Battle of Manzikert
The Battle of Manzikert was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Empire on 26 August 1071 near Manzikert, theme of Iberia. The decisive defeat of the Byzantine army and the capture of the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes played an important role in undermining Byzantine authority in Anatolia and Armenia, allowed for the gradual Turkification of Anatolia. Many of the Turks, who had been, during the 11th century, travelling westward, saw the victory at Manzikert as an entrance to Asia Minor; the brunt of the battle was borne by the professional soldiers from the eastern and western tagmata, as large numbers of mercenaries and Anatolian levies fled early and survived the battle. The fallout from Manzikert was disastrous for the Byzantines, resulting in civil conflicts and an economic crisis that weakened the Byzantine Empire's ability to adequately defend its borders; this led to the mass movement of Turks into central Anatolia—by 1080, an area of 78,000 square kilometres had been gained by the Seljuk Turks.
It took three decades of internal strife before Alexius I restored stability to Byzantium. Historian Thomas Asbridge says: "In 1071, the Seljuqs crushed an imperial army at the Battle of Manzikert, though historians no longer consider this to have been an utterly cataclysmic reversal for the Greeks, it still was a stinging setback." It was the first time in history. Although the Byzantine Empire had remained strong and powerful in the Middle Ages, it began to decline under the reign of the militarily incompetent Constantine IX and again under Constantine X—a brief two-year period of reform under Isaac I delayed the decay of the Byzantine army. About 1053 Constantine IX disbanded what the historian John Skylitzes calls the "Iberian Army", which consisted of 50,000 men and it was turned as a contemporary Droungarios of the Watch. Twoother knowledgeable contemporaries, the former officials Michael Attaleiates and Kekaumenos, agree with Skylitzes that by demobilizing these soldiers Constantine did catastrophic harm to the Empire's eastern defenses.
Constantine made a truce with the Seljuks that lasted until 1064, but a large Seljuk army under Alp Arslan attacked the theme of Iberia and took Ani. In 1068 Romanos IV took power, after some speedy military reforms entrusted Manuel Comnenus to lead an expedition against the Seljuks. Manuel captured Hierapolis Bambyce in Syria, next thwarted a Turkish attack against Iconium with a counter-attack, but was defeated and captured by the Seljuks under the Sultan Alp Arslan. Despite his success Alp Arslan was quick to seek a peace treaty with the Byzantines, signed in 1069. In February 1071, Romanos sent envoys to Alp Arslan to renew the 1069 treaty, keen to secure his northern flank against attack, Alp Arslan agreed. Abandoning the siege of Edessa, he led his army to attack Fatimid-held Aleppo. However, the peace treaty had been a deliberate distraction: Romanos now led a large army into Armenia to recover the lost fortresses before the Seljuks had time to respond. Accompanying Romanos was son of his rival, John Ducas.
The army consisted of about 5,000 professional Byzantine troops from the western provinces and about the same number from the eastern provinces. This included 500 Frankish and Norman mercenaries under Roussel de Bailleul, some Turkic and Bulgarian mercenaries, infantry under the duke of Antioch, a contingent of Georgian and Armenian troops and some of the Varangian Guard to total around 40,000 men; the quantity of the provincial troops had declined in the years prior to Romanos, as the government diverted funding to mercenaries who were judged less to be involved in politics and could be disbanded after use to save money. The march across Asia Minor was long and difficult and Romanos did not endear himself to his troops by bringing a luxurious baggage train along with him; the local population suffered some plundering by his Frankish mercenaries, whom he was obliged to dismiss. The expedition rested at Sebasteia on the river Halys, reaching Theodosiopolis in June 1071. There, some of his generals suggested continuing the march into Seljuk territory and catching Alp Arslan before he was ready.
