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5

The investiture conflict was one very public aspect of a larger struggle for power. Precursors to it could be seen 300 years earlier at the coronation of Charlemagne by Pope Leo III. The larger questions were ones like: Can the Pope tell a monarch what to do? Should a monarch have complete control of what happens in his territory? Is a king theocratic ...


12

There are a lot of great answers here focusing on the material side of things: how many soldiers can a state feed/arm/support/hire? I want to complement these with an ideological factor. While people can be conscripted or paid to fight, mobilization is always easiest when the population is eager to serve. Some ideologies increase the supply of willing ...


9

The other answers cover most of what is being asked here but I thought I should add that a major factor in what caused these inabilities was a lack of economies of scale. Whereas the Romans had highly organised production, distribution and retail of both consumables and materials, the Feudal era was highly decentralised. The Feudal era fiefs had only small ...


3

Mail is actually a heatsink: it draws the heat out of you. The same principle is employed in the construction of computers. In hot weather mail makes you cooler. Indeed, the first people to use mail extensively were the Romans, who fought mostly in and around the Mediterranean and other such hot climates. The only problem is that when directly exposed to ...


3

A lot of this is down to differences in how the various states were organized. Rome was a highly centralized imperial state, with its own currency and taxation. The states of Medieval Europe for the most part did not have a money economy. The Feudal System was basically their answer to how one runs a country and maintains a professional military (an ...


9

Basically, European "states" were all smaller than the Roman Empire, in reach and population for 1000 years or so after the fall of Rome. More to the point, they were mostly subdivided into feudal principalities for most of the period. Rome in 278 BC had better control of "half of Italy" than Paris over all of (or even half of) France in 1346 A.D. At its ...


26

Things to consider: First, it is difficult to assess the size of armies in the Middle Ages. Roman troop strength is relatively easy to calculate by knowing the legions involved (the legions usually having the same size), but medieval armies usually had no such regularity. Smaller polities (kingdoms and or counties instead of empires) meant smaller ...


37

A major reason would be logistics. It's not all about population sizes. The strength of an army is constrained not just by its manpower sources, but also by the logistical infrastructure available to pay for, feed, and equip it. The Romans in particular were much better at this than the feudal states of Medieval Europe, which tended to be quite factious and ...


2

In Rome at War, Nathan Rosenstein provides a very careful study of mortality rates in the Republican Army from 200-168 B.C. The overall mortality rate strictly attributable to combat is estimated to be 2.6 percent of soldiers per year (125). Overall mortality is estimated at 4.75 to 5.45 percent of soldiers per year, with non-combat mortality amounting to ...


0

Ancient world had bloody history in the East throughout. Casualties were vast and sometimes entire armies were slaughtered. First example which I cite, is the Battle of Kalinga . It is one of the bloodiest battles of history. The casualties and horrors of the war changed Ashoka's heart. That's how we see so much of Buddhism around us. The Battles of Tarain ...


4

(I make a few generalisations here, beware) Economy of scale is a factor in the production of maille, especially in Europe during the early medieval period. During much of the Roman period, iron was mined - mining (espeically deep mining) is an extremely labour intensive activity which can only be supported by a stable and sophisticated economy. The ...


0

It might be informative to look at how people make chain-mail today, e.g. http://metalsmithing.wonderhowto.com/how-to/make-chain-mail-armor-from-start-finish-0118499/ While medieval armorers didn't have the options of working in aluminum or titanium, I doubt that much else has changed. Looks fairly labor-intensive but, as noted above, much of it is ...


16

You will find some cost/price data here: List of Prices in Medieval England Image of the Armour data: Expensive is a relative and subjective term, the best that can be done to answer the question as asked is to compare the prices with typical incomes/pay. For such a we find that a labourer would earn 1-4 pence per day (the lower pay is earlier the higher ...


0

Chain mail is more expensive primarily because it is more labor intensive to make it, and that has always been the case. However, anyone who wanted to use any form of armor had to decide what form of protection they wanted and then decide whether or not the extra expense was justified. Chain mail could tend to be heavier and would concentrate most of the ...


7

Seals were less about verification of identity, and more about verification of non-tampering. As with all significant documents today, the presence (and seals or signatures) of witnesses was the most important aspect of identity- and authentication-verification. Placing the author's/authorizer's seal at the bottom of the written text was more about ...


2

Oxford English Dictionary confirms that "corrour" is related to the modern "courier," and in fact corrour was used to refer to running messengers as early as 1382 in Wycliffe's Bible. However, corrour also has a secondary meaning as "a light horseman acting as a scout or skirmisher." OED provides examples of this usage from 1523-1603, after which English ...


0

It probably was airborne because, ( i don't know if it's the wrong plague) I heard that it started when khan of Crimea threw plagued soldiers over the walls of kaffa at the Genoese defenders. The survivors of the siege would have escaped in boats and carried it of to genoa with various stopping points: turkey, Konstantinople, Sicily and finally genoa.


3

The code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours and it dates back to about 1754 BC, indicating that beer parlours and the commerce of beer were already common at that point. Taverns were also common in the Roman Empire. However with the fall of the Western Roman Empire they seem to have somewhat faded into the background. Wine was too ...


0

Until very recently beer was not sold in bottles or tins, but was tapped from a keg. This meant that if you wanted beer you either went to a tavern, or else you lived in a palace and had a lot of space and a lot of servants, or in a big monastery. In the middle ages beer would normally have been brewed locally, in the tavern itself, the estate or the ...


3

This book chapter, "Childhood in History" by Pat Thane, mentions how children dressed in medieval times in brief. For most of medieval Europe, children dressed much as adults did, which is very much like today (with the exception of school uniforms). In the past few years understanding of such historical changes has been much influenced by the work of ...



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