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.
Read an extract of Armies of the Medieval Italian Wars 1125–1325
Table of Contents
* Introduction: outline of military events in Italy during 1125-1325, and their importance for the history of Europe. * Chronology of major wars and battles. [The following chapters each cover the organization, equipment, tactics and combat history of the relevant armies.] * The Imperial armies: the forces sent into Italy from the Holy Roman Empire, with emphasis on those of Emperors Frederick Barbarossa and Frederick II. * The Lombard League: the forces from northern Italy that resisted Imperial invasions, with emphasis on Milan. * The Guelphs and Ghibellines: the forces of the Papal States, Florence, Siena and the Kingdom of Naples, with emhasis on Florence, and the battle of Montaperti. * The Maritime Republics: the land and sea forces of Venice, Genoa, Pisa and Amalfi. * The Angevin armies: the French forces fighting in southern Italy. * The Aragonese armies: the Spanish Catalan forces fighting in southern Italy.