Others, including Nicephorus Bryennius, suggested they fortify their position. It was decided to continue the march. Thinking that Alp Arslan was either further away or not coming at all, Romanos marched towards Lake Van, expecting to retake Manzikert rather and the nearby fortress of Khliat if possible. Alp Arslan was in the area, with allies and 30,000 cavalry from Aleppo and Mosul. Alp Arslan's scouts knew where Romanos was, while Romanos was unaware of his opponent's movements. Romanos ordered his general Joseph Tarchaniotes to take some of the regular troops and the Varangians and accompany the Pechenegs and Franks to Khliat, while Romanos and the rest of the army marched to Manzikert; this split the forces into halves of about 20,000 men each. It is unknown what happened to the army sent off with Tarchaniotes — according to Islamic sources, Alp Arslan smashed this army, yet Roman sources make no mention of any such encounter and Attaliates suggests that Tarchaniotes fled at the sight of the Seljuk Sultan — an unlikely event considering the reputation of the Roman general.
Either way, Romanos' army was reduced to less than half his planned 40,000 men. Alp Arslan summoned his army and del
The Byzantine army or Eastern Roman army was the primary military body of the Byzantine armed forces, serving alongside the Byzantine navy. A direct continuation of the Roman army, the Eastern Roman army maintained a similar level of discipline, strategic prowess and organization, it was among the most effective armies of western Eurasia for much of the Middle Ages. Over time the cavalry arm became more prominent in the Byzantine army as the legion system disappeared in the early 7th century. Reforms reflected some Germanic and Asian influences – rival forces became sources of mercenary units e.g.. Since much of the Byzantine military focused on the strategy and skill of generals utilizing militia troops, heavy infantry were recruited from Frankish and Varangian mercenaries. From the seventh to the 12th centuries, the Byzantine army was among the most powerful and effective military forces in the world – neither Middle Ages Europe nor the fracturing Caliphate could match the strategies and the efficiency of the Byzantine army.
Restricted to a defensive role in the 7th to mid-9th centuries, the Byzantines developed the theme-system to counter the more powerful Caliphate. From the mid-9th century, they went on the offensive, culminating in the great conquests of the 10th century under a series of soldier-emperors such as Nikephoros II Phokas, John Tzimiskes and Basil II; the army they led was less reliant on the militia of the themes. With one of the most powerful economies in the world at the time, the Empire had the resources to put to the field a powerful host when needed, in order to reclaim its long-lost territories. After the collapse of the theme-system in the 11th century, the Byzantines grew reliant on professional Tagmata troops, including ever-increasing numbers of foreign mercenaries; the Komnenian emperors made great efforts to re-establish a native army, instituting the pronoia system of land grants in exchange for military service. Mercenaries remained a staple feature of late Byzantine armies since the loss of Asia Minor reduced the Empire's recruiting-ground, while the abuse of the pronoia grants led to a progressive feudalism in the Empire.
The Komnenian successes were undone by the subsequent Angeloi dynasty, leading to the dissolution of the Empire at the hands of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The Emperors of Nicaea managed to form a small but effective force using the same structure of light and armed troops, both natives and foreigners, it proved effective in defending what remained of Byzantine Anatolia and reclaiming much of the Balkans and Constantinople itself in 1261. Another period of neglect of the military followed in the reign of Andronikos II Palaiologos, which allowed Anatolia to fall prey to an emerging power, the Ottoman emirate. Successive civil wars in the 14th century further sapped the Empire's strength and destroyed any remaining chance of recovery, while the weakening of central authority and the devolution of power to provincial leaders meant that the Byzantine army was now composed of a collection of militias, personal entourages and mercenary detachments. Just as what we today label the Byzantine Empire was in reality and to contemporaries a continuation of the Roman Empire, so the Byzantine army was an outgrowth of the Late Roman structure, which survived until the mid-7th century.
The official language of the army for centuries continued to be Latin but this would give way to Greek as in the rest of the Empire, though Latin military terminology would still be used throughout its history. In the period after the Muslim conquests, which saw the loss of Syria and Egypt, the remainders of the provincial armies were withdrawn and settled in Asia Minor, initiating the thematic system. Despite this unprecedented disaster, the internal structures of the army remained much the same, there is a remarkable continuity in tactics and doctrine between the 6th and 11th centuries; the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 and the subsequent Seljuk invasions, together with the arrival of the Crusades and the incursions of the Normans, would weaken the Byzantine state and its military, which had to rely on foreign mercenaries. The Eastern Empire dates from the creation of the Tetrarchy by the Emperor Diocletian in 293, his plans for succession did not outlive his lifetime, but his reorganization of the army did by centuries.
