A society organized for war : the Iberian municipal militias in the central Middle Ages, 1000-1284 /
James F. Powers.
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1988.
xii, 365 p., [27] p. of plates : ill., maps.
0520056442 (alk. paper)
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Berkeley : University of California Press, c1988.
0520056442 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 311-357) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-12:
In this heavily researched study, Powers (Holy Cross) examines the critical role that Spanish and Portuguese town militias played in the medieval crusades against Muslim Iberia. These forces defended conquered territory and conducted offensive operations, making them vital to the Reconquest. The author begins by surveying the militias' development and military role, from their origins in the 11th century through 1284, emphasizing the towns' military importance on the frontier with Islamic Spain. Powers continues by examining the militias' institutional aspects, including organization, relation to civil structures, terms of service, weapons, equipment, offensive and defensive techniques, economic incentives for soldiers, and legal sanctions against military misbehavior. Powers is especially interested in how Spanish frontier society, urban development, royal actions, and the militias influenced each other. This important work concludes by characterizing the militias as having helped create the aggressive mentality needed for the age of discovery. Contains maps and photographs. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -P. L. De Rosa, Salem State College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1988
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