Download Mercenaries in Medieval and Renaissance Europe by Hunt Janin PDF

By Hunt Janin

In medieval and Renaissance Europe, mercenaries--professional infantrymen who fought for funds or different rewards--played violent, colourful, overseas roles in battle, yet they've got acquired really little scholarly awareness. during this e-book a good number of vignettes painting their actions in Western Europe over a interval of approximately 900 years, from the Merovingian mercenaries of 752 during the Thirty Years' warfare, which resulted in 1648. meant as an advent to the topic and drawing seriously on modern first-person money owed, the ebook creates a bright yet balanced mosaic of the various millions of mercenaries who have been employed to struggle for numerous employers.

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This long poem is an important part of the “Matter of France”— a body of literature and legendary material 31 Mercenaries in Medieval and Renaissance Europe associated with Charlemagne and the history of France. The Matter of France is one of the “Three Matters” repeatedly cited in medieval literature. As the medieval French poet Jean Bodel tells us: Ne sont que III matières à nul homme atandant, De France et de Bretaigne, et de Rome la grant. ]31 The Matter of France focuses on the deeds of Roland and of the paladins, sometimes known as the Twelve Peers, who were the foremost warriors of Charlemagne’s court.

Meeting the Warriors and the Tools of Their Trade weapons and the weight of the shot that they threw: “Garite,” 400 –500 pounds; “Rose,” 300 pounds; “Montfort,” 300 pounds; and “Artique,” 100 pounds. Much like ships and bells, great cannons had their own personalities and thus, in a figurative sense, they were somehow “alive” in the minds of their users. They could bear inscriptions in verse, such as this one, translated from the French: I am Dragon the venomous serpent, who desires with furious blows to drive off our enemies.

Merovingian strategy involved around the taking and holding of fortified centers. These centers were staffed by garrisons of former Roman mercenaries of Germanic origin; throughout Gaul, the descendants of Roman soldiers continued to wear similar uniforms and to perform similar ceremonial duties. One of the most effective weapons of Merovingian troops was a throwing axe known as a francisca. The Roman historian Procopius (ca. 500 –565) describes the fighters and their use of throwing axes in these words: Each man carried a sword and shield and an axe.

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