=>1220] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

WAR ART: Check out Horace Vernet's (1827) "The Battle of Bouvines".

 

1218 [1st May] A son is born to Albert IV and Hedwig of Habsburg, and named Rudolf of Habsburg [Wikipedia biography]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1220 [22nd November] Pope Honorius III [Wikipedia biography] crowns (the House of Hohenstaufen) Frederick II of Germany [<=1212] as Holy Roman Emperor. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1224  Prince Wenceslaus I of Bohemia [Wikipedia biography] marries Kunigunde of Hohenstaufen [Wikipedia biography]. Their union will be blessed with two sons, Wladislaw, Margrave of Moravia (1225) [=>1247], and Ottakar (1233) [=>1253]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  NEW EAST PRUSSIANS REPLACE OLD EAST PRUSSIANS  **********

1226  The Golden Bull of Rimini: Frederick II of Germany [<=1220] issues an imperial bull proclaiming the Teutonic Knights [<=1190] as rightful lords of old tribal Prussia. This move is noteworthy in the present context because it creates two Germanies, separated by Slavs - a sure recipe for war. [=>1230] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

RESEARCH ISSUE: The Teutonic Knights, it will be recalled, were ex-Crusaders, therefore cousins to the Vikings, therefore no strangers to having a geographically separated nation which they moved about by sea. There is no scientific theory as to how far over the seas a place has to be before it ceases to be the same nation and becomes instead an "overseas possession".

 

1227 [??th August] The Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan [Wikipedia biography] dies and his Empire is divided amongst his sons and, if any son has predeceased him, his sons. Princes Batu and Orda [both grandsons] inherit the Blue and White Hordes, respectively. Other sons inherit more easterly commands. Batu Khan [Wikipedia biography] then engages upon a 30-year programme of aggression against eastern Europe, conquering the Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria. [=>1236] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: The modern English word "horde" comes from the Turkic ordu [= "palace, camp"].

 

1228  The Sixth Crusade: Pope Gregory IX [Wikipedia biography] calls a crusade and sends Frederick II of Germany [<=1220] with an imperial fleet to Cyprus, en route for Acre. The army is small, however, and so Frederick engages in political bartering with the Ayyubid Sultanate in Egypt. The Ayyubids, occupied at this time with an insurrection of their own in Syria, duly allow Jerusalem, Nazareth, Sidon, Jaffa, and Bethlehem to be occupied without a struggle, thereby stabilising its own western flank at little permanent cost. [=>1234] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1230  The Treaty of Kruszwica: This treaty, no copies of which will survive, is signed by Konrad 1 of Masovia and the Teutonic Knights to validate the Golden Bull of Rimini [<=1226]. [=>1234] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  THE IRON CROSS IS BORN  **********

1230  The Prussian Crusade: This 63-year-long local Crusade is called by Grand Master Hermann von Salzen [Wikipedia biography] and Konrad I of Masovia [<=1209] in an attempt to Christianise the pagan old Prussian tribes. They will shortly be joined by the Livonian Brotherhood and together they will bring about the monastic state of the Teutonic Order [=>1237]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Just as their Norman cousins in England have been building castles to subdue the Welsh, so too will the Teutonic Knights build a network of castles to subdue the ethnic old Prussians.

 

ASIDE: Check out the left lapel of Hermann von Salzen's crusader's cape. This "cross pattée" symbol of the Teutonic Order will become a medal for chivalry in the 18th century (it was always an emblem thereof) and the standard medal for battlefield gallantry - the famous Iron Cross - in 1871. To get the first you had to be a loyal knight; to get the second you had to be a worthy warrior.

