A 100 Years of Calamity
The 100 Years War between France and England, was definitely the longest war of all time, and probably, for the common man living in France at least, the most horrendous time in human history to endure this thing we call “living.” The conflict was begun by two kings, neither of whose grandchildren would live to see the end.
On this show, I look back at that period of time, referencing the prior two shows dealing with the reality of the dark ages and the history of military tactics, in order to better understand the then, and more importantly, the now [download]:
The war’s effect on the lives of commoners would [as demonstrated throughout the show] affect the course of human history, long after this war and these ages would pass, well into the now, and far beyond into the future. The battles of Agincourt, Poitiers and Crécy, while giving strategic lessons on tactics to military historians, offer us a wealth of information about ourselves [if we dare face the mirror].
As Paul Kelly once sang, “In the hour of greatest slaughter the great avenger is being born.” And during such a long conflict, that formula eventually bore a child: a true “miracle” nascented. But, we can’t let things such as miracles upset social order. The incriminating soot of guilt for the incineration of said miracle, covers not English or Burgundian hands, but abounds on those of the French themselves.
Though, to look at the horrors of the period, without acknowledging the fruits, would make this show plummet into the whiny victim trap that the conspIndustry calls “home.” A pudgy Bavarian Queen named Isabeau not only provided us with some fascinating tales, but left behind a legacy every red-blooded male on this planet is grateful for. 😀 Anyone else have that Pixies song stuck in their head?
The turmoil in the Italian city-states dragged in participants from continental Europe and beyond, even those in the middle of their own centurial conflict. Chaos creates opportunity for those seeking fortune in the misery of others. Sir John Hawkwood, turned banditry into eternal life, and word has it that Russell Brand has been greenlighted for an “action comedy” focusing on Hawkwood. Alas, we will now be graced with a fresh look at Sir John from a [very] anally-fixated viewpoint. 😦
When reading fiction, the [inFormed] teacher is usually quick to remind us to consider we are seeing the tale from the narrator’s perspective. The [Western] teacher who cautions us to the [European] bias of historical narrators is a rarity.
Entangling alliances and feudal oaths, are only but a part of the picture of a much bigger landscape. Lord Walder Frey could have consulted Bayezid the 1st, on how to solve the inevitable problems resulting from too many heirs. While Bayaezid’s methods may seem extreme to some [or all] of us, we should consider this “Turk,” not only taught the powers of Europe a lesson in humility, but also one in mercy.
The phenomenal accomplishments of the Hussites on the battlefield, paved the way for the weakening of class structure and church power like nothing before. Perhaps, that is why the Soviets had to bottle up the Czechs for so long? Once the wall fell, the Czechs yet again unleashed their crude, yet common, arsenal of weapons on males deceiving themselves as being “battle-hardened” and ready. 🙄
Note A: The prior two shows, which build a good base for understanding a bit of what was going on during this period, are not yet available. The following show, took a look at said periods of history, with new eyes.
Note B: To give credit where credit is due, a big part of the inspiration for this show, and source for a few of the fascinating tales shared within is Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Appropriately entitled, and highly recommended.