Mercenaries were a common feature throughout most of Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries, and had been known far earlier. But nowhere did such a sophisticated system of hiring, payment and organisation of mercenaries develop as it did in Italy. The condottiere - whose name came from the condotta or contract between himself and his employer - was the result. Whether commander or humble trooper, the condottiere was a complete professional. His skill has never been doubted, but his loyalty and dedication to a particular cause often has. David Nicolle provides a fascinating exploration of the condottiere; his roles, arms and equipment.
David Nicolle was born in 1944. He worked in the BBC Arabic service for a number of years, before going 'back to school', gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He later taught world and Islamic art and architectural history at Yarmuk University, Jordan. He has written many books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years. David lives and works in Leicestershire, UK.