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


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Old November 11th, 2015, 05:30 AM   #31

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As far as I know genetics can't tell the difference between Anglo-Saxons and Danes in the Danelaw.
Only Norwegians who settled the north west can be singled out.

There were enough Norse settlers to change the language substantially and leave plenty of place names.
Domesday for Lincolnshire is full of Norse personal names.

Last edited by Haesten; November 11th, 2015 at 07:08 AM.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 09:19 AM   #32

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Originally Posted by Adalraade View Post
One ''elite'' warrior taking out 2-3 experienced fighters is highly unlikely, unless it's one after one. it's not the skill of the warrior that wins the battle, it's the warriors ability to work together. 10 berserkers vs 10 regular but disciplined warriors would be an equal math.

Thinking a huskarl would be so surperior to one of Sigurdssons hirdmen is complete bollocks, Sigurdsssons men would be just as if not a lot more experienced fighters, and under his leadership they would be furthermore sufficient.
I more or less agree, that is why I posed the question in the first place. If the Royal Saxon Huscarls had this reputation, then what was it based on?

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Old November 11th, 2015, 08:57 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Haesten View Post
As far as I know genetics can't tell the difference between Anglo-Saxons and Danes in the Danelaw.
Only Norwegians who settled the north west can be singled out.

There were enough Norse settlers to change the language substantially and leave plenty of place names.
Domesday for Lincolnshire is full of Norse personal names.
We recall historically "the great heathen army" as a Danish invasion. But most likely had good numbers of Norse and even a few Swede's (as well as A-S desperadoes) amongst the rank and file and those that colonized after it.
West Derby and the upper Wirral are unusual. These seem to have been the closely knit colonies of Hiberno-Norse refugees that defensively packed themselves together from secondary migrations. There retaining their own culture such as the two Tingvoll's. Not forgetting the Isle of Man was close by. Were as in general Danelaw they simply took over the institutions they found and settled down next to AS neighbors mingling their culture.

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The Crisis of the Third Century army can not be compared to the 2nd century army in Britain, by the end of the 3rd century, legions could be no more than 1,000 strong.
Not exactly the case IMO. The legion were still raised in similar fashion to earlier times. The original 1,000 strong units seem to have been brigaded cohorts of the most fit and ready soldiers. Where as other cohorts were "green", understrength or even entire cohorts of invalids given secondary roles. There's no evidence that the Roman army "disappeared" men who had become unfit for 1st rate service and simply found other roles for them while they continued to serve their term.

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"A tenth-century law (VI Æthelstan 6) notes that a horse could be valued at up to half a pound (120 pence), an ox at a mancus (30 pence), a cow at 20 pence, a pig at 10 pence, and a sheep at a shilling (here perhaps 4 pence)."
Well a typical period cow tended to be a scrawny beast of 180 kg and was priced at 12 pence. A fatted cow was a different order and might be valued at 3x the price of a scrawny beast. An ox was particularly valuable trained animal of great strength. A nice big sheep might be worth 12 pence. Obviously if one was paying a fine, one tried to do so with the least quality of your herd. Fitting the monetary equation that bad coin drive out good.

Last edited by Mr Higson; November 11th, 2015 at 09:19 PM.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 10:30 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by cunedda99 View Post
I more or less agree, that is why I posed the question in the first place. If the Royal Saxon Huscarls had this reputation, then what was it based on?

Cunedda
Being a large force of well trained men. With the money for the upkeep of such a institution. With the money to attract the most qualified where ever they came from. What did the Norwegian crown have to offer compared to this? Other than poverty and a dubious reputation? Come to sunny England sounds good!
Who gets the best soccer players? Those with the biggest purses!

And Mr Sigurdsson was an over sized blow hard who had let his belly grow too large. He had lost the edge and gone Marlon Brando! Mr Godwinson stitched him up real good as he said he would, with 7 feet of English earth or more if he be as tall as men say he is!
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Old November 11th, 2015, 11:56 PM   #35

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Being a large force of well trained men. With the money for the upkeep of such a institution. With the money to attract the most qualified where ever they came from. What did the Norwegian crown have to offer compared to this? Other than poverty and a dubious reputation? Come to sunny England sounds good!
Who gets the best soccer players? Those with the biggest purses!

And Mr Sigurdsson was an over sized blow hard who had let his belly grow too large. He had lost the edge and gone Marlon Brando! Mr Godwinson stitched him up real good as he said he would, with 7 feet of English earth or more if he be as tall as men say he is!

Your insult offends me, my family and Nation. his pride got him killed, and that alone. he was not fat, and not burried on English soil, but in Nidaros. scite!
His reputation far overcame that of Godwinsson, whom also was a great man. he never lost a battle under his banner, and he had been in battles all his life. his wealth, reputation, allies and foes alike were legendary!
with your lack of knowledge on the subject you have no right to criticize.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 12:15 AM   #36

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Originally Posted by Mr Higson View Post
Being a large force of well trained men. With the money for the upkeep of such a institution. With the money to attract the most qualified where ever they came from. What did the Norwegian crown have to offer compared to this? Other than poverty and a dubious reputation? Come to sunny England sounds good!
Who gets the best soccer players? Those with the biggest purses!

