Thursday, March 8, 2012
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Middle Ages
There's a really interesting article over here on the translated edition of ScienceNordic worth reading about for those interested in the psychology of warfare in the soldiers and knights of the medieval era. The article is a bit brief, but it discusses the depth of analysis currently being put into studying the undertones of medieval literature and the way of the fighter during the bloodier periods of the Middle Ages. I thought it was interesting that the researcher Heeboll-Holm (sorry, spelling limited to my poor command of alt characters) suggested that the common perception among students of this period was that of the knight as a violent psychopath (presumably from interpreting literary sources of the period) who was overly glorified. I was largely under the impression that there was a fair amount of aggrandized glorification, but far less aware of the modern perception of this also equating such conduct to psychopathic proclivities.
Anyway, for anyone who has ever thought to themselves, "boy after killing hundreds of vile monsters and foes, my fighter ought to have a bit of psychological scarring to go with those extra feats and HPs," this article might have some bits of interest. In fact, the entire concept of PTSD that those who deal with violence as a way of living must deal with is something that RPGs all too often ignore in favor of the mythic idealism of our protagonist PCs...well, except maybe for Call of Cthulhu, I guess!