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THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS

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idlerdan
2.  Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:22 pm Reply with quote

didn't happen in Hastings, it happened in a town nearby called Battle. Anyone know any other mis-named battles?

 
Flash
3.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:47 am Reply with quote

Well, to skate immediately off-topic, here's what interests me about the Battle of Hastings (and, in fact, every other battle before the modern era): how did the armies find each other at all? Typically they were quite small in size (a few thousand men each) and there were no roads, accurate maps, or roadsigns. If you went to Hastings today to find the battle site I guarantee it would take you an hour of fruitless searching, with the benefit of a car and all the English Heritage signposts. How on earth, in practical terms, was Harold able to march straight from Stamford Bridge x hundred miles away and go straight to the right field? And the Saxon reinforcements who turned up halfway through the battle after mopping up Norwegians managed it even quicker.

BTW, Harald Hardrada is Quite an Interesting character. I could say more ...

 
Liebig
4.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:29 pm Reply with quote

Perhaps, rather like now when you're looking for somewhere to eat, they just asked a local if there was anywhere decent to have a battle. In fact, aren't there lots of stories ( I can't think of an example right now ) about armies turning up in the wrong place? The one thing all generals are supposed to value is good intelligence. The lack of this, in every sense, is what did in Custer. He was so keen on secrecy that he'd never send out any scouts. Consequently, he never knew what was just about to hit him.

 
Liebig
5.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:41 pm Reply with quote

Perhaps, rather like now when you're looking for somewhere to eat, they just asked a local if there was anywhere decent to have a battle. In fact, aren't there lots of stories ( I can't think of an example right now ) about armies turning up in the wrong place? The one thing all generals are supposed to value is good intelligence. The lack of this, in every sense, is what did in Custer. He was so keen on secrecy that he'd never send out any scouts. Consequently, he never knew what was just about to hit him.

 
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6.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:57 pm Reply with quote

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7.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:57 pm Reply with quote

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8.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:58 pm Reply with quote

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9.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:01 pm Reply with quote

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Flash
10.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:57 pm Reply with quote

OK, now that we know there's somebody out there - surely the reason the place is called Battle is because that's where they had the battle? Or have I been labouring under a misapprehension all my life?

Let's test the emoticon system:

:oops:

Hmmm ... is that what's supposed to happen?

 
DELETED
11.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 6:29 pm Reply with quote

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Menocchio
12.  Wed Sep 24, 2003 8:12 pm Reply with quote

His body had been severely mutilated, too. William, in an access of decency, sent Ivo of Ponthieu home in disgrace for cutting off Harold's hands. Harold's body was identified by Edith near the corpses of two of his brothers, Gyrth and Leofwine. About 4,000 Saxons and 2,000 Normans lay dead, along with 700 horses. Harold, excommunicated for breaking his oath to William, was probably buried in unmarked grave on the shore. The legend is that he was later dug up and removed to the abbey he had founded him at Waltham. Within two years the jolly Normans had liquadated more than half of the Saxon aristocracy. A shame, really. Not least because Harold was still able to boast great uncles with names like Swein Forkbeardand Thorgills Sprakalegg. But William the Bastard got his comeuppance (his burial tops the list of gross Royal misadventures).

And the battle obviously took place not at Battle (for reasons pointed out earlier) but Senlac Ridge. Rather quaintly Harold's assembly point was called the Hoary Old Apple Tree. Yup, they chopped that down too...

 
DELETED
28.  Thu Sep 25, 2003 6:18 pm Reply with quote

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Flash
30.  Fri Sep 26, 2003 4:36 am Reply with quote

Well, in view of John's insistence that we verify our statements (instead of saying things like "apparently 16 million people are descended from Genghis Khan", where the word "apparently" is a mechanism for ducking responsibility for the accuracy of the statement, as has rightly been pointed out on another thread), here are some sources:

Orderic Vitalis just says "in primo militum congressu Heraldus rex peremptus est" ie that he was killed in the first engagement.

A footnote in David Douglas' 1964 biography of the Conqueror notes that "on the death of Harold there has been much dispute, and the matter is exhaustively discussed by GH White (in his Complete Peerage). The tradition that he was killed by a chance arrow is acceptable to Sir Frank Stenton (in Anglo-Saxon England, p587), but he may have been otherwise slain. The contradictory evidence is supplied by the Bayeux Tapestry (plates LXXI, LXXII; EHD, vol ii, pp 276, 277), by William of Malmesbury (Gesta Regum p 363) and in the Carmen (vv 540-550)."

When I used to work in the commodity markets the number 1066 (eg a price of one thousand and sixty-six pounds for a tonne of cocoa) was always called "Harold's Eye". I don't know whether this was a cockney thing, or a bingo caller's convention, or what. Also, when the price of something got to 1212 everyone shouted out "Whitehall", because Whitehall 1212 was the telephone number of Scotland Yard. Still is, actually: 020 7230 1212 (source: Directory Enquiries).

 
ButtonOnion
34.  Fri Sep 26, 2003 5:36 pm Reply with quote

Gentlemen,

Your erudition is most pleasant to us Hungarian Countesses d'un certain age.

 
Jenny
35.  Sun Sep 28, 2003 7:34 pm Reply with quote

All I ever knew about the battle of Hastings, I learned from Marriot Edgar. I do hope the historical accuracy of this account is not being called into question: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Aegean/3532/hastings.htm

 

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