Rather than maintain the traditional infantry-heavy legions, Diocletian reformed it into limitanei and comitatenses units. There was an expansion of the importance of the cavalry, though the infantry still remained the major component of the Roman armies, in contrast to common belief. In preparation for Justinian's African campaign of 533-534 AD, the army assembled amounted to 10,000 foot soldiers and 5,000 mounted archers and federate lancers; the limitanei and ripenses were to occupy the limes, the Roman border fortifications. The field units, by contrast, were to stay well behind the border and move where they were needed, whether for offensive or defensive roles, as well as forming an army against usurpers; the field units were held to high standards and took precedence over Limitanei in pay and provisions. Cavalry formed about one-third of the units, but as a result of smaller units, about one-quarter of the Roman armies consisted of cavalry. About half the cavalry consisted of heavy cavalry.
They were armed with spear or lance and sword and armored
Yazīd ibn Mu‘āwiya known as Yazid I, was the second caliph of the Umayyad caliphate. He ruled for three years from 680 CE until his death in 683, his appointment was the first hereditary succession in Islamic history and his caliphate was marked by the death of Muhammad's grandson Husayn ibn Ali and the start of the crisis known as the Second Fitna. In 676, Muawiya made him his heir apparent. A few prominent Muslims from Hejaz, including Husayn, Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr and Abdullah ibn Umar, refused to accept his nomination. Following his accession after Muawiya's death in 680, Yazid demanded allegiance from these three, but only ibn Umar recognized him, while the other two refused and escaped to sanctuary of Mecca; when Husayn was on his way to Kufa to lead a revolt against Yazid, he was killed with his small band of supporters by forces of Yazid in the Battle of Karbala. Killing of Husayn led to widespread resentment in Hejaz, where Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr centered his opposition to rule of Yazid, was supported by many people in Mecca and Medina.
After failed attempts to regain confidence of ibn al-Zubayr and people of Hejaz through diplomacy, Yazid sent an army to end the rebellion. The army defeated Medinese in the Battle of al-Harrah in August 683 and the city was given to three days of pillage. On siege was laid to Mecca, which lasted for several weeks, during which the Kaaba was damaged by fire; the siege ended with death of Yazid in November 683 and the empire fell to civil war. Yazid is considered an illegitimate ruler and a tyrant by many Muslims due to his hereditary succession, death of Husayn and attack on the city of Medina by his forces. Modern historians present a mild view him, consider him a capable ruler, albeit less successful than his father. Yazid was born in 646 CE to Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan and Maisun bint Bahdal, the daughter of powerful Kalbite leader Bahdal ibn Unayf, grew up with his maternal tribe, the Kalbites, he led several campaigns against the Byzantine Empire and in 670 participated in an attack on Constantinople.
He performed Hajj on several occasions. By the end of the first Islamic civil war, Muawiya became sole ruler of the empire as a result of a peace treaty with Hasan ibn Ali, who had controlled most of the empire following the murder of his father Ali a few months earlier; the terms of the treaty stipulated. However, in 676, a few years before his death, Muawiya nominated Yazid. Muawiya and the Shura decided for Yazid in Damascus, where the former had summoned influential people from all provinces to the capital and convinced them one way or the other. Muawiya ordered Marwan ibn Hakam the governor of Medina, to inform the people of Medina, of Muawiya's decision. Marwan faced resistance on this announcement from Husayn ibn Ali, Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr, Abdullah ibn Umar and Abdul-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr. Muawiya himself went to Medina and began pressing against the four dissenters, who fled to Mecca. Muawiya threatened some of them with life, but got only refusal. Nonetheless he was successful in convincing the people of Mecca that these four men had pledged their allegiance, received allegiance for Yazid.
