Levy Monks

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Levy Monks

Post by Groupe_Franc »

I am interested in the 9th century interactions between the Carolingians and Viking raiders (hey a raider is a raider). On the theory that's where the money is, the Vikings raided the monasteries. My question is: did the monks in the monasteries of Neustria turn out as levy? And did the monasteries surround themselves with palisades?


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Re: Levy Monks

Post by mellis1644 »

From my brief reading I have not seen anything that shows that the monks/priests of the period creating a true martial order or force to really defend themselves. However, I believe there there is some small evidence of some religious locations being defended/fortified against raiders - by putting up fortifications and battles being fought in their locations. I remember reading something about that somewhere. My assumption is most of those troops would be the local warlords but I doubt there is evidence either way for monks being more 'martial' in their own defense. But that type of thing was not that common to my understanding.

So IMO if you want to do it why not - I doubt anyone can prove definitely it did not happen, you just can't prove it did either. :)
Check out my painting/activity blog: https://mellis1644.wordpress.com

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Re: Levy Monks

Post by DuxZoop »

A palisade is a possibility, but a boundary ditch and bank is more likely. There could be as many as three such ditches and banks parallel to each other depending on the importance and the maturity of the monastic site.

Ben Waterhouse
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Re: Levy Monks

Post by Ben Waterhouse »

I doubt that Christian religious in this era were martial in any sense, it would be the exact opposite of their vocation.

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Re: Levy Monks

Post by tonicnh »

Not sure if it's any use but when we ran our "Raid on Brega 684" game at Vapnartak 2019 we used the following modified close combat values for monks and armed villagers to reflect their lack of martial skills and equipment - it seemed to work OK

To Hit
Open = 5, 6
Light Cover = 6
Heavy Cover = n/a

Miss 1
Shock 2, 3
Kill 4, 5, 6

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Re: Levy Monks

Post by Archdukek »

As far as I'm aware any palisade or ditch around a monastery in the UK in this period was intended simply to denote the monastery boundary and was not a defensive feature. The whole concept of an armed attack on a sacred site was unthinkable hence the shock when the Vikings attacked such sites to cries of outrage and sacrilege.

Any fighting by monks would be very rare.


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