With their walls and towers, with their armoured fountain figures and armed processions, medieval towns presented themselves as a martial entity. Its inhabitants carried weapons and were obliged to take up arms to defend the walls. In a stately context, cities played a major role as strongholds, reservoirs for combattants, centers of arms production and trade, and for the financing of warfare. This research project will focus on towns as producers, organisers, and brokers of martial culture within the rapidly changing political world of late medieval Europe (13th-16th c.), examining how towns helped transform and were transformed by trend-setting military techniques and urban ‘martial culture’. This martial culture developed at the intersection of legal prerogatives, political requirements, physical skills, knowledge, and the evolving societal significance of the ownership and use of weapons.
Financed by SNF
This project is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (2018-2022)