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18 Towards a New Social Category: The Military

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Chapter Summary

During the early modern period, the territory of Lombardy was of central importance in the military dynamics involving the entire Italian peninsula and its relationship with the European states. During the fourteenth century, the Italian peninsula saw an increase in conflicts linked to ambition to expand cities and the signori who sought to extend their hegemony and establish widespread regional dominions. Such was the case of the Visconti, whose dominion reached its maximum extension under Gian Galeazzo. The conclusion of the Italian Wars, ending with Spanish domination over the State of Milan and the southern kingdoms, constituted the most evident manifestation of the political crisis of the system of the Italian states in the face of the emergence of the military power of the European territorial states. The Italian Wars represented a period of great experimentation with arms and defences, especially in relation to the use of artillery.

Keywords: Gian Galeazzo; Italian peninsula; Italian Wars; Lombard military organization; Lombardy; Spanish domination; State of Milan

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