Using detailed color plates, this beautifully illustrated book describes the myriad of armies and navies that fought for control of Italy in the Middle Ages.
The great powers of medieval Europe fought continuously in the Italian peninsula between the 12th and 14th centuries as they sought to expand their territory. Invading armies from Germanythe Holy Roman Empiresaw the creation of the defensive Lombard League of northern Italian city-states. These struggles resulted in conflicts between rival confederacies, which in turn proved to be the catalysts for developments in organization and tactics. Italian urban militias became better organized and equipped, the Imperial armies went from being mostly German to multinational forces, and both sides became reliant on mercenary forces to prosecute their wars.
After the 1260s, France, relying mainly on armored cavalry, and Spain, with their innovative light infantry, vied for control of southern Italy. On the seas, the great naval powers of Genoa, Pisa, and Venice became fierce rivals, as they created great trading empires, bringing the treasures of the east into feudal Europe.
About the Author
Gabriele Esposito is an Italian freelance author on military history, specializing in uniformology, who has written a number of titles for Osprey Publishing, Pen & Sword, Winged Hussar Publishing, and Partizan Press, and is a regular contributor to many magazines such as Ancient Warfare, Medieval Warfare, Classic Arms & Militaria, Guerres et Histoire, History of War, and Focus Storia Wars. He is Professor of Modern History at the Second University, Naples.
Giuseppe Rava was born in Faenza in 1963, and took an interest in all things military from an early age. Entirely self-taught, Giuseppe has established himself as a leading military history artist, and is inspired by the works of the great military artists, such as Detaille, Meissonier, Röchling, Lady Butler, Ottenfeld and Angus McBride. He lives and works in Italy.
Table of Contents
Historical Background 3
European rivalries - the Norman ascendancy in the south - the rift between Empire and Papacy
The Imperial Army of Frederick Barbarossa, 1155-1190 8
The difficulties of raising armies - mercenaries - ministerials-vassals and allies - tactical organization
12th-Century Communal Armies of The Northern Cities 11
Wealth breeds ambition - organization and training -mobilization - the rurali - the canvccio
The Veronese and Lombard Leagues
The Norman Army of The Kingdom of Sicily 15
Feudal mobilization - feudal knights and auxiliaries - the king's retinue - commanders
The Army Of Frederick II, 1220-1250 17
From feudalism to professionalism - 'Saracen' forces: the Lucera archers - Italian forces: the army of Ezzelino da Romano
13th-Century Communal Armies 22
Sergeants, crossbows, pavises, and military societies - social class distinctions - cavalry reorganization
The Tuscan armies at Montaperti, 1260
The Papal States & Maritime Republics 36
Armies of the papal territories
Venice, Genoa and Pisa
The Army Of Anjou 39
Millies, serjeants and ribaldi - mercenaries - administration
The Army Of Aragon 40
'The Sicilian vespers' - Aragonese forces
Select Bibliography 43
Plate Commentaries 43