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Soldiers of fortune in the fleets of Charles I Of Anjou, King of Sicily, ca 1265–85

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Chapter Summary

Count Charles of Anjou, the youngest brother of Louis IX of France, conquered the Kingdom of Sicily in two closely fought battles in 1266 and 1268. The distinction between ?mercenaries? and ?non- mercenaries? in Angevin forces was frequently imprecise. From the point of view of the fleets, Charles?s reign falls into six phases that are discussed in this chapter. The most apparent of the ?mercenaries? are those who made careers for themselves. Someone who did obtain fleet command was Gazo Echinard, a nephew of Philippe Echinard, a Cypriot Frank and Admiral under Manfred, who had made him governor of Corfu. A great many soldiers of fortune and mercenary sailors and oarsmen found places in the fleets of Charles of Anjou; however, because of the loss of the registers in 1943 it is no longer possible to do more than to gain an impression of what may have been the case.

Keywords: Anjou; Charles I; mercenary



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