And Mr Sigurdsson was an over sized blow hard who had let his belly grow too large. He had lost the edge and gone Marlon Brando! Mr Godwinson stitched him up real good as he said he would, with 7 feet of English earth or more if he be as tall as men say he is!

So, you are saying that the Saxon Royal Huscarls much vaunted reputation was not based on their exploits but based on their potential to attract the best European Warriors! Well, I can certainly go along with that explanation.

As for your thoughts on Hardrada, I have to disagree. He may have been past his prime with his best years behind him, but he was a master tactician and led an army that was second to none. His final victory at Gate Fulford was a master class of using terrain and men to best advantage. Even his final defeat at Stamford Bridge was in large part due to circumstance rather than 'on the day bravery'!

If he is at fault for anything, it is perhaps not having 'eyes and ears' inside York following Fulford, that could have warned him of the Southern Saxon Armies approach. Had he been forewarned of this, Stamford Bridge could have turned out very differently!

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Old November 12th, 2015, 01:05 AM   #37

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Originally Posted by Mr Higson View Post
We recall historically "the great heathen army" as a Danish invasion. But most likely had good numbers of Norse and even a few Swede's (as well as A-S desperadoes) amongst the rank and file and those that colonized after it.
West Derby and the upper Wirral are unusual. These seem to have been the closely knit colonies of Hiberno-Norse refugees that defensively packed themselves together from secondary migrations. There retaining their own culture such as the two Tingvoll's. Not forgetting the Isle of Man was close by. Were as in general Danelaw they simply took over the institutions they found and settled down next to AS neighbors mingling their culture.

Not exactly the case IMO. The legion were still raised in similar fashion to earlier times. The original 1,000 strong units seem to have been brigaded cohorts of the most fit and ready soldiers. Where as other cohorts were "green", understrength or even entire cohorts of invalids given secondary roles. There's no evidence that the Roman army "disappeared" men who had become unfit for 1st rate service and simply found other roles for them while they continued to serve their term.



Well a typical period cow tended to be a scrawny beast of 180 kg and was priced at 12 pence. A fatted cow was a different order and might be valued at 3x the price of a scrawny beast. An ox was particularly valuable trained animal of great strength. A nice big sheep might be worth 12 pence. Obviously if one was paying a fine, one tried to do so with the least quality of your herd. Fitting the monetary equation that bad coin drive out good.
This was the legion of the Principate.

1 Legion = 9 normal cohorts (9 x 480 Men) + 1 "First Cohort" of 5 centuries (but each century at the strength of a maniple, so 5 x 160 Men) + 120 Horsemen = 5240 Men

28 to 30 legions in the whole Empire, 3 stationed in Britain and one in Egypt.

Each Contubernium of 8 men had two servants and two pack mules making the legion circa 5,500 strong.

The garrison of Principate Britain at 50,000 is very sound, the economy of circa 4 million also supported the Classis Britannica and contributed to the legions stationed on the German border.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 01:19 AM   #38

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Originally Posted by cunedda99 View Post
So, you are saying that the Saxon Royal Huscarls much vaunted reputation was not based on their exploits but based on their potential to attract the best European Warriors! Well, I can certainly go along with that explanation.

As for your thoughts on Hardrada, I have to disagree. He may have been past his prime with his best years behind him, but he was a master tactician and led an army that was second to none. His final victory at Gate Fulford was a master class of using terrain and men to best advantage. Even his final defeat at Stamford Bridge was in large part due to circumstance rather than 'on the day bravery'!

If he is at fault for anything, it is perhaps not having 'eyes and ears' inside York following Fulford, that could have warned him of the Southern Saxon Armies approach. Had he been forewarned of this, Stamford Bridge could have turned out very differently!

Cunedda
There was no bridge at Stamford, it was a stone ford, the Berserk incident must have been on a Roman bridge about 3 miles away.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 02:14 AM   #39

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There was no bridge at Stamford, it was a stone ford, the Berserk incident must have been on a Roman bridge about 3 miles away.
LOL! Well I am hardly in a position to prove or disprove that, but I use the name 'Stamford Bridge' because that is how we all recognise it today!

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Old November 12th, 2015, 06:01 AM   #40
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Well there is always the funny side!

1066 ? The battle of Stamford bridge

Click the image to open in full size.

Quote:
This was the legion of the Principate.

1 Legion = 9 normal cohorts (9 x 480 Men) + 1 "First Cohort" of 5 centuries (but each century at the strength of a maniple, so 5 x 160 Men) + 120 Horsemen = 5240 Men

28 to 30 legions in the whole Empire, 3 stationed in Britain and one in Egypt.

Each Contubernium of 8 men had two servants and two pack mules making the legion circa 5,500 strong.

The garrison of Principate Britain at 50,000 is very sound, the economy of circa 4 million also supported the Classis Britannica and contributed to the legions stationed on the German border.
The story goes they used 4 legions to conquer the place. Then there was the auxiliaries. But units seldom remain at full strength. In the longer run 20,000 was the garrison strength of Britain. Full time soldiers cost money.

I'm 55 years old, I've spent 35 years reviewing these questions. There is the "ideal" and there is the "reality". Reality is always an accident waiting to happen! If things always fitted the ideal, then no nation could ever fall!
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