On his way back to Damascus, he secured allegiance from people of Medina as well. The opponents went into silence thereafter. German orientalist Julius Wellhausen doubts the story, while Bernard Lewis writes that the homage was arranged with mix of diplomacy and bribes and, to lesser extent, by force. Before dying, Muawiya left Yazid a will, he advised him to beware of Husayn and Ibn al-Zubayr, predicted that the people of Iraq will entice Husayn into rebellion and abandon him. Yazid was further advised to treat Husayn with caution and not to spill his blood, since he was grandson of Muhammad. Ibn al-Zubair, on the other hand, was to be treated harshly. Muawiya advised him to treat people of Hejaz well. Upon succession, Yazid asked the governors of all provinces to take an oath of allegiance to him; the necessary oath was secured from all parts of the country. He wrote to the governor of Medina Walid ibn Utbah ibn Abu Sufyan, informing him about the death of Muawiya, he attached a small note with the letter, asking him to secure allegiance from Husayn ibn Ali, Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr and Abdullah ibn Umar.
The note read: Seize Husayn, Abdullah ibn Umar, Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr to give the oath of allegiance. Act so fiercely. Peace be with you. Walid sought advice of Marwan ibn Hakam on the matter. Marwan suggested that ibn al-Zubayr and Husayn should be forced to pay allegiance as they were dangerous, while ibn Umar should be left alone as he posed no threat; when summoned by Walid, Husayn answered the summon. When Husayn met Walid and Marwan in a semi-private meeting at night, he was informed of Muawiya's death and Yazid's accession to the caliphate; when asked for his pledge of allegiance to Yazid, Husayn responded that giving his allegiance in private would be insufficient, such a thing should be given in public. Walid agreed to this, but Marwan interrupted demanding that Walid imprison Husayn and not let him leave until he gives the pledge of allegiance to Yazid. At this interruption, Marwan was scolded by Husayn who exited unharmed. Husayn had his own group of armed supporters waiting nearby just in case a forcible attempt was made to apprehend him.
Following Husayn's exit, Marwan admonished Walid, who in turn rebutted Marwan, justifying his refusal to harm Husayn by s
Moravia is a historical region in the Czech Republic and one of the historical Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medieval and early modern Margraviate of Moravia was a crown land of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, an imperial state of the Holy Roman Empire a crown land of the Austrian Empire and also one of 17 former crown lands of the Cisleithanian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918. During the early 20th century, Moravia was one of the five lands of Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1928. Moravia has an area of over 22,000 km2 and about 3 million inhabitants, 2/7 or 30% of the whole Czech Republic; the statistics from 1921 states, that the whole area of Moravia including the enclaves in Silesia covers 22,623.41 km2. The people are named Moravians, a subgroup of Czechs; the land takes its name from the Morava river, which rises in the northern tip of the region and flows southward to the opposite end, being its major stream. Moravia's largest city and historical capital is Brno.
Before being sacked by the Swedish army during the Thirty Years' War, Olomouc was another capital. Though abolished by an administrative reform in 1949, Moravia is still acknowledged as a specific land in the Czech Republic. Moravian people are aware of their Moravian identity and there is some rivalry between them and the Czechs from Bohemia; the region and former margraviate of Moravia, Morava in Czech, is named after its principal river Morava. It is theorized that the river's name is derived from Proto-Indo-European *mori: "waters", or indeed any word denoting water or a marsh; the German name for Moravia is Mähren, again from the river's German name March. Interestingly, this might hint at a different etymology, as march is a term used in the Medieval times for an outlying territory, a border or a frontier. Moravia occupies most of the eastern part of the Czech Republic. Moravian territory is strongly determined, in fact, as the Morava river basin, with strong effect of mountains in the west and in the east, where all the rivers rise.
