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Escherichia coli O157 are zoonotic bacteria for which cattle are an important reservoir. Prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 in British cattle for human consumption are over 10 years old. A new baseline is needed to inform current human health risk. The British E. coli O157 in Cattle Study (BECS) ran between September 2014 and November 2015 on 270 farms across Scotland and England & Wales. This is the first study to be conducted contemporaneously across Great Britain, thus enabling comparison between Scotland and England & Wales. Herd-level prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 did not differ significantly for Scotland (0·236, 95% CI 0·166–0·325) and England & Wales (0·213, 95% CI 0·156–0·283) (P = 0·65). The majority of isolates were verocytotoxin positive. A higher proportion of samples from Scotland were in the super-shedder category, though there was no difference between the surveys in the likelihood of a positive farm having at least one super-shedder sample. E. coli O157 continues to be common in British beef cattle, reaffirming public health policy that contact with cattle and their environments is a potential infection source.
The purpose of this study is to examine the military schemes of defense that were employed in the town of Southampton during the late medieval period, 1300–1500. In many ways this is the most basic and vital of the varied roles Southampton had as a military entity. If the town was incapable of protecting its own possessions and dependencies, it would be unable to fulfill its other military roles. Moreover, if the town was unable to defend the area it was expected to, that would represent a major vulnerability in the region and ultimately the kingdom. If, on the other hand, the townsmen of Southampton were able to fulfill this responsibility of self-protection, that would not only maintain their day-to-day activities but would also give the kingdom an important defense.
The protection of Southampton was actually a multi-tiered system of various parties and individuals. The townspeople of Southampton managed their own defense in two primary methods. First they created various plans to organize themselves for conflict, second they participated in the gathering and control of information. The town also fitted into a wider defense structure in the kingdom with various groups and individuals supporting it in this endeavor. This organization was at one point the basis of English defense though many questions remain unanswered. How did these defensive schemes develop in Southampton? Were these schemes created in response to or in preparation for dangers posed to the town?
Byzantine military events in the early fourteenth century have captured the imagination of Western scholars for well over a century, thanks to the participation of Spanish mercenaries in the Catalan Company led by the flamboyant Roger de Flor. The important contribution to this military adventure made by another company of mercenaries composed entirely of Alans has been grossly underestimated when not totally ignored by both Western and Russian historians. Since the Alans were implicated in the disastrous defeat of the Byzantines in Anatolia as well as the first historical success of the Turkish leader Osman, eponymous founder of the Ottoman state, examining the specific role of these warriors may shed light on the military debacle that the Byzantines suffered at the hands of the Turks and Catalans in the first decade of the fourteenth century. Despite its importance, the military effectiveness of this company while contributing to the defense of the empire has never been examined in detail, so that the question remains: why did a Mongol-trained division of considerable military potential fail so spectacularly?
The appearance of the Alans in Byzantine service first attracted attention because scholars in Western Europe, especially Spain, have long been fascinated by the adventures of the Catalan Company, comparing its exploits in the East with those of Cortez and Pizarro in the Americas. Although composed of Aragonese, Calabrians, and Sicilians, it is usually referred to as the Catalan Company since most of the officers and men were from Catalonia.
On 18 June 1053 in the undulating open country of the Capitanata of northern Apulia, near an ancient Roman city which no longer exists, one of the most crucial battles of the Middle Ages was fought. At Civitate, a modest force of Norman adventurers faced a papal army of Germans, Italians and Lombards, perhaps twice its size. The outcome of that clash in what is today a sparsely populated region would profoundly influence the course of Mediterranean history for centuries to come. It is recorded in more than a score of contemporary sources. The most comprehensive accounts are provided by the three primary chroniclers of the Normans in the South: Amatus of Montecassino, Geoffrey Malaterra and, especially, William of Apulia. Their narratives are largely corroborated by the Swabian historian Herman of Reichenau, and the various biographers of Pope Leo IX. Yet the details of the event remain mired in myth.
