Medieval Geopolitics: The Two Types of Warfare in Medieval Europe

When it comes to warfare in the Middle Ages, the common belief is that it was always motivated by feudal concerns, religious convictions, or by what Thucydides called the eternal drivers of “honour, fear and interest.” The reality is that medieval wars were often the politics of state- (and empire) building. In this, the first post of the Medieval Geopolitics series, I take a look at the two types of political war fought in medieval Europe. Both of these types of warfare were the norm by the fourteenth-century. The first of these I will call “constitutive wars,” which I see as wars over the very existence of certain political units as sovereign entities. These wars were characteristically th

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