Medieval Knights and PTSD; the Children’s Illustrated Clausewitz, and etc…

Good afternoon!  “And etc.”  Ever hear that old song, “Elenore”, by the Turtles?   I always liked it, not least for actually using “et cetera” as part of the lyrics. I mean, who does that?  Anyhow, on a more serious note, there have been a few bloggable things piling up of late, among them two items of particular interest to my own work.

I have several long-term, serious blogging projects in nascent stages, where they will most likely remain until the dissertation is defended in the spring (technically summer begins June 21, so that makes anything before that the spring, right?).  One of these will have posts titled “The Clausewitz Chronicles”, since the old Prussian just doesn’t go away, and I want to explore in depth the issue of Clausewitz’s relevance to medieval warfare and the study thereof.   In that vein, The Children’s Illustrated Clausewitz seems quite relevant. It’s been making its way around cyberspace lately, with a lot of my friends re-posting it.  Brilliant stuff, and the illustrations are priceless. Here’s hoping there are more posts in the future.

The second item concerns another topic I’ve been interested in, and that is an analysis and correlation of the medieval combat experience with Dave Grossman’s studies On Killing and On Combat (these future posts to appear under the title “On Medieval Combat”).  Apparently the SAXO Institute at the University of Copenhagen has been doing analogous research, and has come to the conclusion–surprise–that medieval knights suffered from PTSD, just like soldiers in any other period.  Who knew…Well, Geoffroi de Charny, for one; and, although I hesitate a bit over their precise translations of his text, I’ll go with their conclusions that he was talking about the same phenomenon as we are. On the other hand, I’m very cautious about Heebøll-Holm’s conclusion that medieval folk were no more violent than we are today–a conclusion that relies on extensive nuance and qualification, and that will be lost in a news flash.  And I’m not sure it’s an accurate conclusion anyway–but that’s a debate for another time.

And here are a couple random topics of interest: an article by Steven Hijmans on Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s birthday, and the controversies it engendered in the early Church.   And a recent post in Disunion about African Americans and civil rights in 1861-2 Washington D.C., worth reading.

Ok, back to work…

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