Know Thy Wikipedia

For this time around, we were told to look up a historic event in history on (drum roll please) WIKIPEDIA! Now, un-cringe yourself it’s not that bad. The other half of it was to judge it on its sources, discussion, and history. Now, as I am part of a living history group that portrays a part of a Landsknecht unit of the Holy Roman Empire in the early to mid 1500s, I went with something I know well, but largely is not known outside of Europe, the battle of Pavia in 1525 (to save you some time, here’s the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pavia). The article does the battle justice, and goes into a good deal of detail. It says what lead up to it, what happened, and how bad it went for the French (whose king was captured). They don’t really put down any figures as to the death toll of the battle, but considering the time I’m not too surprised by this. Knowing the type of warfare (pike and shot) I can guarantee that the deaths were many, and probably gruesome. Though there is a lot that is included, they do fail to mention some of the other things that were parts of it. The article focuses mostly on the Italian and French background reasons for being there, and cover the Spanish (which considering it was Charles V includes the Holy Roman Empire) they don’t go into the Landsknecht unit that was there against the Emperor (which was a main reason Charles V was so pissed going into this). As far as the sources, they are all good sources for this, but they are few in number at the time of this being written. Well, there are 11 sources, which is a good number, but still there is a good deal more out there on this topic. Just most of those sources are in old German and probably in need of both translating and digitization. Over all the Wikipedia page is a great place to start research into the battle, but can not be considered all-inclusive.

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