“Exhaust my wagon horses today, you won’t eat tomorrow”: Exploring David Eddings’ application of military logistics in The Belgariad

Matthew Larnach

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    In The Belgariad, David Eddings devotes an extraordinary amount of attention to the subject of military logistics. References abound to supplies, and their importance to soldiers in the field, and Eddings clearly intends to base his invented universe upon sound logistical foundations. But could these logistical systems, so elaborately described by Eddings, function in practice? To answer this question this paper applies logistical modelling methodologies to two scenarios that feature prominently in The Belgariad. These models study the logistical structures Eddings describes, determining whether they could have feasibly supported and sustained the vast armies that feature in his universe. It discovers that Eddings’ employment of logistical concepts, whilst admirable, is highly inconsistent in practice. However, by further examining the wider scholarly material fantasy authors interested in the topic might draw upon, it concludes that the field provides fantasy authors with a highly fragmented and confusing picture of the operation of logistical systems within medieval contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)67-79
    Number of pages13
    JournalFafnir
    Volume4
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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