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mercenaries

N.a professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army.

late Middle English (as a noun): from Latin mercenaruis ‘hireling,’ from merces, merced- ‘reward.’

Mercenaries

Mercenaries   Reference library

Sarah Percy

The Oxford Companion to International Relations

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
1,592 words

...activity. Early Mercenary Activity. Mercenaries were common actors in both ancient Greece and Rome. In the medieval period, mercenaries were predominantly entrepreneurial actors who organized themselves into bands and sold their services to the highest bidder. Mercenaries were hired by all types of leaders, from local lords to kings. During this period of entrepreneurial mercenary activity, mercenaries provided both advantages and disadvantages for their employers. The use of mercenaries allowed rulers a way to raise troops that circumvented the...

Mercenaries

Mercenaries   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

...William . John Hawkwood: An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-Century Italy . Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. Fowler, Kenneth . Medieval Mercenaries . Vol. 1, The Great Companies . Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2001. France, John , ed. Mercenaries and Paid Men: The Mercenary Identity in the Middle Ages . Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2008. Mallet, Michael . “Mercenaries.” In Medieval Warfare: A History , edited by Maurice Keen , pp. 209–229. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Mallet, Michael . Mercenaries and Their Masters: Warfare in...

mercenaries

mercenaries   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
514 words

...Greeks for the reconquest of Egypt. But Greek states also increasingly employed mercenaries. Jason (2) of Pherae is said to have had up to 6,000, and the 4th cent. saw many other ‘tyrants’ who relied on mercenaries to keep them in power, the most conspicuous being Dionysius 1 I of Syracuse. Philip II and Alexander (2) the Great certainly employed mercenaries, esp. as specialists and for detached duties such as garrisons, and the Diadochi increasingly employed mercenaries in their phalanxes as the supply of real Macedonians declined. However, as the...

Mercenaries

Mercenaries   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
770 words

... . White mercenaries played major roles in conflicts in weak African states from 1960 onward. Until 1990 , the characteristic pattern was the hiring of one or more specialists in unconventional warfare to act as officers, then recruiting individuals to serve as troops. The mercenary force assembled to defend the secession of the Congo's mineral-rich Katanga province was the prototype; many veterans of the Congo served in other African wars. After 1990 , mercenary activity involved security firms, some of which participated in mining enterprises as...

mercenaries

mercenaries   Reference library

Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Law, International Law
Length:
258 words

... While mercenaries have been used in war from Roman times, the laws of war have contained no explicit references to them. The appearance and role of mercenaries in recent international and internal conflicts have caused concern, and resulted in provisions on mercenaries in art. 47 of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 , relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, adopted at the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed...

Mercenaries

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The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
358 words

... (μισθοφόροι) were hired by the Byz. throughout their history to secure needed manpower or skills. Germanic mercenaries, attracted by wages and the prospect of advancement, had played an influential role in the late Roman army, and cash taxes obtained from the population in lieu of military service were used to pay for them ( Jones , LRE 619–23). The expense, coupled with the recruitment of the provincial armies ( themata ) from local and transplanted populations, reduced the demand for mercenaries between the late 7th and 9th C. The 10th and 11th...

Mercenaries

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Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
History, Contemporary History (post 1945)
Length:
2,344 words

...South Africa chiefs hired Boer mercenaries, the Bambara, Umarian, and Samorian empires employed mercenaries, and the commercial empires of Tippu Tip, Msiri, and Cecil Rhodes hired mercenaries. During the partition of Africa, European states and entrepreneurs used many mercenaries (the King's Rifles, tirailleurs , the Force Publique, Schutztruppen ), but the consolidation of European imperial control over Africa eventually reduced the market for military labor as monopolies on the use of force were enforced and mercenary troops evolved into the standing...

mercenaries

mercenaries   Reference library

John F. Lazenby and Jonathan C. N. Coulston

The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
678 words

...Greeks eager for mercenary service for the Persian prince Cyrus to raise more than 10,000 for his attempt on his brother’s throne, including Athenians, Spartans, Arcadians, Achaeans, Boeotians, and Thessalians, as well as the usual Cretan and Rhodian specialists. Poverty had probably always been the main factor in driving Greeks to become mercenaries—it is significant how many were Arcadians—and the increasing number in the 4th cent. bc was probably partly due to the worsening economic situation (cf. Isoc. 4. 167 ff.). Greek mercenaries were now in great...

