Simulating Medieval Warfare on Supercomputers

“Historians don’t know how many soldiers were at the battle that marked the beginning of the end of the Byzantine empire, or how long it took those soldiers to get there, or how their leaders even acquired the resources to keep them fed. But all of these questions are now being answered, or at least addressed, by a project called Medieval Warfare on the Grid.

“Historical accounts put the size of the army led by Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes at the battle of Manzikert at up to 100,000 troops, but could an army that large really have been raised and supported in AD 1071? To find out, a group of computer scientists, archaeologists and historians teamed up to create what’s known as an ‘agent-based simulation’ of the Byzantine Army as it marched from Constantinople into what is now modern Turkey.”

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