Daily Archives: October 14, 2017

Featured image from Wikimedia Commons | Oct 15, 2017: Tatev monastery


Tatev monasteryhttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Monasterio_de_Tatev%2C_Armenia%2C_2016-10-01%2C_DD_89-91_HDR.jpg

Tatev monastery during sunset, Syunik Province, southeastern Armenia. The Armenian Apostolic monastery, built in the 9th century, hosted in the 14th and 15th centuries one of the most important Armenian medieval universities, the University of Tatev, which contributed to the advancement of science, religion and philosophy, reproduction of books and development of miniature painting.

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Article of the day at Wikipedia: Battle of Hastings


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hastings?wprov=sfla1

Bayeux Tapestry – Scene 57: the death of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings.
Titulus: HIC HAROLD REX INTERFECTUS EST (Here King Harold is slain)

The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England. It took place approximately 7 miles (11 kilometres) northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex, and was a decisive Norman victory.

For other uses, see Battle of Hastings (disambiguation).

Quick facts: Belligerents, Commanders and leaders …
BattleHastingsEastbourneRyeNewhavenLewesCrowboroughHailshamBexhill-on-SeaHeathfieldUckfieldSeafordPeacehaven
Site of Battle of Hastings in East Sussex
The background to the battle was the death of the childless King Edward the Confessor in January 1066, which set up a succession struggle between several claimants to his throne. Harold was crowned king shortly after Edward’s death, but faced invasions by William, his own brother Tostig and the Norwegian King Harald Hardrada (Harold III of Norway). Hardrada and Tostig defeated a hastily gathered army of Englishmen at the Battle of Fulford on 20 September 1066, and were in turn defeated by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge five days later. The deaths of Tostig and Hardrada at Stamford Bridge left William as Harold’s only serious opponent. While Harold and his forces were recovering, William landed his invasion forces in the south of England at Pevensey on 28 September 1066 and established a beachhead for his conquest of the kingdom. Harold was forced to march south swiftly, gathering forces as he went.

The exact numbers present at the battle are unknown; modern estimates are around 10,000 for William and about 7,000 for Harold. The composition of the forces is clearer; the English army was composed almost entirely of infantry and had few archers, whereas only about half of the invading force was infantry, the rest split equally between cavalry and archers. Harold appears to have tried to surprise William, but scouts found his army and reported its arrival to William, who marched from Hastings to the battlefield to confront Harold. The battle lasted from about 9 am to dusk. Early efforts of the invaders to break the English battle lines had little effect; therefore, the Normans adopted the tactic of pretending to flee in panic and then turning on their pursuers. Harold’s death, probably near the end of the battle, led to the retreat and defeat of most of his army. After further marching and some skirmishes, William was crowned as king on Christmas Day 1066.

There continued to be rebellions and resistance to William’s rule, but Hastings effectively marked the culmination of William’s conquest of England. Casualty figures are hard to come by, but some historians estimate that 2,000 invaders died along with about twice that number of Englishmen. William founded a monastery at the site of the battle, the high altar of the abbey church supposedly placed at the spot where Harold died.

Background
In 911, French Carolingian ruler Charles the Simple allowed a group of Vikings to settle in Normandy under their leader Rollo. Their settlement proved successful, and they quickly adapted to the indigenous culture, renouncing paganism, converting to Christianity, and intermarrying with the local population. Over time, the frontiers of the duchy expanded to the west. In 1002, King Æthelred II of England married Emma, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. Their son Edward the Confessor spent many years in exile in Normandy, and succeeded to the English throne in 1042. This led to the establishment of a powerful Norman interest in English politics, as Edward drew heavily on his former hosts for support, bringing in Norman courtiers, soldiers, and clerics and appointing them to positions of power, particularly in the Church. Edward was childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex and his sons, and he may also have encouraged Duke William of Normandy’s ambitions for the English throne.

Succession crisis in England
King Edward’s death on 5 January 1066 left no clear heir, and several contenders laid claim to the throne of England. Edward’s immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats and son of Godwin, Edward’s earlier opponent. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by Archbishop of York Ealdred, although Norman propaganda claimed that the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury. Harold was at once challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. Duke William claimed that he had been promised the throne by King Edward and that Harold had sworn agreement to this. Harald III of Norway, commonly known as Harald Hardrada, also contested the succession. His claim to the throne was based on an agreement between his predecessor Magnus I of Norway and the earlier King of England Harthacanute, whereby, if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway. William and Harald Hardrada immediately set about assembling troops and ships for separate invasions.

Tostig and Hardrada’s invasions
Main article: Battle of Fulford
In early 1066, Harold’s exiled brother Tostig Godwinson raided south-eastern England with a fleet he had recruited in Flanders, later joined by other ships from Orkney. Threatened by Harold’s fleet, Tostig moved north and raided in East Anglia and Lincolnshire. He was driven back to his ships by the brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia, and Morcar, Earl of Northumbria. Deserted by most of his followers, he withdrew to Scotland, where he spent the middle of the year recruiting fresh forces. Hardrada invaded northern England in early September, leading a fleet of more than 300 ships carrying perhaps 15,000 men. Hardrada’s army was further augmented by the forces of Tostig, who supported the Norwegian king’s bid for the throne. Advancing on York, the Norwegians occupied the city after defeating a northern English army under Edwin and Morcar on 20 September at the Battle of Fulford.