The Three Greatest Battles of the Middle Ages

Topics: Byzantine Empire, Harold Godwinson, Reconquista Pages: 4 (1518 words) Published: November 13, 2006
What makes a battle great? First and foremost it has to be huge, meaning between two superpowers with both sides having a substantial amount of troops. But, it also has to be for a glorious cause or must be led by a great general; and it must be a battle that changes the course of history. With all this in mind, the battles of antiquity were truly the greatest battles. But because there were so many, I have only enough space to describe the three greatest land battles between 1000AD and 1500 AD; The Battle of Hastings, The First Crusade and The Reconquest of Granada.

The Battle of Hastings, 1066
The battle of Hastings was one of the most culturally significant battles in the history of England, Europe and the World. From 1042 until his death in 1066, King St. Edward the Confessor held the throne of England as a Saxon Monarch. After King St. Edward's death, Harold Godwinson, assumed the throne in a very presumptuous manner. It was soon, however, to blow up in his face as it being he wasn't named King of England, William the Duke of Normandy was. According to legend, in 1051 King St. Edward named William heir to the throne and Harold swore on the relics of St. Valin to respect these wishes. Therefore, Harold's claim to the throne was not only wrong, but also blasphemous in the eyes of William. However, Harold was very stubborn and refused to hand over the kingdom, so the only effort left was war. On September 28th 1066, William landed in Pevensey Bay and after much fighting and thousands dead (including the deposed King Harold), the battle of Hastings ended on Sunday October 15th. William, now called the Conqueror, was crowned King of England on Christmas Day, 1066.

The battle of Hastings was an immense battle for its time. With both armies gearing with around 8,000 men, there was defiantly a lot of bloodshed. But this battle was not made great by its armies nor, to a certain extent, even by its generals. This battle was immortalized because of the colossal...
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