Armies of the Medieval Italian Wars 1125-1325

Armies of the Medieval Italian Wars 1125-1325


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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 Germany—the Holy Roman Empire—saw 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472833402
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 02/19/2019
Series: Men-at-Arms
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 733,871
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.30(d)

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

Chronology 5

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

Index 48

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