Warfare was an integral part of early medieval life. It had a character of its own and was neither a pale shadow of Roman military practice nor an insignificant precursor to the warfare of the central middle ages. This book recovers its distinctiveness, looking at warfare in a rounded context in the British Isles and Western Europe between the end of the Roman Empire and the break-up of the Carolingian Empire. The era was one of great changes in the practice of war. Guy Halsall relates warfare to many aspects of medieval life, economy, society and politics. He examines the raising and organization of early medieval armies and looks at the conduct of campaigns. The survey includes the equipment of warriors and the horrific experience of battle as well as an analysis of medieval fortifications and siege warfare. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West uses historical and archaeological evidence in a rigorous and sophisticated fashion. It stresses regional variations but also places Anglo-Saxon England in the mainstream of the military developments in this era.