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The English Warrior from the Earliest Times Till 1066 [Hardcover]

Stephen Pollington
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £16.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Anglo-Saxon Books (18 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1898281424
  • ISBN-13: 978-1898281429
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 17.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 295,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This text is not a listing of the battles and campaigns from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and other sources, but rather it seeks to get below the surface of Anglo-Saxon warriorhood to investigate the rites, social attitudes, mentality and mythology of the warfare of those times. The book is divided into three main sections which deal with warriorhood, weaponry and warfare respectively. The first covers the warriors role in early English society, his rights and duties, the important rituals of feastin, gift-giving and duelling, and the local and national military organizations. The second part discusses the various weapons and items of military equipment which are known to have been used during the period, often with a concise summary of the generally accepted typology for the many kinds of military hardware. In the final part, the social and legal nature of warfare is presented as well as details of strategy and tactics, military buildings and earthworks, and the use of supply trains. The appendices offer translations of three principal Old English military poems - the battles of Maldon, Finnsburh and Brunanburh. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Asunder Asunder! 27 Jan 2006
As much a early history of the Anglish people as it is about their warfare, this very cool text deals with the Martial History and Social conditions of Weaponry and Warfare through descriptions gleaned from Sagas, Grave Burials, Battlefield excavations etc.
It also deals with the Technical aspects of the armed and unarmed combat techniques, strategies and ramifications of and to the Anglo-Saxons tribes, with many well researched and forthright examples from Poems, stories, half-forgotten manuscripts.
Impressively it also dissects the Arms and Armour of said warriors, how they were made, how they were used and their spiritual and social significance.
The Power of the small press is yet again proven to be great, an excellent book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb analysis 26 Nov 2009
By Prospero77 VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've been familiar with Stephen Pollington mainly through his frequent appearances as Anglo-Saxon expert on numerous BBC and Sky documentaries. His technical expertise is self evident in the way the study stands out against a sea of 'general' Anglo-Saxon histories. The fine detail in the examination of the English warrior system is outstanding. In fact I found the book quite inspirational, I've just finished another chapter and went out into the crow laden countryside of south Warwickshire at dawn and could almost taste I was in the Kingdom of the Hwicce. It is essential reading to anyone interested in pre-Conquest English martial history. My only criticism, and it does require a mention, is the almost non-existent look at the English military in 1066 (the 'Conquest' era). I was expecting at least a detailed chapter. Housecarl's for instance, admittedly a Danish/Canute institution at their inception, are doffed aside in a few brief sentences on page 99. These were the most respected infantry in Europe in the 1060s and as Stenton cites, had become sufficiently anglicized since the 1010s to be considered an English vanguard by 1066; some perhaps even the grandchildren of Canutes Huskarl's that had taken English wives in the 1010s? Any study of the highly advanced tactics deployed by King Harold during the Gruffyd Ap Lewellyn campaign would have made the study truly comprehensive. However, to any Anglo-Saxonist like myself this is a minor gripe and Pollington has created an outstanding military history of the early English warrior, first rate in its micro-study of early and mid Anglo-Saxon warfare up to Maldon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original English 24 Mar 2011
By Julian
This title gives a fascinating insight to a period of history often ignored. The tendency is to believe that real history began in 1066, but this book illustrates the contribution the Anglo-Saxons made to the history of Britain. A people of skillful poetry, complex beliefs and exquisite artistry. The author points out that despite the Normans removing most of the English nobility in 1066, he retained the governmental machinery firmly in place to benefit from the newly-won land. It is important to keep alive the great wealth of Old English literature and learning so that we can understand as much as possible from the original English
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