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  • #79577
    Paskal
    Spectator

    But as the shield shapes are different, the designs that are on it too …

    Now, yes it would be interesting to know what the scribes thought of Anglo-Saxon shields around 1066 …

    Well, the shields are not a good track, so here’s another nice difference between Saxons and Scandinavian …

    The vikings made considerable use of the bow both on land at sea, not the saxons of Harold, not only was it used to a considerable extent by the bondi (paticulary in Norway, and in Sweden where the word ‘bow’ could even be used to mean a warrior) but also by nobles and kings, who took great pride in their personal accuracy.

    Viking bows were mainly of elm, though yew was also used.

    They were almost longbows in their proportions but the lenght of excavated arrows confirms that they were only drawn to the chest.

    In the Leidang bows were provided as part of the ship’s equipment; the Gulathinglaw and Frostathinglaw say a bow and 24 arrows per thwart, to be supplied by the 2 oarsmen. This implies that up to 50 per cent of a Viking national army might in fact be bow-armed.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Paskal.
    #79580
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    a Viking national army

     

    No such thing, old sock.

    "I'm not signing that"

    #79596
    Paskal
    Spectator

    You’re right, ‘old sock’ (LOL – ‘old sock’, I guess it’s your new User Name?), In the eleventh century when a king rules a whole country, there is no National Army – LOL.

    Paskal

    #79598
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I’ve consulted a map of Europe in the eleventh century, and I’m buggered if I can find a country called ‘Viking’ on it. If you’d like to help me out?

    As has been alluded elsewhere, by someone who knows quite a bit more about these things than you or I, ‘Viking’ is more a job description than a nationality, race or ethnicity. I’m quite prepared to accept Ruiragh’s word.

    "I'm not signing that"

    #79605
    Paskal
    Spectator

    @‘old sock’:

    You do it on purpose, you make the fool, you know what we mean when we say’ Viking ‘…

    In addition you are still off topic, but it is a habit with you.

    #79621
    Ruarigh
    Participant

     

    Thinking about Scandinavian or even Anglo-Saxon armies in this period as ‘national armies’ strikes me as wrong. For starters, the words ‘national army’ imply a measure of organisation that simply did not exist. These armies in the 11th century were much more like medieval armies with each local lord bringing his retinue to join the army that he supported. This could result in Scandinavians fighting on both sides, as at Clontarf in 1014. It’s also part of why I don’t think that there would have been specific national characteristics evident in each army. Another reason for thinking this is that areas had their own subcultures and fashions. Scandinavia was not a monolithic entity at this time, and even breaking it down into Norway, Sweden and Denmark is too coarse a division, aside from the fact that it suggests that they existed as nation states in the modern sense of the term.

    Now, yes it would be interesting to know what the scribes thought of Anglo-Saxon shields around 1066

    It’s easily done, if you have the time. Many manuscripts are available online now, e.g. on the British Library website or linked from DMMapp. All it would take is a search for Anglo-Saxon manuscripts from the 11th century, then trawling through them to see which have images of shields.

    The vikings made considerable use of the bow both on land at sea, not the saxons of Harold

    I’m curious why you think that the Anglo-Saxons did not use bows as much. What’s the evidence for that? Or is it just that there is a lack of evidence for their use? What little evidence I am aware of suggests that they used the same type of bows as the Vikings, at least.

    Finally, ‘Viking’ is a problematic word. It was a job back in the Viking Age, something you did. It is used much more sloppily these days as an ethnic identifier. I don’t intend to open that can of worms right now, but you can always read these pieces about it if you care enough:

    http://norseandviking.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/vikings-and-vikingar.html

    https://theconversation.com/what-does-the-word-viking-really-mean-75647

    #Viking is not a verb!

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://envirocitizen.eu
    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/

    #79634
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Thank you Ruarigh. As ever you give a rebuttal to sloppy (or overly romantic) thinking far more eloquently and eruditely than I can. 🙂

    "I'm not signing that"

    #79640
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Ruarigh you owe the conversation, you are off topic, I tell you and try to show you a further difference between the Norwegian and Saxon army in 1066 by explaining to you that he had a lot more archers among the “Vikings” and you say me  a discour  about the use of the word “Viking”, sorry but that’s what they’re still called and will be called long – it’s Norwegian, Danish and Swedish – even if you do not like it as well as others and you are off topic, I speak of differences between these army and well for example as in my post of 21/12/2017 at 17:03 ???

