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Hengist by John Speed's  "Saxon Heptarchy" (1611) (Public Domain)

Revolt Of The Angle, Saxon and Jute Mercenaries In Britannia

Three Saxon keels slipped effortlessly through the waves towards the Kentish coast. The white cliffs glided past as the rowers, 20 on each side kept a constant rhythm. The shallow-draft oaken hull,...
Ancient Greek household manager with his slave. Source: migfoto / Adobe Stock.

The Not-So-Romantic Truth About Life in Ancient Greece (Video)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in ancient Greece? It's easy to romanticize the past, especially when it comes to a civilization that produced some of the most important...
While the term freelancer was coined in the 19th century, freelancing mercenaries have been a reality of warfare throughout history. In the image, tournament lancers from the Album of Tournaments and Parades in Nuremberg. Source: Met Museum / Public domain

The Word ‘Freelancer’ Originates with Medieval Mercenaries

Even though the word freelancer often feels omnipresent, very few know its etymology. In fact, freelancers have been around for a long time. The word freelancer has been traced back to Sir Walter...
The Swiss pikemen today in a Pike Square re-enactment during the 2009 Escalade in Geneva. 		Source: Rama / CC BY-SA 2.0 FR

The Swiss Pikemen: Europe’s Most Deadly Middle Age Military Formation!

The medieval pike, around 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) in weight and just under 5 meters (16.4 feet) in length, was a weapon supposedly invented in Turin, Italy in 1327 AD. However, its history was...
Naked Warriors: Celtic Mercenaries Went to War in the Buff

Naked Warriors: Celtic Mercenaries Went to War in the Buff

It would take a lot of confidence and courage to face up to a heavily-armored Roman army with neither armor nor clothing. But this is precisely what a band of Celtic mercenaries known as the Gaesatae...
The Iron Age “Game of Mercenaries” likely inspired the popular Viking age board game called ‘Hnefatafl.’ Source: Olga Makukha /Adobe Stock

Researchers Find Relics from an Iron Age ‘Game of Mercenaries’

Archaeologists excavating a burial in Norway have made a discovery that is offering a unique insight into Iron Age games and pastimes. They found evidence of a board game that was modelled on a...
Representation of Norse-Gael (Gallowglass) warriors in battle.          Source: PatSM / Adobe stock

Gallowglass Mercenaries – The Notorious Norse-Gael Soldiers of Fortune

The turbulent history of medieval Europe always called for abled and skilled warriors. Wars and battles depended on the ability of the soldiers, and a man who was skilled with a sword was a sought-...
A man in Liqian, China. There is debate whether his village was inhabited by Roman soldiers from the lost legion of Carrhae.

The Lost Legion of Carrhae: Did a Roman Legion End Up in China?

Rome and China are two major civilizations that shaped the cultures within their sphere of influence. They are also cultures that appear to have been mostly isolated from each other. For this reason...
Sacking of Rome in 1527 by Johannes Lingelbach (17th century) 14,000 mercenaries under George von Frundsberg joined the Duke of Bourbon and the Constable of France, Charles III, to lead them towards Rome.

Soldiers for Sale: Mercenaries from Ancient Times to Medieval Times

Mercenaries are soldiers who are paid for their martial services from the pocket of their employer and from the spoils obtained in war. Most mercenaries once fought in professional armies before...
Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Grand Duke to Caesar – Part II

Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Grand Duke to Caesar – Part II

Military adventurer and mercenary for hire, Roger de Flor was as shrewd a businessman as he was a skillful sailor and fighter. Through his rich services to kings and the elite, he established a...
Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Knight Templar to Pirate – Part I

Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Knight Templar to Pirate – Part I

Roger de Flor was a swashbuckling military adventurer and condottiere (mercenary) leader of the Catalan Company. He was born in the city of Brindisi, Italy, which at the time of his birth was a part...
The victory of Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631)

“Lion of the North” Gustavus Adolphus and the Thirty Years’ War: Fighting the Holy Roman Empire – Part I

On 9 December 1594, Gustav II Adolf was born. From the time of his birth until his coronation, his upbringing involved many lessons in politics, literature, military science, and physical development...
Unravelling the Tragic Story Behind the Impressive Lion Monument of Lucerne

Unravelling the Tragic Story Behind the Impressive Lion Monument of Lucerne

The Lion of Lucerne (known also as the Lion Monument) is a memorial located in Lucerne, Switzerland. This monument is a rock relief carved into the cliff face of a former sandstone quarry, and...