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John Hawkwood: Florentine Hero And Faithful Englishman

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Chapter Summary

The Englishman John Hawkwood was fourteenth-century Italy?s most famous and successful mercenary soldier. The image of a ?Florentine Hawkwood? has since worked its way through the literature. In truth, Hawkwood played out his career throughout Italy, and worked for numerous employers besides Florence. For most of the first decades of his career in Italy Hawkwood served Pisa and Milan during a period when these two cities often opposed Florence. While the tight connection between Hawkwood and England continued in subsequent years, his attachment to Italy also grew deeper. Only after 1387, following Hawkwood?s greatest military triumph at Castagnaro, did the Englishman finally enter a lasting period of service to Florence. The merchant of Prato, Francesco Datini, made regular reference to Hawkwood in his correspondence with his friend, Lapo Mazzei.

Keywords: Castagnaro; Englishman; Florence; Italy; John Hawkwood; Milan



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