Moravia occupies an exceptional position in Central Europe. All the highlands in the west and east of this part of Europe run west-east, therefore form a kind of filter, making north-south or south north movement more difficult. Only Moravia with the depression of the westernmost Outer Subcarpathia, 14–40 kilometers wide, between the Bohemian Massif and the Outer Western Carpathians, provides a comfortable connection between the Danubian and Polish regions, this area is thus of great importance in terms of the possible migration routes of large mammals – both as regards periodically recurring seasonal migrations triggered by climatic oscillations in the prehistory, when permanent settlement started. Moravia borders Bohemia in the west, Lower Austria in the south, Slovakia in the southeast, Poland shortly in the north, Czech Silesia in the northeast, its natural boundary is formed by the Sudetes mountains in the north, the Carpathians in the east and the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands in the west.
The Thaya river meanders along the border with Austria and the tripoint of Moravia and Slovakia is at the confluence of the Thaya and Morava rivers. The northeast border with Silesia runs along the Moravice and Ostravice rivers. Between 1782–1850, Moravia included a small portion of the former province of Silesia – the Austrian Silesia. Today Moravia including the South Moravian Region, the Zlín Region, vast majority of the Olomouc Region, southeastern half of the Vysočina Region and parts of the Moravian-Silesian and South Bohemian regions. Geologically, Moravia covers a transitive area between the Bohemian Massif and the Carpathians, between the Danube basin and the North European Plain, its core geomorphological features are three wide valleys, namely the Dyje-Svratka Valley, the Upper Morava Valley and the Lower Morava Valley. The first two form the westernmost part of the Outer Subcarpathia, the last is the northernmost part of the Vienna Basin; the valleys surround the low range of Central Moravian Carpathians.
The highest mountains of Moravia are situated on its northern border in Hrubý Jeseník, the highest peak is Praděd. Second highest is the massive of Králický Sněžník the third are the Moravian-Silesian Beskids at the east, with Smrk, south from here Javorníky; the White Carpathians along the southeastern border rise up to 970 m at Velká Javořina. The spacious, but moderate Bohemian-Moravian Highlands on the west reach 837 m at Javořice; the fluvial system of Moravia is cohesive, as the region border is similar to the watershed of the Morava river, thus the entire area is drained by a single stream. Morava's far biggest tributaries are Thaya from Bečva. Morav
Ladislaus IV of Hungary
Ladislaus the Cuman known as Ladislas the Cuman, was king of Hungary and Croatia from 1272 to 1290. His mother, was the daughter of a chieftain from the pagan Cumans who had settled in Hungary. At the age of seven, he married a daughter of King Charles I of Sicily. Ladislaus was only 10 when a rebellious lord, Joachim Gutkeled and imprisoned him. Ladislaus was still a prisoner when his father Stephen V died on 6 August 1272. During his minority, many groupings of barons — the Abas, Csáks, Kőszegis, Gutkeleds — fought against each other for supreme power. Ladislaus was declared to be of age at an assembly of the prelates, barons and Cumans in 1277, he allied himself with Rudolf I of Germany against Ottokar II of Bohemia. His forces had a preeminent role in Rudolf's victory over Ottokar in the Battle on the Marchfeld on 26 August 1278. However, Ladislaus could not restore royal power in Hungary. A papal legate, bishop of Fermo, came to Hungary to help Ladislaus consolidate his authority, but the prelate was shocked at the presence of thousands of pagan Cumans in Hungary.
Ladislaus promised that he would force them to adopt a Christian lifestyle, but they refused to obey the legate's demands. Ladislaus decided to support the Cumans; the Cumans imprisoned the legate, the legate's partisans captured Ladislaus. In early 1280, Ladislaus agreed to persuade the Cumans to submit to the legate, but many Cumans preferred to leave Hungary. Ladislaus vanquished a Cuman army that invaded Hungary in 1282. Hungary survived a Mongol invasion in 1285. Ladislaus had, by that time, become so unpopular that many of his subjects accused him of inciting the Mongols to invade Hungary. After he imprisoned his wife in 1286, he lived with his Cuman mistresses. During the last years of his life, he wandered throughout the country with his Cuman allies, but he was unable to control the most powerful lords and bishops any more. Pope Nicholas IV planned to declare a crusade against him, but three Cuman assassins murdered Ladislaus. Ladislaus was the elder son of Stephen V, son of Béla IV of Hungary, Stephen's wife Elizabeth the Cuman.
