Armies of the Normans 911–1194 (Hardback)
Organization, Equipment and Tactics
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.
This guide to the Late Roman Army focusses on the dramatic and crucial period that started with the accession of Diocletian and ended with the definitive fall of the Western Roman Empire. This was a turbulent period during which the Roman state and its armed forces changed. Gabriele Esposito challenges many stereotypes and misconceptions regarding the Late Roman Army; for example, he argues that the Roman military machine remained a reliable and efficient one until the very last decades of the Western Empire. The author describes the organization, structure, equipment, weapons, combat history…By Gabriele Esposito
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