Barbarian Europe 6: Justinian’s Reconquest (535-554 AD)

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It was one of the greatest deeds in the history of the Roman Empire – the glorious but brief restoration of the Western Roman provinces, the capture of Rome, and the series of month-long sieges in order to take back major Italian cities. From 535 to 554 AD, the Byzantines and Ostrogoths fought furiously over the peninsula. By the last year of the war, the Byzantines are able to conquer the majority of Italy, but their territorial holdings will soon come under attack by the cruel Langobards later in the century.

The Battle of Hastings

On Saturday the 14th of October, 1066, Harold Godwinson assembled his foot soldiers upon a ridge at Senlac Hill, not far from the village of Hastings. His men had marched South rapidly following the successful Battle of Stamford Bridge, and were now preparing to face William the “Bastard”, Duke of Normandy, who had invaded the coast of England.

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An Outstanding Victory – Battle of Gaugamela, 331BC

With no defeats in his campaign, Alexander was prepared to turn his army and march to Babylon, where he hoped he could take over the city and be crowned King of the Persian Empire. But before he could do so, Darius III sent a letter asking for his wife and children to be given back. Additionally, he attempted to form a treaty with the Macedonian king, allowing him to control half of the Persian lands whilst Darius controlled the other half. Unfortunately for the Persians, Alexander did not want shared leadership. He wanted it all, and absolutely all of it.

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The Battle Of Agincourt, 1415

Following his ascending to the throne in 1413, Henry V planned to assert his dominance over the French and possibly take the throne. As they had been engaging in smaller scales skirmishes on the English coast as well as supporting their enemies – including Scotland – Henry decided to transport his army of around 12,000 men from Southampton to Normandy (Northern France).

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How to build a medieval castle

Castles were impressive structures by nearly all definitions and a key aspect of medieval society. They served as miniature administrative offices, defensive positions and markers of realms.

How they were built is truly astonishing, and required huge amounts of manual, human labour without necessarily advanced measuring equipment or machinery.

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