The Golden Spurs of Kortrijk

How the Knights of France Fell to the Foot Soldiers of Flanders in 1302


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About the Book

The Franco-Flemish region of medieval Flanders was a locus of important trade routes in the 13th and 14th centuries. Located in a prime position between the Holy Roman Empire and the North Sea (present-day northern Belgium), the urban centers of the region were surpassed in population only by the city-states of central and northern Italy. This positioning afforded the Flemish citizens of the region great prosperity and they formed guilds to protect their rights, regulate their working hours and standardize their wages. These guilds produced a cohesive unit of people eager to retain the rights they had gained.

In 1302, French cavalry faced the determined Flemish soldiers on foot at Kortrijk (Courtrai). This book analyzes the battle that ensued, its origins, consequences and legacy. It also examines the everyday lives of the inhabitants of Flanders; urban dwellers, knights, nobles, women and others. This is the first major English–language study of the historic 14th century battle between the French and the Flemish, a conflict whose repercussions linger in modern Belgium.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Randall Fegley, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history and politics at Pennsylvania State University’s Penn State Berks College in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Randall Fegley
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1310-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8054-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

A Note on Language vii

List of Maps x

Introduction 1

Chapter 1—Metropolis in the North 3

Chapter 2—The Overlords 47

Chapter 3—The Deadly Politics of Medieval Flanders 73

Chapter 4—The Matins 103

Chapter 5—The Battle 123

Chapter 6—The Aftermath 145

Chapter 7—The Legacy 169

Notes 195

Bibliography 215

Index 227

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Informative…valuable reading”—Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies

• “Worthwhile”—The NYMAS Review.