Warriors for a Living

The Experience of the Spanish Infantry during the Italian Wars, 1494-1559

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In Warriors for a Living, Idan Sherer examines the experience of the Spanish infantry during the formative period of the Italian Wars. Decades of clashes between Spain and France transformed Italy into a crucible of military tactics and technology and brought about the emergence of the Spanish infantry tercios as Europe’s finest military force for more than a century. From their recruitment, through the complexities of everyday life in the army and culminating in the potential brutality of soldiering, the book offers a fresh and much needed exploration, analysis and, at times, reconsideration of what it meant to be a professional soldier in early modern Europe.
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Biographical Note

Idan Sherer, Ph.D. (2015), is currently a Spinoza postdoctoral fellow in the University of Haifa, Israel. He has published articles in the Journal of Military History and The Sixteenth Century Journal.

Table of contents

Contents
List of Maps, Charts, Tables and Figures ix
Abbreviations x
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction 1
1 The Infantry Soldiers of the Spanish Army 15
Who Were the Soldiers? 15
The Process of Recruitment 26
2 Conditions of Service: Everyday Life in the Spanish Army 38
Warriors for a Living 38
The Burden of Campaigns 48
Exposure to the Elements 49
Nutrition and Basic Supplies 52
Journey by Land 59
Journey by Sea 65
Disease 68
Friction with the Local Population 78
The Comforts of Soldiering 92
3 Mutiny 102
The Professional, Financial, and Disciplinary Context of the
Mutinies 105
The General Characteristics of the Spanish Mutinies 112
The Commencing Stages 112
The Extent of the Mutinies 117
The Organization of the Mutiny 121
The Process of Negotiations 124
Violent Actions of the Mutineers 132
Retaliation, Punishment, and status quo 136
4 The Experience of the Sack 144
Preparing for the Sack 145
During and Immediately after the Assault 154
Organizing the Violence 160
Soldiers and Civilians—The Fate of the Prisoners 166
Leaving the City—The Effects of the Sacks 170
5 Combat 175
The Military Revolution and Combat in the Italian Wars 178
The “Military Revolution” of the Sixteenth Century 178
The Experience of the Military Revolution 192
Skirmishes and Special Operations 193
Siege warfare: besiegers and Besieged 201
Siege Warfare: The Assault 210
Battle 218
The Aftermath of Combat 230
A “Military Revolution”? 235
Motivation and Combat Effectiveness of the Spanish Infantry 236
A Warrior Society 239
Esprit de corps 244
On the Battlefield 250
Conclusion 256
Bibliography 263
Index 281

Readership

Both specialists and educated laymen who are interested in military history in general and early modern military history in particular, including early modern Spain and Italy.

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