Italian Medieval Armies: 1300-1500/David Nicolle, Gerry Embleton. Osprey Men at Arms Series 136. Softcover. First edition 1983. Out of print. Condition: Very good. ISBN 0850454778
Although mercenaries had been common throughout Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries, and even earlier, it was Italy that developed the most sophisticated system for their hiring, payment and organisation. The result was the condottiere, whose name came from the condotta or contract between himself and his employer, and this book provides a fascinating exploration of his roles, arms and equipment. The condottiere was a complete professional and although his skill has never been doubted, his loyalty and dedication to a particular cause often has.