    And you, you go on the use of modern terms that everyone understands and admits even if they are not appropriate (something we do not care about) as “viking”, “national” and that we will use even if it displeases you, that for more facilities ……

    Well, I bet you that in 1066, the Norwegians had many more archers than the Saxons for the reasons explained in my post of 21/12/2017 at 17:03 !

    Here is a nice difference of organization and certainly of tactics between Vikings -LOL- and Saxons in 1066 and there must be others …

    I hope you know that the Saxons have always had the reputation of having very few archers it’s not a legend I hope ?

    #79649
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    I speak of differences between these army and well for example as in my post of 21/12/2017 at 17:03 ??? …… Well, I bet you that in 1066, the Norwegians had many more archers than the Saxons for the reasons explained in my post of 21/12/2017 at 17:03 !  … I hope you know that the Saxons have always had the reputation of having very few archers it’s not a legend I hope ?

    Paskal, you did not give any reasons why the Anglo-Saxons had fewer bows than the Vikings. You mentioned the medieval leidang laws from Norway, but did not discuss the evidence for Anglo-Saxon bow use. That is why I asked you why you thought the Anglo-Saxons did not use bows much. Just because a group of people have a reputation for doing something does not mean that this was actually the case. So, what evidence do you have for the Anglo-Saxons using fewer bows?

    And you, you go on the use of modern terms that everyone understands and admits even if they are not appropriate (something we do not care about) as “viking”, “national” and that we will use even if it displeases you, that for more facilities

    Terminology is important. It shapes how we approach research, and it shapes the way people think about the past.

    For your current project, is it reasonable to refer to a national army? Think about who was actually in the Norwegian army of 1066. How many of those people were Norwegian? How many were Danish, Swedish, or Frisian adventurers? How many Anglo-Saxons did Tostig have with him? One manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle talks about the Norwegian army as Norwegians and Flemings. This addition dates from c.1200 but shows that the medieval scribe thought not in terms of a national army, but in terms of an army that included several nationalities. This is important, because each of these groups might have a different appearance, and so the uniformity of appearance and differences between the armies might be much less than you seem to be looking for.

    I appreciate that you are trying to find differences to make each army have a slightly different character, but I am not sure they are really present in a form that could be represented on a wargames table although beards vs moustaches would be one way, as we discussed earlier. If you can identify the make-up of each army in terms of armoured/unarmoured troops, and types of weapons, I am sure there were differences, but there is minimal surviving evidence for that. Instead you’ll have to go with your best guess based on what evidence does survive.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://envirocitizen.eu
    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/

    #79684
    Paskal
    Spectator

    And what evidence do you have for the Anglo-Saxons using not fewer bows ?

    I have always heard that, and you too, I suppose, are not that the case ?

    Who decreed the contrary and when ?

    How many Danish, Swedish or other adventurers in the Norwegian army in 1066  ?

    How many Anglo-Saxons does Tostig have with him ?

    Impossible to know how much there was and especially if there were …

    It is sure that with the kind of very intelligent answer that I just made:

    “Impossible to know how many there were and especially if there were …”

    almost all discussions of a distant past on topics little known in fact no longer interest …

    The terminology is important ok It shapes our approach to research and shapes the way people think about the past, but when you are passionate…

    But you have to have the time, it’s easier and faster to use the terms that I use and what matters is that everyone understands me, does not it ?

    In conclusion with you as there is little or no information, so we do not know, so we can not imagine so we say nothing and finally all the armies that share the War of succession of England were identical on all plans (Normans, Saxons, Norvegians and Danish .. But do you agree that the Danes are involved?) …

    If these army are the same they have no interest, yet if they all have the same types of troops, the proportions must be different …

    And why would they be?

    Good question…

    If these army are the same they have no interest, yet if they all have the same types of troops, the proportions must be different …

    My best estimate based on the evidence that survives?

    Precisely because I do not have any information that I ask the question on a forum, there are great connoisseurs for all periods, but connoisseurs who do not know do me lose my time …

    If these army are the same they have no interest, yet if they all have the same types of troops, the proportions must be different … And why would they be? Good question…

    My best estimate based on the evidence that survives? Precisely because I do not have any information that I ask the question on a forum, there are great connoisseurs for all periods, but connoisseurs who do not know do me lose my time …

    When you do not know, you have to try to get an idea of it …

    Another idea…

    “The sources indicate that when they were present, the viking cavalrymen would be in a body behind and separate from the infantry.”

