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Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 6:18:52 PM   
Zorch

 

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https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/oct/14/battle-of-hastings-rage-again-re-enactors-celebrate-anniversary

'Battle of Hastings to rage again as re-enactors celebrate anniversary'

Armies of enthusiasts led by King Harold and Duke William prepare for two days of warfare to mark 950 years since the battle






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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 6:21:54 PM   
Orm


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Thank you for sharing.

Are they going to celebrate the Battle of Stamford Bridge as well?

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 6:23:55 PM   
zakblood


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1. The Battle of Hastings didn't take place in Hastings

It actually took place in a field seven miles from Hastings. That field has now become a town (appropriately named Battle.) History has recorded the event as happening at what is now Battle Abbey in the East Sussex town (although some dispute the precise location).

2. Harold was probably not killed by an arrow to the eye

About 10,000 men are believed to have died in the Battle of Hastings - King Harold included, abruptly ending the 43-year-old's brief nine-month reign.

Thanks to the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the Norman invasion, people have long believed he was slain by an arrow to the eye, and hacked to death by William's men. In reality, he probably died of wounds inflicted on the battlefield.

3. Harold did put up a decent fight

The Battle of Hastings may have been won decisively by William the Conqueror, but the English put up a good fight, despite their exhaustion and their opponents having better cavalry. In fact, the battle lasted most of the day – unusually long for a medieval battle.

The Saxons (about 6,000 soldiers) fought long and hard on high ground using a traditional shield wall – a solid defensive wall of shields – which the Normans (about 7,000 troops) were unable to break through for many hours.

Not bad for an army that had just marched 250 miles from Stamford Bridge near York, to the south coast after their epic victory against Viking warrior Harald Hardrada of Norway and Harold's rebel brother Tostig.

4. The Normans won by pretending to run away

The Norman invaders gained the winning advantage by tricking the Saxons and feigning retreat. Thinking the pressure was off, some Saxons broke rank from their protective shield wall, allowing other Norman soldiers to swoop in and attack.

5. It was a minstrel that killed the first Saxon

Ivo Taillefer (William’s minstrel whose name means 'hewer of iron') killed the first Saxon in the battle.

The Carmen de Hastingae Proelio ('Song of the Battle of Hastings' ) says that a Saxon soldier broke ranks, and Taillefer killed him, while later sources say that Taillefer charged into the enemy shield-wall, where he killed several Saxons before he was overwhelmed.

6. Halley’s Comet was an omen

The Bayeux Tapestry shows the audience witnessing Harold’s coronation watching Halley's Comet, which is depicted in the sky as an omen of Harold's fate.

7. No one knows where Harold's body is

According to early sources, William denied Harold’s mother his body, though she offered its weight in gold. However later sources say Harold's body was mutilated and identified by his mistress and buried at Waltham Abbey, Essex, which he had re-founded.

You can still see his alleged grave at the English Heritage-run site. But the exact location of Harold’s body is disputed to this day.

8. We all know more French than we think

After William's victory, French became the language of his court. The English we speak today is the product of a lot of intermingling with French words, making our language a lovely hybrid. For example, words in English for prepared foods took on their French equivalents. Saxon serfs bred the livestock, so cows, sheep, and pigs were slaughtered and served up to their Norman masters as beef, mutton, and pork respectively.

So, without the Norman Conquest, Shakespeare would not have been Shakespeare as we know it, because his language would have resembled 16th-century German or Dutch.

9. William was known as 'the Bastard'

No one called him William the Conqueror at the time. That didn't come until 200-odd years later. After the battle, he was called William 'the great'. However, his enemies referred to him as William 'the Bastard'. (He was born out of wedlock to his father, Robert I, Duke of Normandy's mistress).

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 6:34:45 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: zakblood
After William's victory, French became the language of his court. The English we speak today is the product of a lot of intermingling with French words


Not only the court but the elites in general. IIRC that's what Chaucer wrote. Between 40% and 60% of English vocabulary is of Latin origin (via the French).

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 6:38:34 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Thank you for sharing.

Are they going to celebrate the Battle of Stamford Bridge as well?


You mean the sacking of Mourinho?

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 6:46:59 PM   
wings7


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Thanks Zorch! How awesome is that? Are you attending or participating?

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 6:48:16 PM   
wings7


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Thanks Zak for all the historical information...you're the man!

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 6:48:27 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus


quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Thank you for sharing.

Are they going to celebrate the Battle of Stamford Bridge as well?


You mean the sacking of Mourinho?



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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 7:05:11 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wings7

Thanks Zorch! How awesome is that? Are you attending or participating?

In spirit only, alas.

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/14/2016 10:02:17 PM   
MakeeLearn


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As a surname descendant of Harold ..... no civil comment.

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/15/2016 4:22:25 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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Re #4 on that list, there is dispute about whether the retreat by part of William's forces was planned or not. It appears just as likely that it was a real retreat but that the Saxons who broke ranks left themselves vulnerable to a counter-attack. And apparently the tactic was used more than once, with some historians thinking it was unplanned the first time and then planned the second and possibly third time. Of course like everything involving that battle except the final result, much is uncertain. So one could take either side on the retreat issue and make a good argument.

