Friday, March 30, 2007

My current research interest is interpreting and contextualizing Charny's yet-untranslated questions on the laws of arms related to war (I've translated those related to jousts and tournaments in my book with the title, Jousts and Tournaments (see sidebar)).

The problem with contextualizing the war questions is finding actual legistlation or commentary on the rights and responsibilities of "men at arms" in the late Middle Ages. I want to do more than say, "this is what Keen (in his 1965 book Laws of War in the Late Middle Ages) said," again and again. Great book, but after 40 years I ought to be able to add something.

Today I finished reading Terry Jones' Chaucer's Knight (I'll comment on that later), and found that he's quoted repeatedly from a 19th century book by Ercole Ricotti, Storia delle Compagnie di Ventura in Italia, a massive work that includes a number of regulations of mercenary companies in the pay of various cities.

Hooray! An academic library in Canada has this book and Inter-Library Loan has already got my request.

Image:
The arms of the Visconti family, important players in the wars of Italy. This came from a site called Paradox Place, which has many big pictures of medieval and Renaissance Italian art.

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