From Spear to Flintlock: A History of War in Europe and the Middle East to the French Revolution

By Frederic J. Baumgartner | Go to book overview

Preface

The study of the history of war and the military has undergone a profound change in the 1980s. It has become for the first time a legitimate area of professional expertise for academic historians. Prior to 1960, military history was regarded primarily as the domain of a small number of historians associated largely with military academies. Their purpose was to teach future officers the strategy and tactics of past wars and battles in order to prepare them for military careers. Outside of the military academies there was a small number of historians working in military history, who were regarded by their colleagues as antiquarians. Indeed they often were antiquarians, consumed with the desire to learn the smallest details of the tactics of battle, old weaponry, and so forth.

As a result of both the Vietnam War and a strong pacifist movement among intellectuals in America and western. Europe, military history fell into even greater disfavor on college campuses in the 1960s. The very popular new social history, in which the lowest, most powerless levels of society were regarded as the most worthy subjects of study, had no place for military history. However, the changing mood of Western society and the recognition that ignoring the military was producing a higlily inaccurate account of the past has led to vast growth of interest in the subject. One real benefit of the historical trends of the previous twenty years is that the techniques of the new social history are being applied to the study of war and the military. Armies are now being studied as social institutions; the question of what has made men fight is being studied through the principles of modern psychology; and investigations into the past economic impact of the military and war are being undertaken. Military history is moving for the first time into the mainstream of the historical profession.

Far more colleges and universities are now offering courses in military history, but the production of textbooks for these courses has lagged far behind. This work is intended to be a textbook for a college-level course on military history up to the French Revolution, or for the first part of a general survey of military histon. Most such courses are placed at the

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From Spear to Flintlock: A History of War in Europe and the Middle East to the French Revolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Maps ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Greek Phalanx 7
  • 3 - The Roman Legion 25
  • 4 - The Fall of the Roman Empire 43
  • 5 - The Byzantine and the Arab Empires 55
  • 6 - The Early Middle Ages in Western Europe 67
  • 7 - Feudalism 79
  • 8 - Holy War in the Middle East 93
  • 9 - Castles and Siegecraft 111
  • 10 - War in the High Middle Ages 125
  • 11 - The End of the Medieval Military 141
  • 12 - The Fifteenth Century: Pikes and Guns 157
  • 13 - War in the Renaissance 171
  • 14 - Naval War in the Mediterranean 187
  • 15 - The Rise of the Atlantic Fleets 203
  • 16 - The Sixteenth Century 219
  • 17 - The Dutch Revolt 231
  • 18 - The Thirty Years War 245
  • 19 - The New Model Army and Navy 263
  • 20 - The Wars of Louis XIV 275
  • 21 - War in the Early Eighteenth Century 291
  • 22 - The Wars of Frederick the Great 307
  • 23 - The French Revolution 321
  • Suggested Readings 329
  • Index 337
  • About the Author *
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