Mercenaries and Paid Men: The Mercenary Identity in the by John France

By John France

Mercenaries have consistently had a bad press. Theirs is without doubt one of the world's oldest professions, however the very notice has profoundly unfavourable connotations of infidelity and ruthlessness. but when they have been like this, have been they so various from infantrymen?

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Mercenaries and Paid Men: The Mercenary Identity in the Middle Ages

Mercenaries have regularly had a terrible press. Theirs is among the world's oldest professions, however the very observe has profoundly adverse connotations of infidelity and ruthlessness. but when they have been like this, have been they so various from infantrymen?

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He expounded on the count’s understanding of generosity in this way: Wealth melts away, honour is trodden down, and the world’s glory is one day remembered, the next forgotten, and once forgotten is gone for ever. 22 david crouch Count Waleran himself saw that he would be earth, worms and dust: he dreaded eternal punishment and he strove to enter heaven. 17 Stephen linked together liberality and indifference to possessions. He made it into a religious frame of mind, a dualistic one that prioritised spiritual concerns over the material.

In the same decade Alan of Lille considered that for all knights who were pious it was necessary (amongst other things) to defend widows, console the unhappy, support the needy, feed the destitute and befriend orphans. It is no surprise, therefore, to find that William Marshal in his day ostentatiously respected the ethic. 31 It is difficult to imagine Mercadier or Lupescar helping an old lady save her mattress, though it is not impossible. But the fact is that con- william marshal and the mercenariat 25 temporaries attacked them for not sharing the Davidic ethic which justified aristocratic power.

Gesta Henrici Secundi, ed. W. Stubbs 2 vols (Rolls Series, 1867) 1. 228. 9 Bertran de Born, Poésies complètes, ed. A. Thomas (Toulouse, 1888), 94. , 45. 11 HWM, 1, lines 4750–85, 5073–95. 12 N. Vincent, ‘William Marshal, King Henry II and the Honour of Châteauroux’, Archives, 25 (2000), 15. 13 HWM 1. ll. 3409–24. 14 HWM 1. ll. 3995–4036. 15 Chanson d’Aspremont, ed. L. Brandin 2 vols (Classiques français du moyen âge, 1923–4) 1. ll. 2212–23. 16 HWM 1. ll. 5060–6. 17 Carmen elegiacum de Waleranno comite Mellenti, in, Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard, ed.

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