Writing the Military History of Pre-Crusade Europe brings together fourteen articles by eminent historians David S. Bachrach and Bernard S. Bachrach.

Crucial to the writing of medieval military history is a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the available source materials. Just as important is a broad conception of the range of sources which scholars can draw upon to ask and answer questions about the organization and conduct of war. The studies collected in this volume provide insights regarding many of the most important narrative works from pre-Crusade Europe, with a particular emphasis on the ways in which they can be used to write military history, as well as the pitfalls facing historians who read these texts transparently without regard for the authors’ various parti pris and limitations. In addition to their treatment of narrative works, several of the studies in this volume highlight the importance of treating historiographical texts within the broader range of source materials that illuminate the conduct and organization of war in pre-crusade Europe, particularly material sources developed through excavations, as well as contemporary images, most prominently the Bayeux Tapestry.

The book will appeal to scholars and students of medieval history, as well as those interested in military history. (CS1097).

chapter |3 pages


part Part 1|231 pages

Narrative Works

chapter 1|12 pages

Gregory of Tours as a Military Historian

chapter 3|35 pages

Saxon Military Revolution, 912–973?

Myth and reality

chapter 4|17 pages

Early Ottonian Warfare

The perspective from Corvey

chapter 5|34 pages

Memory, Epistemology, and the Writing of Early Medieval Military History

The example of Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg (1009–1018)

chapter 8|27 pages

Bruno of Merseburg’s Saxon War

A study in eleventh-century German military history

chapter 9|25 pages

Feudalism, Romanticism, and Source Criticism

Writing the military history of Salian Germany1

chapter 10|13 pages

Ralph of Caen as a Military Historian

part Part 2|121 pages

Material Sources and Images

chapter 11|24 pages

Landscapes of Defense

At the nexus of archaeology and history in the early Middle Ages

chapter 12|40 pages

The Costs of Fortress Construction in Tenth-Century Germany

The case of Hildagsburg

chapter 13|26 pages

Some Observations on the Bayeux Tapestry*