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/18/2016 12:03:18 AM   
Gilmer


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As an amateur Anglophile, I knew about the court speaking French. I think it was said Richard Lionheart ONLY spoke French. Of course, he spent much of his early years in France partly due to not getting along with his father, Henry II. Also, I think he was the Duke of Aquitaine so that probably had a lot to do with it as well.

If any of this is wrong, I am claiming someone else told me!

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/18/2016 12:56:28 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Edward I was the first English King, post Hastings, that could speak English (and it was still a second language for him).

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/18/2016 4:50:48 PM   
Toby42


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I'm still not sure if the Norman Conquest was a good thing for Britain?

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/6/2017 1:16:04 PM   
rico21

 

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As a Norman, I always wondered.
And I'm waiting for a real game about the conquest of England by my fathers.

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/6/2017 7:16:18 PM   
Zorch

 

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Why isn't it called the William Conquest, seeing as he was the prime mover?

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/6/2017 8:01:45 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Why isn't it called the William Conquest, seeing as he was the prime mover?
warspite1

Well it was carried out by the Normans - who were actually more Viking than French - and not William on his own......


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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/6/2017 9:00:42 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Why isn't it called the William Conquest, seeing as he was the prime mover?
warspite1

Well it was carried out by the Normans - who were actually more Viking than French - and not William on his own......


Didn't William have a lot of non-Normans in his army? If memory serves, only the nobles/men at arms were Norman; the rest were a mix of mercenaries, peasants, and adventurers, etc. Without William the Bastard it would not have happened.

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/6/2017 9:44:02 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Why isn't it called the William Conquest, seeing as he was the prime mover?
warspite1

Well it was carried out by the Normans - who were actually more Viking than French - and not William on his own......


Didn't William have a lot of non-Normans in his army? If memory serves, only the nobles/men at arms were Norman; the rest were a mix of mercenaries, peasants, and adventurers, etc. Without William the Bastard it would not have happened.
warspite1

Not as far as I know - but then this is not exactly my specialist subject - so you may well be right.


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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/6/2017 10:32:55 PM   
nicwb

 

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quote:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Why isn't it called the William Conquest, seeing as he was the prime mover?
warspite1

Well it was carried out by the Normans - who were actually more Viking than French - and not William on his own......


Didn't William have a lot of non-Normans in his army? If memory serves, only the nobles/men at arms were Norman; the rest were a mix of mercenaries, peasants, and adventurers, etc. Without William the Bastard it would not have happened.
warspite1

Not as far as I know - but then this is not exactly my specialist subject - so you may well be right.


It is correct. William's force included troops from Flanders and Brittany.

Zakblood's list could also include the following oddities - Harold's forces were almost entirely infantry and archers; the myth about Harold being killed by an arrow to the eye is mostly based on where the words recording his death are placed on the Bayeaux tapestry, above a Saxon figure with an arrow protruding from the head and to top it off there is a strong body of opinion that the Bayeaux tapestry wasn't made in Bayeaux.

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 3:32:03 AM   
Fred98


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As a wargamer, what would any of you have done differently at the battle?
.

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 6:08:48 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: nicwb

quote:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Why isn't it called the William Conquest, seeing as he was the prime mover?
warspite1

Well it was carried out by the Normans - who were actually more Viking than French - and not William on his own......


Didn't William have a lot of non-Normans in his army? If memory serves, only the nobles/men at arms were Norman; the rest were a mix of mercenaries, peasants, and adventurers, etc. Without William the Bastard it would not have happened.
warspite1

Not as far as I know - but then this is not exactly my specialist subject - so you may well be right.


It is correct. William's force included troops from Flanders and Brittany.

warspite1

Yes, but further to Zorch's point that wouldn't stop it being called a Norman invasion as the Normans were in charge, provided the commander and the key units of the army.

Barbarossa is the German invasion of the Soviet Union - not the Axis invasion. Napoleon attacked Russia with the French Army (although in practice of course it was full of Italians, Poles and all sorts of nationalities).

I'm sure that 1066 is sometimes referred to as William's invasion of England in the same way as one may say Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union or Napoleon's invasion of Russia.

But this was a Norman invasion, the effects of which were the imposition of Norman rule which of course meant imposition of much of their culture, language, customs etc upon Anglo-Saxon England.

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 10/7/2017 6:09:46 AM >


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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 7:19:28 AM   
rico21

 

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The strength of the vikings is the infantry (egg.Harold army).
The strength of the Normans is the cavalry copied on the model of the Franks,
Who as invaders have nothing to envy the Normans.

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 9:16:53 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Toby42

I'm still not sure if the Norman Conquest was a good thing for Britain?
warspite1

Any particular reason for that thought process? Specifically what do you believe the continued Anglo-Saxon rule would have achieved that Norman rule didn't - or what did Norman rule do that was to England's (Britain's) detriment and that wouldn't have happened under the Anglo-Saxons?

