The Italian Renaissance marked a period of political and military turmoil. Many regional wars were fought between the states ruled by Milan, Venice, Genoa, Florence, the Papacy, Siena and Naples. For more than 50 years starting in 1494, major foreign powers also exploited these divisions to invade Italy; both France and Spain made temporary alliances with city states to further their ambitions, and early in the 16th century the Emperor Charles V sent armies from his German realms to support the Spanish. These wars coincided with the growth of disciplined infantry - carrying not only polearms and crossbows but also hand guns - which proved capable of challenging the previously dominant armoured knights. The widespread use of mercenaries ushered in the early development of the 'pike and shot' era that succeeded the 'High Middle Ages'. During this period costumes, armour and weapons varied greatly due to their national origins and to the evolution of tactics and technology. This masterfully illustrated study offers a fascinating insight into the many armies which fought in Italy during this turbulent period, explaining not only their arms and equipment, but also their structure and successes and failures on the battlefield.
Giuseppe Rava (Illustrator)
Country of Publication:
26 November 2020
Introduction: overview of the campaigns fought in Italy during this period, and their importance in the military history of Europe * Chronology * The Italian armies: organization, costumes, armour and weapons * The French armies: organization, costumes, armour and weapons * The Spanish armies: organization, costumes, armour and weapons * German and Swiss mercenaries: organization, costumes, armour and weapons * Select bibliography * Plate commentaries
Gabriele Esposito is a university professor of modern history and a freelance researcher and author of military history, specializing in uniformology. His interests range from ancient civilizations to modern post-colonial conflicts, and recently he has concentrated on 19th-century Italian, Spanish and Latin American wars. His books and essays have been published by Osprey, Pen & Sword, Winged Hussar and Libreria Editrice Goriziana, and he has also contributed articles to specialist journals such as Ancient Warfare Magazine, Medieval Warfare Magazine, History of War, Guerres et Histoire, and Focus Storia. 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, Roechling, Lady Butler, Ottenfeld and Angus McBride. He lives and works in Italy.