Re: Bachrach vs Halsall - Early Medieval Warfare



Evidently I need to adapt some settings in my news reader to get the > markers working - I'll do that after this post. For now I'll label which comments are from Alex and which are from me.

<am05@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:e513cb39-7f57-48e3-b0dc-

Actually the Carolingian orders accompanying assemblies specifically
prohibit taking anything besides grass, firewood and water from any
land or settlements they passed through.
Alex:
a letter from Charlemagne to an abbot summoning him for military
service:

"For through whatever part of our realm your journey shall take you,
you shall not presume to take anything but fodder, food, and water. "

Food, as you see, is included as a legitimate item.
http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/sources/charlemagne6.htm

Curt:
I'd really want to check and see if that's an accurate translation. Everything else I've ever seen has wood instead of food for that restriction. Robinson was a very legit historian ( even have a book of his I picked up at a used bookstore) but he did work a hundred years ago and sometimes the peer review system back then didn't exist.


> (b) While Charlie lived a rather long life, still his reign did not
> last for centuries and big part of his reign had been spent on
> conquering the territories you are talking about.

> (c) The ruler being 'organized' is just a part of the whole equation.
> To enforce this organization from top to bottom you need a strong and
> well-developed multi-level administrative organization. IMO, Charlie
> did not have anything close to the adequate tools in his disposals
> even in the terms of the qualified beurocratists. And, even if he had
> necessary apparatus on the top, locally a lot of power was in the
> hands of the counts, nobles, bishops.

I'd recommend reading Hincmar of Rheims "On the Governance of the
Palace" except you'll need to read French or Latin - I don't believe
there's an English translation (I've looked). It's based on writings
of Adalard a contemporary of C., and his cousin. Based on what I've
read it goes into considerable detail regarding Carolingian
administration and duties. There are accounts of the assemblies
themselves which detail the decision-making process, who attended and
what kind of decisions they made, including upcoming campaigns.

Alex:
Curt, to save both of us unnecessary aggravation, when you are
referencing to something, please provide a summary of this something
or a comprehensive quotation. This is the minimal requirement of a
polite conversation.

Curt:
Sure - according to McKitterick Hincamar lists various Frankish offices and discusses their duties - ranging all the way from the Count of the Palace to Beaver Keeper. He also discusses assemblies in some detail including the decision-making process, who attended and what kind of decisions they made, including upcoming campaigns. McKitterick spends 14 pages on the De Ordine Palatii so she obviously considers it important.


Alex:
It seems that you are missing my point: administration of a royal
household and/or top level of a state apparatus is one thing and
developed top-to-bottom modern (or Roman) style administration is
another. The 1st is controlled directly by the King. The 2nd is not:
the counts, bishops and other nobles had their own administrative
jurisdictions into which the king either would not interfer at all or
interfer only to a very limited degree.

Curt:
I wouldn't call Roman adminstration anything at all resembling modern administration. Roman administration was very loose with provinces having a great deal of autonomy. The Emperor appointed a few key officials and had some others who traveled there regularly to check up on things but it was nothing like today. The Carolingian system seems to have been at least somewhat adopted from the Roman but with some obvious - and huge - differences. Here loyalty, instead of coming from an appointment was based on land. The Carolingians didn't have a standing army. The biggest common factor was officials who traveled around to parts of the kingdom representing the King's interests.

From McKitterick: "The energy put into administration and justice by the
king himself was also emulated by the officials installed in the localities, and the elaborate system of counties and missatica (administrative districts) regularly inspected by the king's agents known as missi dominici. Charlemagne's solution to the problem of royal control and government of his realm was a combination of itinerancy and stability with a complex network of officials empowered to conduct business on his behalf." Charlemagne: The Formation of a European Identity. Rosamond McKitterick ISBN: 978-0-521-71645-1 p 213




> > Nobody has a source providing reliable
> > numbers - or anything close to reliable numbers - for Carolingian army
> > sizes except in two specific cases (Poitiers and the Siege of
> > Barcelona).

> Poitiers ahd been founght by Charlie's granddad under the seriously
> different social conditions. The only thing I could find about
> Barcelona is that Charlie divided his forces into 3 units. Perhaps I
> was looking at the wrong place so the precise quote or link will be
> appreciated.

For Barcelona I've seen a figure given that estimates it would have
taken 20,000-25,000 troops to conduct a siege as devastating as that
given in the accounts, based on the size of Barcelona's walls at the
time. There are no accounts from annalists that I know of.


Alex:
Well, it would be helpful if you specify where did you see these
numbers. Then we will be able to discuss their credibility.

Curt:
If I come across it I'll let you know. I looked through a few books and didn't see it and that leaves several dozen journal articles as well as a few more books. For now, feel free to ignore the statement because I don't plan on spending the time to dig around that much more to find it though if you're interested in the argument I can let you in on that.


The US has very different social conditions than we did a year ago so
that's a meaningless point other than re-emphasizing that you don't
think we should use Carlingian Military examples to discuss the
Carolingian Military unless it supports your point.

Alex:
No, I'm saying that battle fought by Charless Martell is not necessary
indicative of the warfare related to a person who was born few decades
afte this battle. This time gap could be unimportant under the
different circumstances but here we have a combination of the facts
that can't be easily ignored:

1. At Poitiers Frankish cavalry either did not exist (your point of
view) or was in its infancy (my point of view) and the chronicles
stress the infantry 'wall' as the main tactical device.

Curt:
That is most certainly NOT my point of view, nor have I ever said anything remotely to that effect.

Alex:
2. We do know (and you yourself wrote it on one of your posts) that
during the reign of Charlemagne the counts and other nobility became
the mounted troops.

Curt:
That process had started well before C.

Alex:
In other words, there clearly was a very substantial change in the
Frankish warfare over these few decades. Even if the old system was
not totally abandoned, we can't draw the direct parallel between these
two periods.

Curt:
Of course we can. The discussion has been over how you'd be able to supply and feed troops and how they'd travel to different parts of Francia. Are you arguing that Martel's troops didn't eat? That they took a train instead of riding their horses or marching over roads?

Alex:
Nope. What means is that I provided in various posts summary of
Delbruck's arguments and if necessary I can do this again. The only
thing that I saw so far as support of B's argument is that 20M -> 6M -
100K schema.

Curt:
Well, I'm not arguing in favor of Bachrach because it's been 9 years since I've read it.

However apparently discussions of the logistical provisions the Carplingians had in place including requirements for bringing food, conditions of roads, and at least the beginning of a discussion of Carolingian administrative structures is no evidence and meaningless to you - if that's the case then why are we having this conversation?

Curt Emanuel
cemanuel@xxxxxxxx


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