Elizabeth was the daughter of a chieftain of the Cumans. She was baptized before her marriage to Stephen. Ladislaus was born under the sign of Mars in 1262, according to Simon of Kéza, his chaplain in the 1270s. Conflicts between Ladislaus's father and grandfather developed into a civil war in 1264. Béla IV's troops, which were under the command of Ladislaus's aunt, captured the castle of Sárospatak, where Ladislaus and his mother were staying, imprisoned them. Ladislaus was kept in the Turóc Castle, but two months he was sent to the court of Boleslaw the Chaste, Duke of Cracow, Béla IV's son-in-law. After his grandfather and father made peace in March 1265, Ladislaus was set free and returned to his father. Ladislaus's father made an alliance with Charles I, king of Sicily, in September 1269. According to the treaty, Charles I's daughter, about four years old at that time, was engaged to the seven-year-old Ladislaus; the children's marriage took place in 1270. Béla IV died on 3 May 1270, Ladislaus's father was crowned king two weeks later.
Béla IV's closest advisors — Duchess Anna, Béla IV's former palatine, Henry Kőszegi — left Hungary and sought assistance from Anna's son-in-law, King Ottokar II of Bohemia. The newly appointed Ban of Slavonia, Joachim Gutkeled turned against Stephen V and kidnapped Ladislaus in the summer of 1272. Gutkeled held Ladislaus in captivity in the fortress of Koprivnica in Slavonia. Historian Pál Engel suggests that Joachim Gutkeled planned to force Stephen V to divide Hungary with Ladislaus. Stephen V could not take it. Stephen fell ill and died on 6 August. Joachim Gutkeled departed for Székesfehérvár as soon as he was informed of Stephen V's death, because he wanted to arrange the boy–king's coronation. Ladislaus's mother joined him, infuriating Stephen V's partisans who accused her of having conspired against her husband. Stephen V's master of the treasury, Egyed Monoszló, laid siege to her palace in Székesfehérvár, but Gutkeled's supporters routed him. Monoszló fled to Pressburg. Archbishop Philip of Esztergom crowned Ladislaus king in Székesfehérvár on about 3 September.
In theory, the 10-year-old Ladislaus ruled under his mother's regency, but in fact, baronial parties administered the kingdom. In November of that year, Henry Kőszegi returned from Bohemia and assassinated Ladislaus's cousin, Béla of Macsó. Duke Béla's extensive domains, which were located along the southern borders, were divided among Henry Kőszegi and his supporters. In retaliation for Hungarian incursions into Austria and Moravia and Moravian troops invaded the borderlands of Hungary in April 1273, they captured Szombathely, plundering the western counties. Joachim Gutkeled recaptured the two forts two months but Ottokar II of Bohemia invaded Hungary and seized many fortresses, including Győr and Sopron in the autumn. Peter Csák and his allies removed Joachim Gutkeled and Henry Kőszegi from power, but Gutkeled and Kőszegi seized Ladislaus and his mother in June 1274. Although Peter Csák liberated the king and his mother, Gutkeled and Kőszegi captured Ladislaus's younger brother and took him to Slavonia.
They demanded Slavonia in Duke Andrew's name, but Peter Csák defeated their united forces
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war, it was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, the development of strong national identities in both countries. Tensions between the crowns of France and England can be traced back to the origins of the English royal family itself, French in origin. For this reason, English monarchs had held not only the English Crown, but titles and lands within France, the possession of which made them vassals to the kings of France; the status of the English King's French fiefs was a major source of conflict between the two monarchies throughout the Middle Ages.
French monarchs systematically sought to check the growth of English power, stripping away lands as the opportunity arose whenever England was at war with Scotland, an ally of France. Over the centuries, English holdings in France had varied in size, at some points dwarfing the French royal domain. In 1316, a principle was established denying women succession to the French throne. In 1328, Charles IV of France died without brothers, his closest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, whose mother, Isabella of France, was sister of the deceased King. Isabella claimed the throne of France for her son, but the French rejected it, maintaining that Isabella could not transmit a right she did not possess. Furthermore, political sentiment favoured a Frenchman for the crown rather than a foreign prince; the throne passed instead to Philip, Count of Valois, a patrilineal cousin of Charles IV, who would become Philip VI of France, the first king of the House of Valois. The English had not expected their claim to meet with success, did not press the matter when it was denied.
