Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 30th, 2018, 02:10 PM   #1

Kirialax's Avatar
Megas Domestikos
Joined: Dec 2009
From: Blachernai
Posts: 4,416
Blog Entries: 3
Evacuating civilians in wartime

A number of Byzantine military manuals (De Obsidione Toleranda; Constantine VII, Text B; De Velitatione) emphasize how a responsibility of the general is to remove the rural civilian population and their moveable goods from a war zone should conflict arise. This is backed up in historical sources, such as Albert of Aachen mentioning the evacuation of civilians in Bulgaria during the First Crusade, or the future Leo III evacuating the population of Amorion during the Arab march to Constantinople in A.D. 717. Is there any evidence for a similar impetus to get the rural population away from hostilities in the medieval west?
Kirialax is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 31st, 2018, 05:48 AM   #2

AlpinLuke's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Lago Maggiore, Italy
Posts: 22,619
Blog Entries: 19

Interesting question. I have never pondered the matter with attention. At first sight, considering the attitude of the Germanic populations who invaded and conquered Western Europe, it should be difficult that similar habits [or rules] existed here around.

Anyway, in common conflicts [when there wasn't the necessity to destroy the resources of the enemy, so killing also the farmers ... who were precious], in such a feudal society, the armies faced one each other on a battlefield and the common people [the ones who didn't take part to the battle] had left in peace. To cultivate and produce you need farmers, servants ...

So to evacuate the population would have been a waste of time and resources.

Some cases when this was a necessity [when a city underwent a siege, for example] presented obvious problems: if the city is besieged, it's not that easy to evacuate its population.
AlpinLuke is offline  
Old February 1st, 2018, 01:59 AM   #3

johnincornwall's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Cornwall
Posts: 6,626

What is a war zone? If your 'zone' is being invaded the universal theme in the 'medieval west' is to get your people inside the castle.
johnincornwall is offline  
Old February 6th, 2018, 11:24 PM   #4
Joined: Jul 2014
From: Slovakia
Posts: 26

In medieval Hungary which somewhere in the middle between east and west, during Mongol invasion there are mentions of people hiding in near forest avoiding ravaging mongol hordes. I do not think it was organized tho. Probably result of rational thinking of commoners. Stone castles which were only place that stayed untouched were very scarce back then. Actually, most stone castles were built after mongol raid in 1241-1242 sicne they proved to be useful.
Falat is offline  

  Historum > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History

civilians, evacuating, wartime

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Did armies exploited their own civilians to get supplies from during wartime? VikingGirlTBird War and Military History 11 June 11th, 2015 09:00 AM
WarTime in Japan during WW2 hoihoi War and Military History 8 December 23rd, 2013 06:33 AM
Atrocities during wartime Virgil War and Military History 28 November 19th, 2012 05:05 PM
Self Sacrifice In Wartime Earl_of_Rochester War and Military History 10 May 12th, 2012 05:50 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.