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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
Joined: 30 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 08 Feb, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Italian Ordonnance?         Reply with quote

Hello Gentlemen.
As i was told that Italian armies had Heavy Cavalry Gendarmes and Condottieri (In less proportion than French ones), i was wondering if there was any Ordonnance in Italy to recruit those italian Gendarmes and Elmeti heavy cavalry, And, if Italian Elmeti were as heavily equiped as their noble parters.

Thanks.

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Feb, 2007 10:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rodolfo;

I don't believe that there was ever a structured system of "compagnies d'ordonnance" in Italy due mostly to it's fragmented nature, likewise with Germany. And by the time Spain was united to the point where such an ordnance might have been desired, the Spanish Crown had the Burgundian compagnies d'ordonnance at their disposal for fighting France in the north, and the various feudal levies/hires in Italy for campaigns in that peninsula. The dukes of Ferrara, Urbino and Milan no doubt had some sort of means for recruiting Heavy Cavalry, and I certain that the Venetians did as well, but they didn't need to go to the extreme of having perminantly organized companies that the French did.

Much of the reasoning of the French Crown was to give their otherwise fractious nobles something to do with themselves (and get paid for it) other than fight the Crown or their neighbors, and kept them in some sort of order as well. As an added benefit, they were ready and able to set off to war with little notice, but the French Crown was quite steadfast in it's dedication to the concept that only the Crown had the right to wage war. So much of the rational for the maintenance of the compagnies d'ordonnance was not so much to provide the Crown with a standing army (though that was a benefit) as much as it was to keep the nobility in line.

The Burgundian compagnies d'ordonnance were a copy of the French ones, and were pretty much a "me too" deal on the part of the Dukes of Burgundy. That they also provided the Kings of Spain (from Charles V through Philip IV) with a ready supply of Heavy Cavalry for their campaigns in Northern France and the Netherlands was an unintended consequence.

There's a lot more to the whole story, but it takes a good sized chapter in a good sized book to deal with it. Or, for the Burgundian versions, check here: http://www.medievalproductions.nl/compagnie_de_ordonnance/

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Feb, 2007 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Put in simple terms, the Italians had no similar Ordinances because their political system went against it. The French and Burgundian Ordinances were devices of military centralization, whereas the Italian states espoused the political view of a "balance of power" that would frown upon (and gang up on) a member-state that grew a little too powerful for the others' liking. So, there was a strong disincentive for the Italian princes to attempt such an Ordonnances-based centralization reform--the other princes would have protested and, if their protests were ignored, they might join together to crush that one wayward prince. Not to mention that the condottieri with their roving companies would have been quick to perceive the threat to their existence and move in to put their weight behind the protesting princes.
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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Feb, 2007 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the intresting info.
I was told that during the first half of XVI century, Hungary, poland and Lithuania had fully armored men-at-arms, but not as many as France or other countries. Do you know how well armed were those Hungarian, Polish or Lithuanian men-at-arms? (I´m not sure if the term ¨Hungarian¨ is accurate for that time, maybe the Hasburg Empire)

Thanks.

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Feb, 2007 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rodolfo Martínez wrote:
Thanks for the intresting info.
I was told that during the first half of XVI century, Hungary, poland and Lithuania had fully armored men-at-arms, but not as many as France or other countries. Do you know how well armed were those Hungarian, Polish or Lithuanian men-at-arms? (I´m not sure if the term ¨Hungarian¨ is accurate for that time, maybe the Hasburg Empire)

Thanks.


Rodolfo;

From the paintings I've seen, one would be led to believe that the Polish-Lithuanian and Hungarian Knights were as well equipped as their more Western counterparts. The painting of the Battle of Orsha (shown elsewhere on this site recently) shows Polish heavy cavalry in full suits of German-made Maximillian plate riding fully barded horses, and the only illustration I've ever seen of the Battle of Mohacs (1526) between the Hungarians and the Turks shows the Hungarian Knights riding in full armour as well. I don't recall if they were shown on armoured horses or not, but they did smash through the Turkish Horse rather handily, and were only defeated by concentrated artillery fire from the Turks after their Infantry broke and ran from the onslaught. (I'm sure that there are other versions of the battle, this is the Western one.)

Of course, after Mohacs, there was no Hungarian nobility left, nor a king for that matter, so the Habsburgs by right of inheritance (a double marriage having taken place, with Hungary's King Lajos marrying the sister of Charles V and Ferdinand I von Habsburg, while Ferdinand as Archduke of Austria married Lajos's sister. He claimed the Hungarian throne by right of his wife) became the rulers of Hungary for another almost 400 years. Such as anyone ruled Hungary for a while there, at least, since it was pretty well split into three parts. But after Mohacs, any Heavy Horse in the field was in fact Austrian/German Heavy Horse, rather than Hungarian nobility.

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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Rodolfo Martínez




Location: Argentina
Joined: 30 Nov 2006

Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue 13 Feb, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much for the historical point men.

Returning to the Italian ordonnance, and specially to their Condottieri, do you know wich style of italian armour used during the first half of the XVI century?
I was looking the XV century milanese style and it that they have dramatically changed from XV century to late XVI century, seems that i missed something in the way.
I was told that it was a mixture of the cuirass, fauld and tassets of the late XV/early XVI century milanese armour, with the armet and pauldrons of the late XVI century ones, but i don´t know if this is true since i´ve never seen an early XVI century italian suit of armour.

Thanks.



 Attachment: 29.38 KB
Milanese armour original.jpg
Milanese armour at Glasgow Museum, Circa. 1450

 Attachment: 63.78 KB
Late XVI century Italian armour. [ Download ]

¨Sólo me desenvainarás por honor y nunca me envainarás sin gloria¨
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