 

1230 [15th December] Upon the death of Ottakar I of Bohemia [<=1198] the throne passes to his son Wenceslas I [<=1198]. His 23-year reign will significantly raise Bohemia's influence in Central Europe. [=>1253] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1232  Rudolph II, Count of Habsburg [<=1199] dies and his estates are divided between his sons Albert IV and Rudolph III [<=1188]. Albert gets to keep the family seat, Habsburg Castle. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1234  The Golden Bull of Rieti: Pope Gregory IX [<=1228] formally approves the Treaty of Kruszwica [=>1230]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1236 [22nd September] The Battle of Saule: This battle is fought as part of the long-running ethnic struggle between the Livonian Brotherhood [<=1202] and both the Novgorods [<=1136] and the nascent Lithuanians [<=1253]. The outcome is a crushing defeat for the Brotherhood, whereafter they are little more than a fringe group to the Teutonic Order [<=1237]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1236  A 16-year-old Alexander Yaroslavich (Nevsky) [Wikipedia biography] is proclaimed Prince of Novgorod [<=1136] and given the task of defending that land against Swedish invaders from the north, Germans from the west, and the Muslims of the Golden Khanate [<=1227] from the south. [=>1240 (15th July)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1237  The Livonian Brotherhood [<=1202 and 1236] side themselves with Teutonic Prussia [<=1225] to create a Prussian state on the east and south of the Baltic Sea. They choose the name Deutschordensland [= "Land of the Teutonic Order"; Click here to see the disposition of the Teutonic State in 1260.] [=>1410 (Battle of Grunwald)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1239 [7th June] A son is born to Henry III of England [Wikipedia biography] and his queen Eleanor of Provence, and named Edward (I (Longshanks) of England) [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1262] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1239 [13th December] Upon the death of his father Albert IV, Count  of Habsburg [<=1232], the estate passes to Rudolph IV, Count of Habsburg [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1245] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1240 [15th July] The Battle of the Neva: This battle is fought at Ladoga near the River Neva estuary [near modern St. Petersburgh] between an invading Swedish army under Earl Birger Magnusson [Wikipedia biography] and a defending Novgorod army under Alexander of Novgorod [<=1236]. The outcome is a decisive victory for the Novgorodians, leading Alexander to be given the cognomen "Nevsky", after the river. [=>1242 (5th April)] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1242 [5th April] The Battle of Lake Peipus: This battle is fought as part of the Northern Crusades [<=1225] between a crusading coalition of Livonian, Danish, and Teutonic knights [<=1237] under Prince-Bishop Hermann of Dorpat [Wikipedia biography] and a defending coalition of Eastern Orthodox Christians from the Novgorod, Pskov, and Vladimir Russian republics under Alexander Nevsky [<=1240]. The Battle is historically well-known for being fought on the ice of a frozen lake, and is noteworthy in the present context as an example of how a relatively small victory can become an expression of national (in this case Russian) identity and pride. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

ASIDE: Fennell (1983) points out a major contradiction in the two sides' respective accounts of the engagement. For their part the Livonians count their dead in dozens, whilst the Novgorods claim thousands. WAR MOVIE: Most Western Europeans only know of Alexander Nevsky thanks to Sergei Eisenstein's (1938) movie of that name [see YouTube extract]. NOTE THE 696-YEAR TIME LAG BETWEEN THE EVENT AND THE GLORIFICATION OF THE EVENT.

 

1244  The Hermits of Saint Damiano (1): An ascetic Benedictine monk named Pietro da Morrone [Wikipedia biography] founds a remote monastic cell - the Hermitage of Saint Damiano - at Majella in the Apennine Mountains [map/image], and sets about a life of austere simplicity. The community will expand over the next 50 years to some 36 monasteries manned by some 600 monks. [=>1272] [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

1245  Rudolph IV, Count of Habsburg [<=1239] marries Gertrude of Hohenberg [= modern eastern Austria]. The combined family estates of Aargau and Hohenberg map roughly onto the ancient territory of Alemannia, one of the stem Germanic tribes of Roman times. [=>1255] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1245  The Seventh Crusade: Pope Innocent IV [Wikipedia biography] calls a crusade against Egypt but only Louis IX of France [Wikipedia biography] is free enough of other commitments to contribute. Here are the main events ...