    What about in 1066 ?

    The Norwegians and Saxons do not really have any cavalry in 1066?

    #79697
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Precisely because I do not have any information that I ask the question on a forum, there are great connoisseurs for all periods, but connoisseurs who do not know do me lose my time

    You have had answers from a lot of people who wanted to help you to understand the period, both here and elsewhere. Some of those answers have to be that we do not have the evidence to support any firm conclusions about many matters that you are seeking firm conclusions on. It is frustrating, as I know full well. However, that is the nature of the historical evidence. There simply are no definite answers and we have to interpret the evidence as best we can. If you feel that I have wasted your time, then I am sorry.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://envirocitizen.eu
    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/

    #79700
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Me too but here is another differences, I hope it is valid for 1066:

    Vikings evidently used cavalry on occasion, by Danes in operations agains the Wends in the later 11th century ect …

    In battle the viking army has a shield – wall, usually in one large phalanx apparently about 5 men deep at least (this is the kind of interesting information you need to post on this topic …)

    At Hasting the Saxons are about 10 men deep … (this is the kind of interesting information that must be posted on this topic …)

    The Vikings’ hand variation on the simple shield-wall was the svynfylking, a wedge-shaped training that could be used singly or in multiple joined at the base, the whole line resembling a zig-zag.Sword and axemen formed the front rank , then spearmen, and behind them archers, slingers and javelinmen, who are normally open to engagement with missiles to weaken their opponents’ shield-wall …

    In a viking circular shield – wald the archers stayed in the open center …

    Will this still be a Scandinavian feature compared to the Saxons …

    Viking commanders seem to have been protected by a separate shield of the bodyguards (Huskarls elite?)…

    This is the kind of interesting information that must be posted on this topic, because the saxons certainly never used this kind of formations, that’s one of the differences I’m trying to make you admit …

    In the trade when one finds figurines of vikings it is generally tidy for the IX e and beginning X e siecles no? The Viking clothes for 1066 had to be different (for the unarmored warriors) no?

    #79721
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Depth would have varied depending upon number of men in the army and the frontage needing to be covered. This is true of both armies. If you know the frontage to be covered and the number of men in the army, you can calculate the approximate depth of the formation.

    No one knows exactly what form svínfylking took. The word occurs only twice as a noun and five times as a verb in Old Norse literature. None of these explain the formation. One of these examples describes the Anglo-Saxon army at Hastings forming svínfylking.  Saxo explains it but is not reliable as a source and may be trying to give the Danes of the past links to the classical past. It certainly sounds like he is describing a Roman army.

    Yes, Viking commanders would have stood near their banners with their best troops (huskarls) round them. Anglo-Saxon commanders would have done the same.

    What do you mean by a ‘Viking circular shield-wall’?

    Also, where are you getting your numbers for these formations from?

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://envirocitizen.eu
    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/

    #79733
    Paskal
    Spectator

    The depth would have varied depending on the number of men in the army and the facade to be covered, which is logical, unstoppable argument, so again, nothing else … Unlike some ancient armies. ..

    Svínfylking may never have existed, much too complicated for the type of army of the time …

    A ‘Viking circular shield-wall’ is a cicular and hollow shield-wall, but all the armies of northwestern Europe at that time had to use it (and even the Scots in the 14th century … ), it is not specifically ‘viking’ …

    I get these figures for these formations in the Ian Heath, Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066, Wargames Research Group …

    Now I’m going to use the bayeux tapestry for Norman, Breton, French and Saxon (that’s a pretty good source from you?) But for the Norwegians and Danes – let’s call them that – I do not know how to do it ?

    Very important, It should be known also in what types of units the huscarls and huskarls were organized and were deployed on a battlefield …

    I guess do not trust the WRG or modern books …

    What should you use then?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Paskal.
    #79750
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Yes, complicated formations would have been difficult for armies of this period to take up, because they did not have the training or command and control systems to do so.

    Snorri Sturluson, writing 200 years after the battle, describes the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge forming the circular shieldwall. There is no reason why it could not have happened though, and it certainly has the advantage of having no flanks. With that in mind, it would be logical to have the missile troops in the centre. This circular shieldwall would not be the testudo of popular culture though.

    Using the Bayeux tapestry as your source for the Normans, Bretons, French and Saxons is as good a primary source as you are going to get.

