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Osprey Men-at-Arms 333 : Armies of Medieval Russia 750-1250

The Medieval states of Rus' emerged within the forest and forest-steppe regions of what are now western Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine, while rival nomad states of the south were based upon the steppe. Both had towns, however, and it was the so-called 'nomad states' which were the more advanced throughout most of the Middle Ages. The entire region was criss-crossed by rivers and it was along their banks that most settlements grew up. Rivers provided the best arteries of communication, by boat in summer and as frozen highways in winter; not surprisingly, rivers also dominated warfare. These rivers effectively linked Scandinavia and western Europe to the Byzantine Empire and the world of Islam. Trade brought wealth and wealth attracted predators, both internal and external. In fact raiding, piracy and brigandage remained a major feature of medieval Russian history. The steppe or pole featured prominently in Russian military history. It was an arena for heroic deeds, but also for military disaster. Much of it was dotted with woodland and marshes as well as being split up by rivers. At the same time the nomadic peoples, though no more warlike than their settled neighbours, had greater military potential and were more accustomed to tribal discipline. In the early Middle Ages the Slavs were relative newcomers who continued to colonise new territories even while medieval Rus' was being created. David Nicolle examines the armies of medieval Russia from its origins in 750 up to 1250, backed by numerous illustrations including eight full page colour plates by Angus McBride.

    Contents
  • Russia Before the Rus'
  • Chronology
  • Pagan Rus'
  • The Golden Age of Kiev
  • The Armies of Kievan Rus'
  • Costume, Arms & Armour
  • Warfare in a Broad Arena
  • Further Reading
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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