 

·         A period of army building, 1245-1248

·         The Nile Campaign, 1249

·         The Battle of Fariskur, 1250

 

The outcome is the annihilation of the Crusader army. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1247  Upon the death of Wenceslaus I's first-born son Wladislaw, Margrave of Moravia his second son, Ottakar II [Wikipedia biography], becomes next in line to the throne. [=>1253] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1248  Automation, Control, and Artificial Intelligence [V - Early Work (Albertus Magnus)]: [Continued from 1206 (Al-Jazari)] The Dominican Friar Albertus - later Albertus Magnus [Wikipedia biography] - becomes Regent of Studies of the Dominican Order in Cologne, and sets out on a 30-year programme of research on just about every subject under the sun, including a 1250 treatise entitled "On Animals", in which he presents the results of a series of practical dissection studies. He also, so the stories go [try this one for size], spends his spare time building a thinking, speaking, automaton [sub-thread continues at 1335 (Clockwork) ...]. [THREAD = WW1 CYBERNETICS, COMPUTATION, AND FIRE CONTROL]

 

1250  The monks of Carmarthen Priory collate a number of bardic and traditional folk poems as Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin [view online (in Welsh)] [In English as "The Black Book of Carmarthen"]. The first poem is "The Dialogue of Myrddin and Taliesin", in which Merlin II and Taliesin take turns praising those killed at the Battle of Arderydd [<=573]. Here's an indicative extract ...

 

"Swiftly came Maelgwyn's men,

Warriors ready for battle, for slaughter armed.

For this battle, Arderydd [written as Arywderit], they have made

A lifetime of preparation."

 

Other contents include an englyn [= elegy] to Gereint, son of Erbin and the Englynion y Beddau [in English as "The Stanzas of the Graves"] [full Welsh text online] [full English text online], in which are recorded (poetically, rather than geographically) the burial places of 73 legendary heroes. Arthur is listed, although his resting place - the mythical Avalon - is described simply as "a mystery to the world", and so too are Bedwyr, Gwalchmai, and Rhydderch Hael. Most of the stanzas take one of two standard forms, namely "The grave(s) of X is/are <ETC.>" or "Whose is/are the grave(s) in <LOCATION>". The Stanzas will in due course be mentioned in David Jones' WW1 poem In Parenthesis [=>1937]. Another important manuscript in the Llyfr Du is the Pa Gur [Welsh = "What Man?"], an 89-line (incomplete) dialogue [full text online] between Arthur and Glewlwyd of the Mighty Grasp. It takes the form of a Who-Goes-There doorkeeper's challenge which requires Arthur to list those in his party and state their knightly credentials. Amongst those thus introduced are Manawyd, son of Llyr, who fought at the Battle of Tribruit [<=510], and the core Arthurians Uther Pendragon, Cei, Bedwyr, and Llacheu. Llyfr Du is believed to be the earliest surviving Welsh language manuscript. [THREADS = ARTHURIAN LEGEND and WW1 POETRY]

 

1252 The Khanate of the Golden Horde approve Alexander Nevsky [<=1242] as Grand Prince of Vladimir, east of Moscow. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

