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cdoctor13
09-17-2008, 08:32 PM
Anyone know the size of a typical mercenary unit in the Middle Ages?

ideagirl
09-17-2008, 08:57 PM
Anyone know the size of a typical mercenary unit in the Middle Ages?

No, but try running a search inside this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Mercenaries-Companies-Kenneth-Fowler/dp/0631158863

Or try just buying that book--if you're writing a book about medieval mercenaries, I'm sure it'll come in handy more than once.

jennontheisland
09-17-2008, 09:06 PM
No, but try running a search inside this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Mercenaries-Companies-Kenneth-Fowler/dp/0631158863

Or try just buying that book--if you're writing a book about medieval mercenaries, I'm sure it'll come in handy more than once.

Oh! That looks like a fun book!

If you plug it into google books, you get some numbers around page 9. 3000-12000, but it sounds like those were assembled conglomerates of smaller groups. And likely inflated by local rabble, since the 12000 notes only 3 or 4 thousand actual soldiers.

Great question! Can't wait for more answers. :)

waylander
09-17-2008, 09:10 PM
The major mercenary companies were several thousand strong
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_Grand_Company

Another book to read on the subject is Frances Stonor Saunders biography of Sir John Hawkwood

MelancholyMan
09-17-2008, 09:58 PM
Anyone know the size of a typical mercenary unit in the Middle Ages?

How big was the Catholic Church?

jennontheisland
09-17-2008, 10:41 PM
How big was the Catholic Church?


Burn!

Evaine
09-17-2008, 11:57 PM
It's one of those "it all depends" questions, isn't it?
Which part of the Middle Ages? A band of Flemish mercenaries who worked for King John would be very different to the White Company, or the Italian crossbowmen who turned up at Agincourt, or the groups of Scots who often turned up working for the French.
And then, was it a specialist unit, like the Italian crossbowmen, or more general?

Carmy
09-18-2008, 06:05 AM
What Evaine said. There were also Irish mercenaries working in France, but it depends on the period.

hammerklavier
09-18-2008, 06:00 PM
If they were organized under the Roman system it would be by groups of 100, 60, or 80 depending on the time period. For horses, groups of 30 with 300 being a full contingent.

Willowmound
09-20-2008, 01:08 PM
No, but try running a search inside this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Mercenaries-Companies-Kenneth-Fowler/dp/0631158863

Or try just buying that book--if you're writing a book about medieval mercenaries, I'm sure it'll come in handy more than once.

Appendix C in that book is called, "The Numerical Strength of the Great Companies"...