    Ian Heath’s book is a decent starting point. The problem is that there are no good books on Viking Age warfare. Paddy Griffiths makes some very good points in The Viking Art of War and it is well worth reading, but the book is weakened by relying on translations rather than working with primary sources. Hjardar and Vike’s Vikinger i krig/Vikings at war is the most recent book published on the topic. It has good sections on material culture, but uses the written sources poorly, and it perpetuates the myth of the Viking testudo. Gareth Williams’ Viking Warrior vs Anglo-Saxon Warrior: England 865–1066 should be good. I have not read it but I know Gareth and his work, and am more inclined to trust him. When I get a copy, I shall let you know what I think of it. Gareth has been promising a book on Viking Age warfare for about ten years now, if not more. The fact that he has not yet published it shows the difficulty of working out what went on in this period. Between these three, you should be able to work out how to organise your Scandinavian armies.

    The WRG books are fine as far as they go, but they are also products of their time. Research has moved on since they were published. The same applies to the older Osprey books. They still provide background and the illustrations are useful.

    Scandinavian huskarls were the household troops of a lord, so they would have been deployed near the lord’s banner as his bodyguard. Beyond that, it is tough to know how they were organised, or even if they were organised. Presumably archers would have been separated out and the rest of the troops formed into a shieldwall, but they weren’t in discrete units. Instead, as you wrote before, they would all be grouped into a larger battle line.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://envirocitizen.eu
    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/

    #79760
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Yes, let’s talk about that, if you do not mind …

    1 / The huscarls / huskarls occupy the forefront of the shield – wall or are scattered in small units – belonging to such-and-such – throughout the shield -wall (as at the Battle of Hastings?)?
    2 / The more an army is unknown, the more it interests me, please guide me to know a minimun the operations of the Danish army during this war of succession of England …
    3 / At Stamford Bridge, the September 25, 1066, the Norwegian king probably has less than 6,000 men, relaxed, having left some of their equipment in the boats (Five thousand men guard the ships: a small number on the shore north of the Derwent River and the rest on the south shore.);;; Ruarigh please, where to find unarmed Norvegian figures for 1066? Knowing that the Scandinavian figurines for the classic period (IXth and Xth centuries) may not be valid for 1066 …
    4 / Where to find a 25/30 mm figurine of King Harald of Norway ?
    5 / Give me your personal idea about the armies of the War of succession of England type of troops by type of troops, that I know when to stop buying figures …
    6 / Something I love in 1066,  is that there are no more round shields in the Saxons and the fyrdsmen wear kite-shields shorter than those of the professionals (why shorter by the way?).
    7 / Except the huscarls, who still wear mail coats in the Saxon ranks?

    #79768
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    6 / Something I love in 1066, is that there are no more round shields in the Saxons and the fyrdsmen wear kite-shields shorter than those of the professionals (why shorter by the way?).

    I thought you liked the Bayeux tapestry? That shows ‘Saxons’ with round shields.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Guy Farrish.
    #79775
    Paskal
    Spectator

    I do not remember, I took care of this case this afternoon, I realize to realize that the fydsmen kit-shields were not smaller than those of the huscarls (I was convinced otherwise).

    After Ian Heath,this Shield type has arrived from c.1000 in England.

    On the Bayeux tapestry, in the saxon army, there are only five convex round shields and these are  only huscarls that hold them (What a horror !) and all the fyrdmen with shields have kit-shields (youpiiiiiiiiiii!)

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Paskal.
    #79781
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    ‘ 6 / Something I love in 1066, is that there are no more round shields in the Saxons …’

    ‘On the Bayeux tapestry, in the saxon army, there are only five convex round shields’

    Can you please reconcile this contradiction.

    #79785
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Guy,in my first post I was talking about memory, but then I spent some time studying the tapestry and I realized that I was wrong, but it’s normal after quite some time without looking at it, I did not really remember more than that … (But only fools are never wrong)

    On the other hand their round shields are convex contrary to those of the Scandinavians, which normally had to be flat …

    Interesting finding, because even when the Saxon huscarls have round shields, they are different from those of Scandinavian, still a small interesting difference …

    On the other hand there is also a huscarl who carries a shield that has a bizarre shape …

    On the other hand one thing that I had not forgotten is that the fyrdsmen did not wear round shields …

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Paskal.
    #80923
    Paskal
    Spectator

    I have the Harald Hardrada figurine(for saga), it’s a good start for 1066 …

    You know others for him and the other historical characters of the 1066 War of succession in England ?

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