Mercenaries

Mercenaries   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
850 words

...plundered the vast treasuries at Delphi in order to fund a mercenary army that enabled them to fight a series of much stronger foes for ten years (Diodorus Siculus 16.24.4). Both Philip II and his son Alexander the Great made extensive use of Greek mercenaries throughout their careers, as did their enemies. For instance, at Granicus in 334 , Alexander beat (and later enslaved the survivors of) an army of twenty thousand Greek mercenaries employed by the Persians (Arrian Anabasis 1.26.6). Mercenary service probably reached its peak in the period after...

mercenaries

mercenaries   Reference library

John F. Lazenby and Jonathan C. N. Coulston

The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
754 words

... increasingly employed mercenaries in their phalanxes as the supply of real Macedonians declined. However, as the Hellenistic world settled down after Ipsus , the great powers developed supplies of phalanx-troops from their own national resources—often the descendants of Greek mercenary settlers—and most mercenaries of the 3rd and 2nd cent. bc appear to have been, once again, light-armed and specialist troops. H. W. Parke , Greek Mercenary Soldiers from the Earliest Times to the Battle of Ipsus (1933); G. T. Griffith , Mercenaries of the Hellenistic...

mercenaries, medieval

mercenaries, medieval   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004

...of art and sculpture. There was an obvious relationship between the employment of mercenaries and the power of states to raise money. It was in cash that mercenaries wished to be paid, and it was no coincidence that new forms of taxation were introduced in England in the late 12th and early 13th centuries at a time when mercenaries were extensively used. The widespread use of mercenaries in later medieval Italy was made possible by the commercial wealth of the cities. Mercenaries thrived in periods of endemic warfare and in regions where political authority was...

mercenaries, modern

mercenaries, modern   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004

..., modern Modern mercenaries shun easy definition. Simply describing them as hired soldiers misses the point, for there is an important mercenary streak in most national armies, whose members might resent being termed mercenaries but are motivated, at least in part, by the pay that they receive. The profit motive played a notable part in the English armies of the Hundred Years War , and prize money materially assisted motivation in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic period. Narrowing the definition to include only soldiers who serve a foreign power...

mercenaries in Europe

mercenaries in Europe   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Scottish History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
794 words

... in Europe . Since the 15th century the Garde Écossaise had served as the personal bodyguard of the king of France, although their number seldom exceeded 100 men. Elsewhere, numbers were higher. Between 1573 and 1579 , 3,100 Scots were levied for service in the Low Countries to assist in the fight against Catholic Spain. Shortly after, a permanent Anglo‐Scottish Dutch brigade was formed. Contemporaneously, Scots also became a regular component of Scandinavian armies. In the 1570s, Archibald Ruthven received a royal licence to levy 1,600 Scots for...

mercenaries in Ireland

mercenaries in Ireland   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Scottish History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
1,024 words

... in Ireland . The movement of large numbers of men from the Hebrides and western Scotland to fight in Ireland was a notable feature of the links between the two areas during the medieval and early modern period. The earliest form of military contact between the two regions was mutual maritime raiding, but in the later Middle Ages Hebridean lords and families were increasingly to be found fighting in the service of Irish lords in Ireland. Accounts of Scottish forces in Ireland usually concentrate on two distinct periods in which the influx of Scottish...

mercenaries

mercenaries  

Reference type:
Overview Page
N.a professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army.late Middle English (as a noun): from Latin mercenaruis ‘hireling,’ from merces, merced- ‘reward.’
mercenary

mercenary   Reference library

The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

... n. a professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army. late Middle English (as a noun): from Latin mercenaruis ‘hireling,’ from merces, merced- ...

mercenary

mercenary   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Law (9 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Law
Length:
77 words

...mercenary n. A person recruited to fight in an armed conflict for private gain who is neither a national of a party to the conflict nor a member of its armed forces. Mercenaries are not entitled to combatant status and, if captured, are therefore not entitled to prisoner-of-war status for the purposes of protection under the Geneva Conventions . British officers undertaking such service (e.g. in Oman) were commonly known as contract officers . See also foreign enlistment...

mercenary

mercenary   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Law Enforcement (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Law
Length:
76 words

... A person recruited to fight in an armed conflict for private gain who is neither a national of a party to the conflict nor a member of its armed forces. Mercenaries are not entitled to combatant status and, if captured, are therefore not entitled to prisoner-of-war status for the purposes of protection under the Geneva Conventions . British officers undertaking such service (e.g. in Oman) were commonly known as contract officers . See also foreign enlistment...

mercenary companies

mercenary companies   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
492 words

...Indeed, the largest companies have been compared to moving states. From the end of the 14th century, mercenary companies (the most celebrated became the Swiss ones) were increasingly integrated into more permanent armies, while mercenary captains like the Italian * condottieri acquired more direct control over their troops. See also norman conquest ; varangians ; warfare . Gianluca Raccagni W. Caferro , John Hawkwood: An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-Century Italy (2006). P. Contamine , ‘ Les Compagnies d’aventure en France pendant la guerre...

mercenary

mercenary adj   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016

...mercenary adj m 'mɐ:ɹsǝˌnarǝɪ, -ǝnrǝɪ sp mercenary 1 , mercinarie 1 ...

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