However, disagreements between Philip and Edward induced the former to confiscate the latter's lands in France, in turn prompted Edward III to reassert his claim to the French throne. Several overwhelming English victories in the war—especially at Crécy, Agincourt—raised the prospects of an ultimate English triumph, convinced the English to continue pouring money and manpower into the war over many decades. However, the greater resources of the French monarchy prevented the English kings from completing the conquest of France. Starting in 1429, decisive French victories at Orléans, Patay and Castillon concluded the war in favour of the House of Valois, with England permanently losing most of its possessions on the continent. Historians divide the war into three phases separated by truces: the Edwardian War, the Caroline War, the Lancastrian War. Local conflicts in neighbouring areas, which were contemporarily related to the war, including the War of the Breton Succession, the Castilian Civil War, the War of the Two Peters in Aragon, the 1383–85 crisis in Portugal, were availed by the parties to advance their agendas.
Historians adopted the term "Hundred Years' War" as a historiographical periodisation to encompass all of these events, thus constructing the longest military conflict in European history. The war owes its historical significance to multiple factors. By its end, feudal armies had been replaced by professional troops, aristocratic dominance had yielded to a democratisation of the manpower and weapons of armies. Although a dynastic conflict, the war gave impetus to ideas of French and English nationalism; the wider introduction of weapons and tactics supplanted the feudal armies where heavy cavalry had dominated, artillery became important. The war precipitated the creation of the first standing armies in Western Europe since the time of the Western Roman Empire, thus helping to change their role in warfare. With respect to the belligerents, in France, civil wars, deadly epidemics and bandit free-companies of mercenaries reduced the population drastically. In England, political forces over time came to oppose the costly venture.
The dissatisfaction of English nobles, resulting from the loss of their continental landholdings, as well as the general shock at losing a war in which investment had been so great, became factors leading to the Wars of the Roses. The root causes of the conflict can be found in the demographic and political crises of 14th century Europe; the outbreak of war was motivated by a gradual rise in tension between the kings of France and England about Gascony and Scotland. The dynastic question, which arose due to an interruption of the direct male line of the Capetians, was the official pretext; the question of female succession to the French throne was raised after the death of Louis X in 1316. Louis X left only a daughter, his posthumous son John I lived only a few days. Furthermore, the paternity of his daughter was in question, as her mother, Margaret of Burgundy, had been exposed as an adulterer in the Tour de Nesle affair. Philip, Count of Poitiers, brother of Louis X, positioned himself to take the crown, advancing the stance that women should be ineligible to succeed to the French throne.
Through his political sagacity he won over his adversaries and succeeded to the French throne as Philip V. By the same law that he procured, his daughters were denied the succession, whi
Battle on the Marchfeld
The Battle on the Marchfeld at Dürnkrut and Jedenspeigen took place on 26 August 1278 and was a decisive event for the history of Central Europe for the following centuries. The opponents were a Bohemian army led by the Přemyslid king Ottokar II of Bohemia and the German army under the German king Rudolph I of Habsburg in alliance with King Ladislaus IV of Hungary. With 15,300 mounted troops, it was one of the largest cavalry battles in Central Europe during the Middle Ages; the Hungarian cavalry played a significant role in the outcome of the battle. King Ottokar II of Bohemia expanded his territories from 1250 to 1273 but suffered a devastating defeat in November 1276, when the newly-elected German king Rudolph I of Habsburg imposed the Imperial ban on Ottokar, declaring him an outlaw and took over Ottokar's holdings in Austria, Carinthia and Styria. Ottokar was reduced to his possessions in Bohemia and Moravia but was determined to regain his dominions and influence. In 1278 he invaded Austria, where parts of the local population in Vienna, resented Habsburg rule.
