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Uomini d'arme nel territorio estense alla fine del XV secolo

By Enrica Guerra

Abstract

Through the analysis of several accounting books and correspondence, this paper analizes the composition of the armies mobilized in the service of the Este Household (Duchy of Ferrara) and it specially focuses on the pres- ence of foreign contingents and their relationship with the non-combatant population in the second half of the 15th Century.\ud This work analyzes, firstly, the categories of combatants within the ranks of the armies mobilized at the service of the Dukes of Este, as well as the social profile of the individuals integrated in them during the last two decades of the fifteenth century. Thanks to the preservation of important accounting sources, the author shows how a good part of the forces placed under command of the Dukes of Ferrara came from the military potential of the regional aristocra- cy, linked to the household of the Duke through vassalage formulas or other personal links. This system of military\ud organization achieved a greater development in those states in which the feudal aristocracy power over the whole political field was stronger.\ud Secondly, this paper also describes the logistic needs of the armies of the Duchy of Ferrara and the public order con- flicts they generated. In relation to this aspect, it is observed that the existence of direct links between the majors of the army and the ducal household did not serve, in practice, to discipline the behavior of the combatants. In fact, conflicts unleashed among them and, above all, between them and the population were frequent. According to the documentation handled, this problems derived from cases of robbery and extortion over the non-combatant popu- lation. The accused justified themselves by alleging all kinds of negligence in the payment of their wages. As a reac- tion to all these forms of institutionalized depredation, it is noted a clear social response articulated around the duch- ess Leonor de Aragon, who run the complains issued by the municipal authorities and, in general, by the victims of the ducal army

Topics: Quattrocento, Stato Estense, Guerra, Esercito, Governo
Year: 2017
OAI identifier: oai:iris.unife.it:11392/2371806
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