The Battle of the Golden Spurs (Courtrai, 11 July 1302): A Contribution to the History of Flanders' War of Liberation, 1297-1305

Couverture
Boydell & Brewer, 2002 - 267 pages
n 11 July 1302, below the town walls of Courtrai, the most splendid army of knights in Christendom, the flower of the French nobility, was utterly defeated by Flemish rebels, common workers and peasants. The French knights, products of a lifetime's training, were ably led; but so too were the Courtrai townspeople, in addition to being well-armed, and their victory, despite their lack of military skills (and golden spurs), put an end to the enduring myth of the invincibility of the knight. A French explanation of the terrible defeat was immediately given, intended to save the honour and pride of the French nobility; in Flanders the victory was glorified as a just reward for the bravery of the townsmen and the competence of their commanders. Unfortunately there were no impartial witnesses. Any account of the battle must therefore pay careful attention to the personalities of the chroniclers, their nationality, and their political and social leanings, as well as their personal sympathies. Verbruggen's study is prefaced by discussion of the problems of reconstruction and extensive consideration of the sources, showing the difficulties faced by medieval military historians in attempts to interpret them. He then offers his own account of the events of that dramatic day, a case study in the reconstruction of events in one of the greatest battles of the middle ages. J.F. VERBRUGGEN lectured at the Royal Military School in Brussels, and then taught in Africa, retiring as Professor of History, University of Congo, and University of Bujumbura (Burundi). He is also the author of 'The Art of Warfare in Western Europe'. Originally published in Dutch in 1954, translated and updated.

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Table des matières

INTRODUCTION
1
The War
15
Prince of Flanders
19
Historiography and the Study of the Sources
27
1 A Problem for Historical Methodology
29
Summary
38
2 The Sources
40
The Sources of the French Version
45
The Carved Flemish Chest at New College Oxford and the equipment and arms of the Flemish troops
195
5 From the Bruges Matins to the Battle of the Spurs for freedom equality and fraternity
211
The Strategic Problem
220
6 11 July 1302
224
The Council of War Held in the French Camp
226
Preparations in the Flemish Army
228
The Battle Array Chosen by the French Forces
232
The Charge of the French Left Wing
234

The Sources of the Flemish Version
83
the Flemish and French Versions
113
Historical Overview of the 1302 Campaign
125
3 The Terrain at Courtrai
127
The Battlefield According to Accounts of the Period
130
The Terrain According to Deeds Records and Old Maps
135
General Conclusion on the Terrain
150
4 The Two Armies
152
The Charge of the French Right Wing
237
The Charge Led by Robert dArtois
239
Crisis and Conclusion
240
The Flight of the French Rearguard and the Pursuit
242
GENERAL CONCLUSION
246
BIBLIOGRAPHY
251
INDEX
261
Droits d'auteur

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À propos de l'auteur (2002)

Kelly DeVries is Professor of History at Loyola College, Baltimore, USA.

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