Rudolf allied himself with king Ladislaus IV of Hungary and mustered forces for a decisive confrontation. Ottokar abandoned his siege of Laa an der Thaya and advanced to meet the allies near Dürnkrut, north of Vienna. Both armies were composed purely of cavalry and were divided into three divisions that attacked the enemy piecemeal. In the first phase of the battle, the Cuman horse archers in the Hungarian army outflanked and distracted the Bohemian left flank by launching arrows while the Hungarian light cavalry crashed into the Bohemians, driving them from the field. In the second phase, a great collision of knights and heavy cavalry took place in the center, with Rudolf's forces being driven back. Rudolf's third division, led by the king attacked and halted Ottokar's charge. Rudolf was nearly killed. At a decisive moment, a German cavalry force of 200 riders, commanded by Ulrich von Kapellen and attacked the Bohemian right flank from the rear. Assailed from two directions at once, Ottokar's army disintegrated in a rout, Ottokar himself was killed in the confusion and slaughter.
The Cumans killed the fleeing Bohemians with impunity. The battle marked the beginning of the ascendancy of the House of Habsburg in Austria and Central Europe; the influence of the Přemyslid kings of Bohemia was diminished and restricted to their inheritance in Bohemia and Moravia. The deposition of Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen by Pope Innocent IV in 1245 created a grave crisis for the Holy Roman Empire, as in the following decades several nobles were elected as Rex Romanorum and Emperor-to-be, none of whom were able to gain actual governing power upon the Emperor's death in 1250; that same year, Ottokar II, son of king Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, moved into the princeless Duchies of Austria and Styria. The last Babenberg duke Frederick II of Austria had been killed at the 1246 Battle of the Leitha River, in a border conflict he had picked with King Béla IV of Hungary. Ottokar II gained the support of the local nobility and was proclaimed Austrian and Styrian duke by the estates one year later.
In 1253, Ottokar II became Bohemian king upon the death of his father. In 1268 Ottokar signed a contract of inheritance with Ulrich III, the last Carinthian duke of the House of Sponheim, thus acquired Carinthia including the March of Carniola and the Windic March one year later. At the height of his power he aimed at the Imperial crown, but the Princes-Electors, distrustful of his steep rise, elected the "poor Swabian count" Rudolph of Habsburg King of the Romans on 29 September 1273; as the election had taken place in his absence, Ottokar did not acknowledge Rudolph as King. Rudolph himself had promised to regain the "alienated" territories which had to be conferred by the Imperial power with consent of the Prince-electors, he claimed the Austrian and Carinthian territories for the Empire and summoned Ottokar to the 1275 Reichstag at Würzburg. By not appearing before the Diet, Ottokar set the events of his demise in motion, he was placed under the Imperial ban and had all his territorial rights revoked, including his Bohemian inheritance.
Meanwhile, Rudolph was preparing for battle. He achieved two of these alliances through the classic Habsburg style – marriage. First, he married his son Albert to Elisabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol. In return, her father Count Meinhard II of Gorizia-Tyrol received the Duchy of Carinthia as a fief. Second, he established an — unstable — alliance with Duke Henry I of Lower Bavaria by offering Rudolph's daughter Katharina as wife for the Duke's son, Otto, in addition to the region of present-day Upper Austria as a pledge for her dowry, he concluded an alliance with King Ladislaus IV of Hungary, who intended to settle old scores with Ottokar. Rudolph, so strengthened, besieged Ottokar at the Austrian capital Vienna in 1276. Ottokar was forced to surrender and to renounce all his acquisitions, receiving only Bohemia and Moravia as a fief from King Rudolph. Deprived by this, he was determined to regain his territories and contracted an alliance with the Ascanian Margraves of Brandenburg and the Polish princes.
In 1278 he campaigned against Austria, supported by Duke Henry I of Lower Bavaria, who had switched sides. Ottokar first laid siege to the towns of Drosendorf and Laa an der Thaya near the Austrian border, while Rudolph decided to leave Vienna and to face the Bohemian army in an