>Sure there were plenty of decent infantry - mostly armed with
>polearms of one sort or another. I'm not going off romances
>but the history books. The Scottish spearmen at Bannockburn were
>a suprise to the English which wouldn't have been the case if
>there were English spearmen of similar competance.
Giving the English had already faced those spearmen at Stirling Bridge, Falkirk and Maes Modog, I don't buy the surprise theory.
>doctrine of the time said no infantry could stop a knights' charge
>so no infantry were trained to do so.
What military doctrine? The only work remotely capable of being that was Vegetius's _De Re Militia_ which is primarily about the Infantry (which would be the equivalent of a Grimoire in Seshnela).
>The Welsh and Scots taught
>the English they were wrong. The English taught the French and
>the Swiss taught the Holy Roman Empire.
I daresay the French had more enemies than just the English. The French had ample experience with Flemish infantry a full century before Agincourt while the Holy Roman Empire fought many battles in Italy in which infantry played a significant role.
> >Just be careful here - peasants are not automatically serfs. A
> >tenant farmer is a freeman and a peasant at the same time.
>The point I'm making is that there are two different groups and
>treating them as a single group causes problems. Also "tenant
>farmer" confuses the issue because a serf is a tenant.
A serf is tied to the land whereas a tenant's right of residence is dependent on paying rents. If a serf fell behind on his labour services, he can't be evicted whereas a tenant farmer in arrears can be. The two are not comparable.
> >More importantly, I feel you are blurring two particular issues:
> >the legal requirement to fight and their ability to fight in practice.
>Without a legal requirement to train the majority are unlikely
>to have much ability.
Who said anything about training? The issue is whether they had the right to fight.
>I don't think anyone is suggesting that the farmer caste is forbidden
>from fighting even in Seshnela. We know there is a ban on carrying
>and using swords.
Technically we don't. There is a consensus that such a prohibition exists but we don't know its scope (precisely which weapons are prohibited) or uniformity (is it the same across Seshnela or does it vary from manor to manor?).
>I'm suggesting there is
>a significant difference in attitude towards a freeman carrying a
>weapon than a bonded peasant doing the same. An obvious gray area
>is the point at which a knife becomes a sword.
Given that knives are required for many household and farming tasks, any knight that tried to prevent his serfs from having knives would be considered an idiot.
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