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“Doctors of the military discipline: ”Projects of reform in the spanish officer corps

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Chapter Summary

The erosion of the Alba system or school spawned a literature of protest and reform that challenged the contemporary notion of the aristocracys innate capacity for military leadership. As such these works were as intellectually and socially revolutionary as the better-known Protestant attacks on the medieval clergys prerogatives and powers; they galvanized Spanish military science and helped to establish the intellectual foundations of a military revolution in Europe. Londoos Discurso established the guidelines for nothing less than a general reform of the Spanish forces fighting in the Netherlands. The book can be divided into three major parts: a description of the duties and knowledge appropriate to each of the tercio's major ranks, brief recommendations on strategy and tactics, and finally statutes or bandos designed to improve all aspects of military life, as, for example, prohibitions on dueling and limitations on the number of female camp followers allowed in each company.

Keywords: Alba system; female camp followers; medieval clergy; Netherlands; officer corps; Spanish military science



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