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Medieval Mercenaries:The Business of War

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:45 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
William Urban with a foreword by Terry Jones. ISBN 1853676977. Greenhill Books, 2006. As just about every other medieval re-enactor claims to be part of a Free Company or Burgundian/Hussite/Gallowglas/Condoritti mercenaries this is a cracking wee read. For a start there were many more of these fellas (and one or two lasses) around then the chronicles like to state. In fact just about every other medieval soldier was part of a Free Company etc, etc, including the greater bulk of the religious fighting orders (especially the German and Spainish ones). This book chronicles the devlopment of the medieval mercenary from the late Roman aries of Byzantium and the Varangian Guard to the almost totally mercenary army of Willian the bastard, through to the free Companies of the 100 years, the Condoritti of Italy and the Black Companies of Switzerland and Germany in the 15th century and into the early modern period. It also examines the part played by the mercenary in helping to develop the "professional" armies of 15th century France and Burgundy and the bastard feudalisim of WOTR period England. mercenaries everybody hates them but everybody needs them. (If you have a job that is too tough to handle, and if you can find them you may be able to hire.....)

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:31 am
by Wilhelm
I keep meaning to get a copy of this. It sounds excellent though, thanks for the review!

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:21 pm
by MJ
One to add to the prezzie list. Thanks Marcus.