The Artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy 1363-1477 

Smith, R.D., K. DeVries 

Hardcover. 376 pp. Illustrated in b/w Boydell and Brewer 2005 

A major new exploration of the history and development of gunpowder weapons in the 15th century based on the artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy. 

The four Valois Dukes of Burgundy created, in little more than a century, a fabulously wealthy and independent state. Their centralised control and chancellery have bequeathed to us a vast treasure trove of documents, including accounts and inventories of the Masters of the artillery under the later Dukes. Although many of these were extracted and transcribed in the late 19th century, modern historians have largely ignored their unprecedented insights into 15th century guns and their use. 

When Charles the Bold, the last Valois Duke, took on the combined Swiss confederate forces in 1476 he lost not just the battles and his personal fortune, but much of his artillery train as well. Of the dozens of cannons captured, at least 25 pieces survive in Swiss museums. 

The documents that survive from the Valois state give us, almost for the first time in Medieval Europe, the ability to see the course of history in a period when Europe was undergoing some of the most profound changes before the 20th century.

The Artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy is the first attempt to combine all these sources, bringing new and fresh insights into the development and use of artillery in the 15th century. Moreover this is the first modern study of medieval cannon, one of the most important discoveries of the post-classical world. 
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€ 36,00