Although much has been written about the engagement, what actually happened has been obfuscated by legend, poetic license and outright partisan myth-making. Even Dante Alighieri reserved a few effusive lines of verse in his renowned La divina commedia to extol the exploits of one the battle's epic heroes: “With those who felt the agony of blows by making counterstand to Robert Guiscard.” In the modern era, Sir Edward Gibbon's account of the encounter in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is rather short and somewhat impaired by the pretentious prose of the era.
In 1966, John R. Hale, following up an earlier essay, which had addressed in general the subject of warfare and public opinion during the fifteenth and sixteenth century, published an article focusing on the question of that same society's acceptance of early gunpowder weaponry. In this article, “Gunpowder and the Renaissance: An Essay in the History of Ideas,” Professor Hale concluded that although there were historical examples of societal acceptance of early guns, on the whole, the people of the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries had rejected this new military technology. In a time of scholarly protest against the war in Vietnam and a growing concern over the arms race of the Cold War, Hale found some solace in the fact that substantial literary evidence showed that the period of his research also had a large number of intelligentsia who criticized their kingdoms' weapons policies. And while, as he concludes, “by the early seventeenth century, ideals had given ground to the arguments of fact,” yielding to an increased use of and, equally, a growing complacency towards, gunpowder weapons, that period of intellectual fervor known as the Renaissance had at least held out a disdain for the killing power of the new weapons.
“We learn from history that we do not learn from history”: this was the title of an address by Captain B. H. Liddell Hart on 3 May 1938 to the Manchester Luncheon Club at the Midland hotel. A major point he made, based on twenty years' of study of the records of the First World War, was:
pure documentary history seems to me akin to mythology. Many were the gaps to be found in official archives – tokens of documents destroyed later to conceal what might impair a commander's reputation … a general could safeguard the lives of his men as well as his own reputation by writing orders based on a situation that did not exist, for an attack that nobody carried out … I have wondered how the war went on at all when I have found how much of their time the commanders spent in preparing its history.
Liddell Hart's conclusions were based on abundant data which contradicted official documentation. He interviewed people who participated in battles, read the memoirs of politicians and army officers, compared archives, etc. All these are utterly irrelevant while dealing with medieval battles. In these cases, the only relevant part of Liddell Hart's assertion is that documentation is not reliable. In other words, fishing out facts from medieval records is almost impossible. Therefore, having independent data which may shed some light on events that took place during a battle might be an important contribution to its reconstruction and understanding.
Sir John Radcliffe of Attleborough, Norfolk, had an admirable career as a soldier and administrator in the service of the Lancastrian kings of England. His assignments took him into all the dominions of the crown: Ireland, Wales, Normandy, and Gascony. While Sir John's life is of considerable interest in its own right, his career both exemplifies as well as personalizes the English military experience of his lifetime.
Sir John came from a landed family with Lancashire roots. He was the second son of James Radcliffe (d. 1410) and his wife Joan, daughter of Sir John Tempest of Bracewell, Yorkshire. Nothing has come to light on the early years of Sir John, but his career suggests that he was given a firm grounding in military, financial, and administrative matters. The first sure record of John Radcliffe is in a military context helping his king consolidate his hold upon the throne. Many years after the event, in 1429, it was noted that while an esquire (probably in the service of his father, James), John had participated in the battle of Shrewsbury on 21 July 1403. In that battle the first king of the Lancastrian dynasty, Henry IV, defeated a rebel force led by Henry Percy, known as Hotspur, the son of Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland. Six days after the battle, James Radcliffe was one of the men commissioned to gather forces from Lancashire and bring them to the king at Pontefract in Yorkshire.
[“I giochi militari e l'addestramento delle fanterie,” in Aldo A. Settia, Comuni in guerra. Armi ed eserciti nell'Italia delle città (Bologna, 1994), pp. 29–52]
Translated by Valerie Eads
The “Little Battles”
Italian communal armies were, as is well known, largely made up of infantry. Admittedly, the strength of these latter would have resulted more from numbers and determination than from combat experience; still, the term “infantry” properly means “a group of soldiers with a certain level of training and discipline,” two qualities that result only from some form of instruction. And yet, if we wish to develop at least a rough understanding of the military obligations of the mass of the population, of the armament the people had to provide for themselves, and of how it (the population) was mobilized to train for war – with the exception of some late provisions concerning marksmen – the sources as a rule are simply silent concerning training.
