Medieval Europe's Mercenaries: The History of Hired Soldiers across Europe and the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages, Charles River Editors
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Medieval Europe's Mercenaries: The History of Hired Soldiers across Europe and the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages

Author: Charles River Editors

Narrator: Bill Caufield

Unabridged: 5 hr 9 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 06/09/2023

Genre: History - Military - Medieval

Synopsis

The Middle Ages have long been remembered for armored knights battling on horseback and armies of men trying to breach the walls of formidable castles, but what is generally forgotten is that medieval warfare was constantly adapting to the times as leaders adopted new techniques and technology, and common infantry became increasingly important throughout the period. Meanwhile, political and technological progress led to continuous change of tactics and equipment. Cavalry became ascendant, only to be later replaced by infantry as their weapons improved, and by the end of the period, warfare was radically changing thanks to the rise of gunpowder weapons such as the handgonne and the bombard.

The Middle Ages witnessed almost constant warfare in Europe, so mercenaries were a constant on the battlefield, but the 15th century also saw the rise of mercenary usage by the increasingly wealthy aristocracy. At the time, England and France existed in smaller versions than in the modern age, while the Spanish had unified into a few large kingdoms and were slowly pushing the Moors off the Iberian Peninsula. Norway and Hungary were larger than they are now, but otherwise, most of Europe was a patchwork quilt of small, constantly warring states. This was especially true in Germany and Italy, where innumerable city-states and little fiefdoms struggled to gain more territory and defend themselves against their neighbors.

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