Standing on Historic English Battlefield

Jacob Ahler ’13 – Today we visited Battle, England which is the home to the site of the battle of Hastings. Although unfortunate traveling obstacles hindered our abilities to make it to the battle field on time, we nevertheless made it there for a tour, reflection and its overall effect on the history of England and the Common Law.

See more photos from the day at the battlefield here.

Professors Stephen Morillo and Scott Himsel with students

Our group started the tour with Tom, the unfortunate tour guide that had the challenge of giving one of his first tours to one of the world’s most learned experts on the topic of the battle of Hastings and English military history. We arrived at the top of Senlax hill and stood where King Harold and his men would have stood on the day of the battle. As we looked over this historical ground, Professor Morillo gave the class a detailed report of how each side executed it’s military strategy through out the day.

Essentially the battle was very bloody on both sides although William of Normandy had the superior fighting force. After weeks of raiding nearby villages, William was able to provoke Harold into fight a battle that would determine who the next king of England would be.

Students at the Battle of Hastings

After an entire day of the Saxon and Norman lines advancing and falling back, the Normans were able to use their archers to shoot over the shield wall and land the damaging blow to the Saxon troops. After the end of the battle, William advanced to Dover castle where he almost died from dysentery before moving on to London to claim the thrown on Christmas day of 1066. The tour then wrapped up after a tour of the Abbey that was built on the approximate site that King Harold was killed.

The experience that we were fortunate enough to have today was unlike any I have enjoyed before. It is not every day that you are able visit the site of a battle that had such significant historical ramifications in terms of history and the English Common Law being forever changed. The experience was even more enjoyable since we had an expert to elaborate on the details you cant find by researching the battle on the internet.

Professor Morillo expressed to us just how important this battle was to English history and how the Norman victory brought with it the writ system that we use to this day in American law.

Students Explore Frankfurt First Day

Jake Schild ‘ 15 – Finally we have arrived! It was an early morning and a long flight, but we all survived. Some of us though are in serious need of a quick nap. Sadly, when we arrived at the Youth Hostel our rooms were not ready. We are forced to postpone our much needed rest. So we disperse and venture out into the city hoping that the energy of the town would keep us going. There was just one problem. The city was dead. The only parallel I can draw is to any classic western when the hero rides into the town and there is no one in sight. What we thought might be the beginning of the zombie apocalypse turned out to be just a regular Sunday in Europe. We were warned by our professors that Europeans take Sundays off, but we were not ready for the town to be completely shut down. So after exploring the deserted streets and peering into closed shops we made our way back to the hostel. Our rooms were ready and we could finally take that much needed sleep.

Upon awakening we ventured back out. To our surprise the town had woken up from its slumber as well. A few shops and cafes had opened and people were out front having coffee and tea. The feel of this Sunday afternoon is so much different than what we are accustomed to in America.  Everyone is always rushing, always trying to get something done. Here the pace is slower, more relaxed. This was expected though. You hear that life in Europe goes at a much more leisurely pace. Some of that is lost in translation though. It is something that cannot be fully understood through discussion or reading. It needs to be experienced. This – I expect – will be applicable to the rest of our trip as well. We have discussed and read a lot about European politics, culture, and economics but without actually experiencing it our understanding is incomplete.

I want to conclude by thanking the Rogge Fund for funding this trip and giving us this unique experience.

Group Arrives in Frankfurt, Germany

Carter Adams ’15 –  This is a very curious place. Frankfurt is a very curious place indeed. But I’ll get to that later. For now, I will describe the long journey to arrive here in this curious place.

It began like many great Wabash adventures, at the Chapel. The Chapel to the Indianapolis airport, then Indianapolis to Atlanta, and finally the 9 hour jump over the Atlantic from Atlanta to the Frankfurt International Airport. Our flight landed at 8 a.m. local time, so 2 a.m. back home in the Midwest. Unable to fall asleep on the plane opting instead for an awesome, customized selection of four must-see movies (Argo, Perks of being a Wallflower, Pitch Perfect, and Up), the decision needed to made: to sleep or to power through and explore?

Explore, of course. This isn’t the first time I have run on no sleep on Wabash’s account. This first day is fairly free for us to go out in the city, “immerse” ourselves into the city. I use “immerse” very lightly because as I type this right now I sit outside the local Starbucks, the only place we have found so far to offer complementary wifi. But there is much to see and do here in this curious place.

I keep referring to it as curious because this is my first real experience in another country (sorry Mom and Dad, Canada does not really count). Thus, Frankfurt, for me, is a different kind of place and different from what I expected.  Frankfurt seems to be a very diverse place, a new Chinese place is opening up right next to the Starbucks. There seems to be a lot of cultural mixing: Asian, Middle Eastern, but still very German. And the architecture, it is a mix of old, new, and new trying to look old. Most of the city was destroyed in World War II, some parts survived but those parts destroyed were rebuilt. It is truly a remarkable place and I have so much more exploring to do.

Tomorrow we will start everything with the class here in Frankfurt. We will first head to the Germany Stock Exchange and then to the Money Museum. Tuesday, we will be able to go the European Central Bank and then we will head onto Brussels. But as for now, I have some more exploring to do and bratwurst to eat.

Also, I want to deeply thank Wabash College and the Rogge fund for this opportunity.

-Carter D. Adams

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