The Condottieri: The History of Italy’s Elite Mercenaries during the Middle Ages and Renaissance
The Condottieri: The History of Italy’s Elite Mercenaries during the Middle Ages and Renaissance3.67 9 5 Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Stephen Platt
Other factors limited the use of homegrown armies. City militias often got embroiled in the factional disputes that were rife in Italian urban politics, to the extent that the militia might take one side or another, or be so divided as to be ineffective against external enemies. The only way to avoid this was to bring in neutral, outside administrators all factions could agree on to handle local affairs in a supposedly impartial manner. Known as the podestà system, this odd method of running a government began to be common by the late 13th century, but this administration would need troops of its own and naturally hired outsiders, often non-Italians, to keep the peace.
Thus was born the condottieri (singular condottiero or condottiere). Meaning “contractor,” it referred not only to the captains of mercenary bands but was also used as a general term for all the mercenaries in Italy during the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance. These flamboyant figures, sometimes of noble birth, had at their command experienced armies who hired themselves out to the highest bidder and kept to a strict code of professional ethics. Their fighting prowess and prestige soon put them in high demand, and rulers all across Italy eagerly bid for their services.
More information about the audiobook:Publisher: Charles River Editors
Length: 1H 33Min
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