Although it was one of the main centres of armour production for export, early medieval Italy's costumes and armour reflected a vigorous but fragmented military system, influenced by Byzantine and Islamic styles as much as by northern Europe. This book shows how the rise of independent city armies and those of the Papacy, the spread of naval power and the founding of Norman states in the south all contributed to a dazzling kaleidoscope of military styles. The fascinating text is accompanied by numerous illustrations including eight full colour plates by the renowned military artist, Angus McBride.
Dr David Nicolle was born in 1944 and worked for the BBC before returning to university in Edinburgh, where he obtained his PhD. He subsequently taught at Yarmouk University in Jordan. He is a specialist in medieval arms and armour, and has written many books as well as numerous articles for specialist journals. He has also presented papers at many international conferences. Angus McBride is one of the world's most respected historical illustrators, and has contributed to more than 70 Osprey titles in the past three decades. Born in 1931 of Highland parents but orphaned as a child, he was educated at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School. He worked in advertising agencies from 1947, and after national service, emigrated to South Africa. He now lives and works in Cape Town.
The 'communal' armies of urban northern Italy - resisting Magyar attack, throwing off German domination, recruiting French mercenaries - The 'feudal' armies of rural Italy - Trade and naval domination - The 'crossbow revolution' - Italy and the Crusades - the military power of the Papacy - The Normans in the south - outside influences - The development of the Italian arms industry