Despotism (3) – Condottieri

Trying to develop my ideas on the themes from the Renaissance book, I’ve written about the despotism in previous posts and developed this by looking at Condottieri or hired soldiers that were big players and important to the change in the geography of states during the Renaissance and affected what leaders would get into power. The influence of these Condottieri had a profound effect on the development or the Renaissance world and often these mercenary leaders would attempt to control states of their own.

To relate this to a contemporary context I have compared these Condottieri to the private army and mercenaries of today, specifically the Blackwater organisation who currently have contracts in Iraq and have been the subject of debate and controversy as to their role in this war. Other modern comparisons can be found within Africa where rebel leaders have grown to be incredibly powerful within their own countries. For this experiment I found a painting by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson and is a depiction of a war scene, not the perfect image for what I’m trying to do here but I like the idea of the comparison of old Condottieri to their contemporary counterparts.

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