From Retinue to Regiment

The period 1453 to 1618 connects the High Medieval Period to the Early Modern Era. Commonly known as the Renaissance, it saw technological advances and significant social and cultural change. Catholic dominance was challenged by the rise of the new Protestant religions, and Western Europe was itself challenged by the rise of the Ottoman Empire. The New World was discovered and greater links with the East were created. This period saw the fall of Constantinople to the Turks and the last major battle of the Hundred Years War, both in 1453. The use of gunpowder and artillery played an ever-increasing role in war, and this was coupled with the rise of the professional soldier. The condotierri, landsknecht and janissary were all to march across the battlefields of Europe and beyond. Army organisation also changed. The mid to late 15th century still saw armies based around the ‘lance fournie’ or ‘retinue’ of the High Medieval Era, formations based around a lord and his immediate men-at-arms and other supporters. By the mid 16th century Italian officers were fielding their troops in formations known as ‘battagliones’, and by the end of the century the French term régiment was in common usage. ‘From Retinue to Regiment 1453–1618’ will examine this period in a broad sweep. It will examine the wars and battles through narrative, as well as looking at the equipment, clothing and logistics involved.

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13 Item(s)

per page