I would be interested to hear your thinking here.


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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 9:45:01 AM   
rico21

 

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Not me!

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 10:29:04 AM   
RedLancer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: H Gilmer

As an amateur Anglophile, I knew about the court speaking French. I think it was said Richard Lionheart ONLY spoke French. Of course, he spent much of his early years in France partly due to not getting along with his father, Henry II. Also, I think he was the Duke of Aquitaine so that probably had a lot to do with it as well.

If any of this is wrong, I am claiming someone else told me!


That about sums it correctly. It always amuses me that the three lions on the England football shirt are actually three French heraldic leopards representing Normandy, Aquitaine and Hainault.


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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 11:18:16 AM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Toby42

I'm still not sure if the Norman Conquest was a good thing for Britain?
warspite1

Any particular reason for that thought process? Specifically what do you believe the continued Anglo-Saxon rule would have achieved that Norman rule didn't - or what did Norman rule do that was to England's (Britain's) detriment and that wouldn't have happened under the Anglo-Saxons?

I would be interested to hear your thinking here.


If William had lost Hastings, there would have been subsequent invasions, by William or others. The Anglo-Saxons were viewed as weak and ripe for conquest. Sooner or later, they would have been defeated and subjugated. Life was nasty, brutish, and short back then.

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RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 11:54:08 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Toby42

I'm still not sure if the Norman Conquest was a good thing for Britain?
warspite1

Any particular reason for that thought process? Specifically what do you believe the continued Anglo-Saxon rule would have achieved that Norman rule didn't - or what did Norman rule do that was to England's (Britain's) detriment and that wouldn't have happened under the Anglo-Saxons?

I would be interested to hear your thinking here.


If William had lost Hastings, there would have been subsequent invasions, by William or others. The Anglo-Saxons were viewed as weak and ripe for conquest. Sooner or later, they would have been defeated and subjugated. Life was nasty, brutish, and short back then.

warspite1

Maybe. Harold saw off one claimant at Stamford Bridge and, if the accounts of Hastings are correct, could have beaten off a second. William, having won, faced no further attempts (as far as I know). So why would Harold necessarily have?


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Post #: 28
RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 12:35:29 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Toby42

I'm still not sure if the Norman Conquest was a good thing for Britain?
warspite1

Any particular reason for that thought process? Specifically what do you believe the continued Anglo-Saxon rule would have achieved that Norman rule didn't - or what did Norman rule do that was to England's (Britain's) detriment and that wouldn't have happened under the Anglo-Saxons?

I would be interested to hear your thinking here.


If William had lost Hastings, there would have been subsequent invasions, by William or others. The Anglo-Saxons were viewed as weak and ripe for conquest. Sooner or later, they would have been defeated and subjugated. Life was nasty, brutish, and short back then.

warspite1

Maybe. Harold saw off one claimant at Stamford Bridge and, if the accounts of Hastings are correct, could have beaten off a second. William, having won, faced no further attempts (as far as I know). So why would Harold necessarily have?


William, assuming he survived defeat at Hastings, would have come back. And so would the Danes - Cnut IV of Denmark threatened to invade in the 1080s. English history from 800 AD on is full of foreign invasions. This is what happens to islands without a strong navy.

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Post #: 29
RE: Hastings 2016 - 10/7/2017 12:50:24 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Toby42

I'm still not sure if the Norman Conquest was a good thing for Britain?
warspite1

Any particular reason for that thought process? Specifically what do you believe the continued Anglo-Saxon rule would have achieved that Norman rule didn't - or what did Norman rule do that was to England's (Britain's) detriment and that wouldn't have happened under the Anglo-Saxons?

I would be interested to hear your thinking here.


If William had lost Hastings, there would have been subsequent invasions, by William or others. The Anglo-Saxons were viewed as weak and ripe for conquest. Sooner or later, they would have been defeated and subjugated. Life was nasty, brutish, and short back then.

warspite1

Maybe. Harold saw off one claimant at Stamford Bridge and, if the accounts of Hastings are correct, could have beaten off a second. William, having won, faced no further attempts (as far as I know). So why would Harold necessarily have?


William, assuming he survived defeat at Hastings, would have come back. And so would the Danes - Cnut IV of Denmark threatened to invade in the 1080s. English history from 800 AD on is full of foreign invasions. This is what happens to islands without a strong navy.
warspite1

Maybe, had he lost, William would have been granted safe passage back to France - but I wouldn't put any money on it

So one of the key points behind post 24 was to try and understand what the Normans gave England that Harold - his position greatly strengthened through two key victories - didn't have. So you say there were subsequent invasions. Okay, but why was William able to defeat those and what is it that makes you believe Harold couldn't have done so? Is this a lack of military technology? If so what? Economics? If so how did William improve the English economic position?

Do you have any books on this subject to recommend old chap?




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