Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Normans in Ireland

I was quite pleased how my Normans in Ireland (the ca 1170 invasion) article turned out in Wargames Illustrated 277. Dan F did a fantastic job of translating the game scenario into tabletop pics and Matt Parkes did some pretty cool conversions for late 12th Century Normans - its kind of a transitional period between First Crusade and High Middle Ages for their armor and weapons. 

I have been intrigued withe subject matter since I encountered it in Tim Newark's Celtic Warriors in the early 90s. While I don't necessarily agree with the book's pan-Celtic theme - I'm not sure all Celtic peoples shared a common bond or identification throughout the ages, nor that they viewed the world in terms of 'Celts v. Everybody Else - especially those Saxon/Norse Types' - it made for some good reading and had a lot of ancient and medieval sources.

Gerald of Wales wrote a contemporary/near-contemporary account of the late 12th Century Anglo-Norman invasion. I highly recommend an online translation for anyone interested in researching the period. There's lots of wargame scenario ideas, from skirmishes to battles to be found there - and it has lots of flavor. Be warned, Gerald may be a little biased towards the Normans. Gerald of Wales' History of the Conquest of Ireland may be found online at the University of Toronto Library. 

Also of note: Wargames Illustrated has been digging out the ancient archives to support recent articles, and they pull out a series of 12th Century Anglo-Norman battles this time around. Follow this link to download PDFs for Lincoln, Oxford, and Wilton (written by Stephen Simpson, originally published in WI 29-31).

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