**********  LITHUANIA IS BORN  **********

1253 [6th April] Grand Duke Mindaugas [Wikipedia biography] is crowned King of Lithuania, unifying what has until then been a number of ethnically related smaller states. He is destined to be assassinated in 1263, whereupon Lithuania will revert constitutionally to a Grand Duchy. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1253 [23rd September] Upon the death of Wenceslaus I [<=1230] the throne of Bohemia passes to his 20-year-old son Ottakar II [<=1247]. [=>1256] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1255  A son is born to Rudolph I and Gertrude of Habsburg [<=1245], and named Albert I of Habsburg [Wikipedia biography]. [=>1273] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1256  Ottakar II [<=1253] founds a city at Královec [= Königsberg = modern Kaliningrad, Russian Federation]. [=>1260] [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1259  Chinese weapons technicians develop a flash-powder discharge weapon based on a bamboo tube. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1260  The Battle of Kressenbrun: This battle is fought between the Bohemian army under Ottakar II [<=1256] and a Hungarian army under Béla IV Árpád [Wikipedia biography] for control of the duchies of Austria and Styria. The outcome is a Bohemian victory. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1263  Edward I's Campaign in Wales: Entry to follow. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1265  A collection of Welsh language manuscripts, believed to be the work of the bard Aneurin, are collated into what is now known as Llyfr Aneirin [in English as "The Book of Aneurin"]. The collection will resurface 400 years later in the "Hengwrt Collection" [<=1650 (Robert Vaughan)], along with Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin [<=1250] and Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch [<=1350]. Llyfr Aneirin will end up at the National Museum, Cardiff, whilst the others will end up at the National Library, Aberystwyth. Only in 2010 will the collection be reunited [news report]. [THREAD = ARTHURIAN LEGEND]

 

1267  The Eighth and Ninth Crusades: Louis IX of France [<=1245] calls a Crusade to establish a Christian bridgehead in Tunisia, and thereby threaten Egypt overland from the west. Edward I (Longshanks) [<=1239] joins them the following year, mounting a simultaneous expedition to reinforce Acre [this endeavour being sometimes counted as a separate Crusade, the ninth]. Here are the main events ...

 

·         A period of army building, 1267-1270

·         The Siege of Tunis, 1270-1272

·         The Relief of Acre, 1271

 

The outcome is stalemate in both arenas of war. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

1268  The French commentator Étienne Boileau [Wikipedia biography] coins the term "artilliers" [= "craftsmen/doers of clever deeds"] to describe those who serve the guns. In Britain, the philosopher-scientist Roger Bacon [Wikipedia biography] demonstrates the use of gunpowder to make firecrackers. [THREAD = WW1 ARTILLERY]

 

1271 [1st September] After three years without agreement on who should succeed Pope Clement IV [d. 1268], the Italian churchman Cardinal Teobaldo Visconti is elected Pope Gregory X [Wikipedia biography]. [1272 (Second Council of Lyons)] [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

1272 [7th May] The Second Council of Lyons: In an attempt to resolve serious factionalism within the papacy, Pope Gregory X [<=1271] convenes the 14th ecumenical council in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. The founder of the reclusives of Saint Damiano, Pietro da Morrone [<=1244] attends the Council at least once, to prevent his order being broken up. Permission is forthcoming, and the Hermits of Saint Damione are officially approved as a branch of the Benedictine Order. They duly move their headquarters down out of the mountains slightly, to a more accessible (but still vertiginous) retreat at Sulmona [map]. [THREAD = CHURCH HISTORY]

 

1272 [16th November] Upon the death of Henry III of England [<=1239] the throne passes to his son Edward I (Longshanks) [<=1267]. [THREAD = THE SHAPING OF WW1 EUROPE]

 

 

********** Sorry, but this file's gotten too big to handle ***********

UPWARD

Author's Home Page

Project Aneurin, Scope and Aims

Master References List

 

BACKWARD IN TIME

Part 1 - (Ape)men at War, Prehistory to 730

 

FORWARD IN TIME

Part 3 - Royal Wars (With Gunpowder), 1273-1602

Part 4 - The Religious Civil Wars, 1603-1661

Part 5 - Imperial Wars, 1662-1763

Part 6 - The Georgian Wars, 1764-1815

Part 7 - Economic Wars, 1816-1869

Part 8 - The War Machines, 1870-1894

Part 9 - Insults at the Weigh-In, 1895-1914

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1914

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1915

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1916

 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1917

Part 10 - The War Itself, 1918

Part 11 - The Poetry and the Science, 1919 to date