Reporter: “Are Africans fundamentally more violent than the rest of the world?”
Ouologuem: “I would like to think that Africa excels in everything. But, unfortunately, after the Hundred Years War, Stalin, the Inquisition, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, et cetera, I am afraid that we poor Blacks, we underdeveloped Africans, lag behind the rest of the world.”
Medieval Warfare, Towton Style
Nasty, brutish and not that short, an article in the year end edition of The Economist reveals some gruesome new information about medieval warfare. It’s a fascinating read, and not just for the gory details of how one of the soldiers at the Battle of Towton was hacked to death in March 29th, 1461.
For example, the old trope that medieval folk were stunted is dismissed: “The average medieval man stood 1.71 metres tall – just four centimeters shorter than a modern Englishman.” It seems the drop in stature came later, under Victorian conditions.
War could be an appalling slaughter: “The stress of this kind of fighting was immense: a few of the Towton skeletons had been clenching their teeth together so tightly that bits of them had splintered off.”
The study of the Towton battlefield has scholars wondering whether the massed battles of old truly lasted for many hours, as has long been believed. It also raises questions as to why, with such deadly weapons, soldiers took the time to so thoroughly hack up their already slain enemies.
If you have even passing interest in medieval warfare check out this article.