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Mathematical modelling of a mediaeval battle: the Battle of Agincourt, 1415

Richard R Clements and Roger L Hughes

Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), 2004, vol. 64, issue 2, 259-269

Abstract: Recent developments in our ability to model mathematically the motion of crowds have led to some rather unusual applications. Here a continuum theory is used to model the Battle of Agincourt, a mediaeval battle between an English army on the one side and a combined French and Burgundian army on the other. The calculation reported here predicts that an instability of the front between the opposing armies would have developed. Such an instability is consistent with the mounds of fallen reported in the chronicles of the time but is surprisingly at variance with modern descriptions, which describe the fallen as forming a straight ‘wall’ running the length of the battlefield. Interestingly, the study suggests that the battle was lost by the greater army, because of its excessive zeal for combat leading to sections of it pushing through the ranks of the weaker army only to be surrounded and isolated.

Keywords: Simulation; Crowd; Pedestrians; Battlefront; Agincourt (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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DOI: 10.1016/j.matcom.2003.09.019

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