Book Review: Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West 450-900

Medieval Musings

Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West 450-900

Guy Halsall

Routledge, London, 2003

I personally found this work to be a disappointment; from the title I was hoping to find a new insightful work to illuminate what is generally an overlooked period in European military history. What I found was an introductory work covering a broad spectrum of space and time, and drawing heavily upon specialized works on the subject that I had previously read. There was very little new information to be found. Yet in its way this is perhaps a strength of the book – for someone who is unfamiliar with the topic it is an excellent beginning, and covers much of the standard literature on the subject, while the bibliography will lead the scholar to more specialized texts.

In many respects the book reads like a summary of a course delivered by a college professor – and…

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