Roncesvalles and the Birth of Chivalry

By Don Hollway

The Age of Chivalry brings to mind knights in shining armor and damsels in distress, along with traveling troubadours and minstrels singing chansons de geste, “songs of deeds,” telling of feats of arms and labors of love. Read more


The Battle-Ax

By William McPeak

The shafted ax has been around since 6000 bc, in both peaceful and warlike uses. The so-called battle-ax cultures (3200 to 1800 bc) extended over much of northern Europe from the late Stone Age through the early Bronze Age. Read more


King Pepin the Short

By William E. Welsh

An event of great significance in early medieval Europe occurred in 753, when newly ensconced Pope Stephen II decided to journey north to Metz to confer with Frankish King Pepin III (known as “The Short”). Read more

During the Battle of Roncesvalles, Charlemagne's Franks were frustrated at their inability to punish the Basques for robbing their baggage train.


Charlemagne’s Shame: The Battle of Roncesvalles

by William E. Welsh

Lost to history is what really occurred at the Battle of Roncesvalles in 778 when Christian Basques, thirsting for the loot in the Frankish baggage train, attacked the rearguard as it withdrew following Charlemagne’s short invasion of northern Iberia. Read more