One can certainly maintain that economic reasons would have prevented regular exercises for the communal infantry in times of peace, but it is difficult to believe that all training would have taken place on the battlefield or in the course of the socio-political conflicts between milites and pedites. There is, however, a third possibility offered by certain war games – a sort of plebeian rival to the aristocratic tournaments – practiced specifically by those classes that furnished the infantry for the city militia.
The comprehensive breadth and scope of the Journal are to the fore in this issue, which ranges widely both geographically and chronologically. The subjects of analysis are equally diverse, with three contributions dealing with the Crusades, four with matters related to the Hundred Years War, two with high-medieval Italy, one with the Alans in the Byzantine-Catalan conflict of the early fourteenth century, and one with the wars of the Duke of Cephalonia in Western Greece and Albania at the turn of the fifteenth century. Topics include military careers, tactics and strategy, the organization of urban defenses, close analysis of chronicle sources, and cultural approaches to the acceptance of gunpowder artillery and the prevalence of military "games" in Italian cities. Contributors: T.S. Asbridge, A. Compton Reeves, Kelly DeVries, Michael Ehrlich, Scott Jessee, Donald Kagay, Savvas Kyriakidis, Randall Moffett, Aldo A. Settia, Charles D. Stanton, Georgios Theotokis, L.J. Andrew Villalon, Anatoly Isaenko.
In the wake of the First Crusaders' conquest of Jerusalem on 15 July 1099, four Latin Christian (or “Frankish”) settlements were established in the Near East – the so-called “crusader states” of the kingdom of Jerusalem, the principality of Antioch and the counties of Edessa and Tripoli. For the next two centuries, western European settlers and crusaders sought to defend these isolated polities – “the lands beyond the sea”, or “Outremer”, as they were known collectively in the Middle Ages – struggling to preserve Latin Christendom's fragile foot-hold in the Holy Land. Ultimately they failed. Frankish fortunes waned after the first flush of success and, as the Muslim powers of the Near East began to claw back territory, the power of the crusader states diminished. Outremer's dismemberment was gradual, but seemingly inexorable. The loss of Edessa to the Turkish warlord Zangi in 1144 led to the eradication of the first crusader state. The Ayyubid Sultan Saladin captured Jerusalem in 1187 and, barring a brief period of recovery, the Holy City remained in the hands of Islam until the twentieth century. With the advent of the more bellicose Mamluk sultanate in the mid-thirteenth century, the pace of Muslim reconquest accelerated: Antioch fell in 1268; Tripoli in 1289; and finally Acre in 1291. With that, the last vestiges of Latin rule on the Levantine mainland disappeared.
On 12 August 1099 the Latin knights and footsoldiers of the First Crusade left Jerusalem to meet the Fatimid army of the grand vizier Al-Afdal which, at that time, had invaded Judaea and had encamped close to the coastal city of Ascalon. The army was estimated to be around twenty thousand strong, including both infantry and cavalry. This would be the first of several major expeditions by the Egyptians launched against the Crusader states in Palestine, all entering through Ascalon and its coastal plain. The Latin leaders were first alerted about a possible large enemy force approaching from the south on 9 August and on the next day the Crusader armies began their forty-kilometer march south to the city of Ascalon where the enemy was last reported to have camped. According to Raymond of Aguilers, one of the main chroniclers of the First Crusade and an eye witness of the events, the Latins numbered 1,200 knights and no more than 9,000 footsoldiers and “they marched in nine ranks, three to the rear, three to the front, and three in the middle so that attack would be met in three ranks with the middle one always available to bolster the others.”
