Author Topic: Arab Conquest vs Early Byzantines  (Read 290 times)

Jim Webster

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Re: Arab Conquest vs Early Byzantines
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2019, 06:55:46 PM »
I can't see how close order troops could have passed through olive groves without disruption.  Their ability to reform quickly would an important factor in how much such terrain caused disruption.  I think you could move through the crops shown - they don't seem to be in deep furrows.  But then would an ancient grain field be the same - medieval wheat stood over four feet high at harvest.   I don't think there are many references to crops impeding advances - does this mean battlefields were sought which weren't cultivated or that it didn't matter?  I must admit, if I deploy my cornfields on the table, it's to look pretty rather than have an effect.

Wheat used to stand about six feet high. Modern dwarf varieties have cut this down but old varieties grown for thatching are probably longer (one reason so many have moved over to reed)
I've grown rye (old fashioned forage variety so not dwarf, and that got to over six foot.

With regard to Olive groves, traditional spacing was apparently thirty feet between trees. so troops 'sloping arms' should be able to pass through without too much trouble.
British troops at Quatre Bras were hidden in the wheat as they advanced

Until the moldboard plough you wouldn't really see much in the way of furrows, and shouldn't anyway once the crop is planted (potatoes being an exception.
What would be interesting would be the areas of rig and furrow which you used to see in the west of the UK
  • Jim Webster

Erpingham

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Re: Arab Conquest vs Early Byzantines
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2019, 07:19:48 PM »
Time for some visual evidence :)  Harvest was a popular subject in books of hours.



And a little later



Note the "clutter" of these fields - pretty typical of northern Europe I would guess, though there would be large open areas of common pasture too.

You can see how you might hide troops in these wheat fields.
  • Anthony Clipsom