During the Roman Empire, armies were pretty large. Depending on the number of legions, one could say they numbered from 10-100 thousand. But after the collapse of the Roman Empire and entering Medieval times after 400 ce, armies were small. Numbering a few hundred to a few thousand. Some empires were able to field large numbers, like Charlemagne’s. But usually armies tended to be small. Is there a reason for this?
I was reading a medieval fantasy novel and in the lore there is a kingdom that once had a force of 50,000, but after a long war, the population dropped and now armies number 100s.
I don’t know much about the post-Roman Empire period that started the medieval era, perhaps there is some similar war forgotten in history because it was so destructive, or because the written record was destroyed that there are only whispers of? That’d be cool but I’ve never heard of that. Any of you peeps heard of something like that? Also the infamous Black Death wasn’t until the 1300s, so what gives with the army sizes?
Source: reddit post