In this paper I will examine a number of theories about the origin of this particular marching formation, based on the manuals attributed to the Byzantine Emperors Maurice (582–602), Leo VI (886–912) and Nicephoros Phocas (963–69) and several anonymous Byzantine military treatises of the sixth and tenth centuries.
This article will examine the nature of the military operations conducted by the armies of the duke of Cephalonia, Carlo I Tocco (c. 1375–1429). The Toccos were originally from Benevento and served the Angevin rulers of Sicily for many years. In 1330/31 Carlo's grandfather, Guglielmo, was appointed captain of Corfu. In 1357, Carlo's father, also Guglielmo, was appointed by Robert of Taranto count of Cephalonia and Zakynthos and soon added Vonitsa (Bonditsa) and Leukas to his domains. Guglielmo Tocco died in 1375/76 while his sons, Carlo and Leonardo were still infants. Their mother, Maddalena Buondelmonti, who was acting as their regent, had their titles confirmed by Queen Joanna of Naples. When he took over the reins of his principality, Carlo I Tocco exploited the extreme political fragmentation, which ensued after the collapse of the Serbian empire of Stefan Dušan (1331–55) and the dramatic territorial reduction of the Byzantine empire, to expand his principality in Western Greece, in Albania and in the Peloponnese. His military exploits are the subject of an anonymous chronicle known as the Chronicle of the Toccos which covers the period 1375–1422 and its compilation was completed in 1429. It is likely that this anonymous work was commissioned by Carlo I Tocco himself. Nevertheless, in spite of being a work of propaganda, the chronicle of the family of the Toccos is an excellent source of material on the warfare between the small political entities that were established in Western Greece and Albania in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.
Over the centuries, a great deal of poetry has been devoted to warfare and its practitioners. While the majority has tended to celebrate the heroism of men involved in conflict, a not insignificant part has condemned the carnage and futility, a condemnation that reached its height during the First World War in the works of such writers as Wilfred Owens, Siegfried Sassoon, and Robert Service.
During the Middle Ages, martial poetry followed both strains. Much of it emphasized the glory of combat, serving as the supreme tool for recalling honor and assigning shame earned on the battlefield. This was true of the most widely-recited works of the period, the great epics and chanson de geste, including Beowulf, the Song of Roland, the Tales of King Arthur, and the Poema del mio Cid, to name only the most prominent. All centered on human conflict and extolled the heroism of their protagonists. Poets, like the great troubadour, Bertran de Born (c. 1140–c. 1215), could look on war as a spectacle complete with “proud pavilions high … squadrons of armored chivalry … trumpets and tabors, ensigns and pennants.” To Born's mind, participants were expected to spill blood and engage in butchery in their pursuit of “death or victory.”
The present multi-centre randomised weight-loss trial evaluated the efficacy of a low-intensity 12-week online behavioural modification programme, with or without a fortified diet beverage using a 2 × 2 factorial design. A total of 572 participants were randomised to: (1) an online basic lifestyle information (OBLI) intervention, consisting of one online informational class about tips for weight management; (2) an online behavioural weight management (OBWM) intervention, entailing 12 weekly online classes focused on weight-loss behaviour modification; (3) an OBLI intervention plus a fortified diet cola beverage (BEV) containing green tea extract (total catechin 167 mg), soluble fibre dextrin (10 g) and caffeine (100 mg) (OBLI+BEV); (4) OBWM+BEV. Assessments included height, weight, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived body composition, and waist circumference (WC). Attrition was 15·7 %. Intention-to-treat (ITT) models demonstrated a main effect for type of Internet programme, with those assigned to the OBWM condition losing significantly more weight (F= 7·174; P= 0·008) and fat mass (F= 4·491; P= 0·035) than those assigned to the OBLI condition. However, there was no significant main effect for the OBWM condition on body fat percentage (F= 2·906; P= 0·089) or WC (F= 3·351; P= 0·068), and no significant main effect for beverage use or significant interactions between factors in ITT models. A 12-week, low-intensity behaviourally based online programme produced a greater weight loss than a basic information website. The addition of a fortified diet beverage had no additional impact.