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Armies of the Normans 911–1194 (Hardback)

Organization, Equipment and Tactics

Military > Weaponry

By Gabriele Esposito
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Armies of the Past
Pages: 168
Illustrations: 90 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399047401
Published: 5th February 2024


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The Norman story began in 911, when a frightened French king (Charles III ‘the Simple’) gave land on the Channel coast to the Viking leader Rollo in return for adopting Christianity and helping repel other Viking marauders. Rollo and his fellow Norsemen (hence ‘Normandy’ and ‘Normans’) adopted all the trappings of feudalism, evolving from pagan ship-borne raiders to archetypal Christian knights and builders of castles. However, they seem to have lost none of their ferocity and adventuring spirit. As well as Duke William’s famous cross-Channel conquest, Norman forces (often mercenaries) conquered territories in Spain, Sicily, Malta, Italy and Albania and formed the hard core of the early Crusades. Bohemond captured Antioch from the Turks and set up a principality that endured almost two centuries.

Gabriele Esposito discusses the armies of the Normans in all these theatres, incorporating not only the Norman knights but the various feudal levies, local auxiliaries and mercenary contingents that fought with them. Having outlined the major battles and campaigns, he details their equipment, weapons and tactics. The accessible text is supported by numerous colour photographs of replica costume, weapons and equipment in use.

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About Gabriele Esposito

Gabriele Esposito is an Italian researcher and a long-time student of military history, whose interests and expertise range widely over various periods. Most of his recent studies have been dedicated to the reconstruction of the organization, functioning and tactics of the armies across history; in each of his publications there is always some relevant space dedicated to the 'material culture'of the various armies taken into account and - more in particular - to the empirical science known as 'uniformology'. Gabriele is the author of numerous books on armies and uniforms and is a regular contributor to many specialized magazines in Italy, France, Netherlands and UK. His many previous works include Armies of Early Colonial North America 1607-1713Armies of the Late Roman Empire 284-476Armies of the Hellenistic States 323 BC to AD30Armies of Celtic Europe 700 BC-AD 106Armies of Ancient Greece, circa 500 BC to 338 BC; and The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great 359-323 BC, all published by Pen & Sword since 2018. He lives in southern Italy, near the ancient battlefield of Beneventum.

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