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Commands & Colors: Medieval» Forums » General

Subject: Background literature rss

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Giulio
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Dear fellow gamers, I think that you, like me, want to come prepared to the appointment with C&C:M. I'm curious, which books do you suggest as background reading? This is my little library on medieval warfare:

"European Medieval Tactics", Vol. I and II by D. Nicolle from Osprey. I've read all book I and parts of book II. Osprey standard: not particularly deep but very good for a general view.

"Battles of the Medieval World 1000-1500" by a number of different authors. This does not cover the material of the base box, but it's an excellent book. I've raad it from cover to cover, at least twice.

"The Medieval Warrior" by M. Dougherty. This title contains many details on weapons and equipment. It's a nice reference if one wants to check the use and tactics of different troops. Plenty of illustrations.

"Medieval Warfare" by H. Nicholson. That's definitely a scholarly work and its nature is sometimes apparent in the style of the prose. All in all, it's not difficult to read. It covers subjects, like the evolution of the laws and custom regulating the military life, that is largely absent in the other books. I appreciate the fact that it provides precise details about the different sources of information.

I also own the two volumes "Italian Medieval Armies" by Osprey but I did not read them yet. I'm open to any suggestion for other interesting books.
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Miguel
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The book that hooked me in to the period was a novel, Count Belisarius by Robert Graves.


EDIT/ And the book that made me preorder this...
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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franchi wrote:
The book that hooked me in to the period was a novel, Count Belisarius by Robert Graves.


of I, Claudius fame! Cool. Hadn't heard of it, just added Belisarius to my reading wishlist cool
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Mark McG
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Medieval Sourcebooks - Byzantium section
http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/Halsall/sbook1c.asp

The Strategikon of Maurice would be a core text, though mostly it is about choosing when to fight.
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/strategikon/strategikon....

Byzantine Military manuals
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_military_manuals

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John McD
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I'd recommend Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies. review here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/oct/09/lezard-half-fo...]Vanished Kingdoms

It's not about war per se but it does have excellent sections on a whole load European countries that came and went, and why. Including Byzantium. It's not just Byzantium covered but hopefully many of the other countries covered will get into C&C in due course!

So more of a really rich background reader, why were they fighting and what were they fighting for?

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Jason Kendelhardt
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I found "Lost to the West" by Lars Brownworth to be a very good, very readable history of the byzantine empire, obviously it covers the scope of cC:M but doesn't focus on many battles. Good for getting a grip on the background context though.
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Miguel
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jason10mm wrote:
I found "Lost to the West" by Lars Brownworth to be a very good, very readable history of the byzantine empire, obviously it covers the scope of cC:M but doesn't focus on many battles.

Thanks, I just saw a cheap second hand copy on amazon and ordered it!
 
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Mark McG
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Looking at the other protagonist

Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War
by Kaveh Farrokh
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/737156.Shadows_in_the_Des...

Seems to raise a few hackles amongst the reviewers, which means it needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but I found it informative, and refreshing to read accounts from the Eastern side (as it were).

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david Gorman
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Gibbons decline and Fall of the Roman Empire goes to 1453 and covers all the battles in the base game.
I'm only on volume 3 but its already beyond where c&c ancients expansion 4 ended
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Pete Pariseau
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Lots of good things recommended so far, but if I had to list just one it would be:

https://www.amazon.com/War-Middle-Ages-Philippe-Contamine/dp...

Focused more on the West, but the game will get there, and the overall discussion of the development of everything from armor to logistics to theory over the course of the period is well worth it.
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Thomas Heimann
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Lars also has a few good podcasts on the subject:

http://12byzantinerulers.com/

http://normancenturies.com/
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Jon Snow
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goo

Belisarius: The Last Roman General by Ian Hughes (2009)
ISBN 978 1 47382 297 9.
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Mark McG
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The Byzantine Wars by John Haldon



covering a rather large chunk of history in a fairly slim book, but some good stuff, including the Battle of Dara.

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Miguel
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chas59 wrote:
Belisarius: The Last Roman General by Ian Hughes (2009)
ISBN 978 1 47382 297 9.

I've read mixed reviews on this one, do you recommend it over other suggestions in this page?
 
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Jon Snow
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I'm not familiar with them, but my Ancients oriented pal recommended it and I enjoyed it.
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BrentS
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Late to the party but I've been reading around the crusades (which has nothing to do with this game.....yet) and was scanning back issues of Medieval Warfare magazine for relevant articles.

Relevant to the base game, I noticed there's a recent issue dedicated to The Byzantine-Sassanid wars......can be purchased here in print or digitally (my personal preference for cost, storage and speed of access).

Brent.
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Don Whitney
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I've found Figthing Techniques of the Medieval World to be a decent source. It has coverage back to 500 AD and spans to 1500, so some chapters are applicable. A few of the chapters are weak, but none that would effect material that's applicable to C&C:M.
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Giulio
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goshublue wrote:
Relevant to the base game, I noticed there's a recent issue dedicated to The Byzantine-Sassanid wars......can be purchased here in print or digitally (my personal preference for cost, storage and speed of access).


Excellent! I very much liked the special issue and I also decided to subscribe the journal
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BrentS
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g1ul10 wrote:
goshublue wrote:
Relevant to the base game, I noticed there's a recent issue dedicated to The Byzantine-Sassanid wars......can be purchased here in print or digitally (my personal preference for cost, storage and speed of access).


Excellent! I very much liked the special issue and I also decided to subscribe the journal ;)


I subscribe to their Ancient History and Ancient Warfare magazines already, which is enough for me, but it's nice to be able to access single digital back issues of Medieval Warfare when a topic of interest crops up....the Crusades for me at the moment, after having listened to the Great Courses lecture series on the topic.

Plenty of other Great Courses series on medieval history and warfare. I've listened to the excellent one on the Vikings, and relevant to this base game there is a course on the history of Byzantium (which I've not yet listened to) and another on Late Antiquity, which crosses into this period and is particularly excellent.

Brent.
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