Author by : John M. I would also assign a general Head for the whole Battalion. It appears proper to me to discuss only the present methods of arming. As I believe that it is possible for one to praise, without concern, any man after he is dead since every reason and supervision for adulation is lacking, I am not apprehensive in praising our own Cosimo Ruccelai, whose name is never remembered by me without tears, as I have recognized in him those parts which can be desired in a good friend among friends and in a citizen of his country. Afterwards, with time, they were armed like the infantry, but the shield was much smaller and square, and the staff more solid and with two iron tips, so that if the one side was encumbered, they could avail themselves of the other. But as I have said I did not intend in this discussion of mine to speak of armies outside of Europe; and, therefore, I want to continue on those which the Romans and Greeks had organized in their time, and that the Germans do today. After these, the Constable between the flag and the bugler, who also has behind him another fifteen files of shield-bearers.
In addition to this, in the engagement that Paulus Emilius had with Perseus, King of Macedonia, I do not remember mention being made of shields, but only of the Sarisse and the difficulty the Romans had in overcoming them. A good ruler must avoid being hated by his subjects however. And above all, to make the body more inured to hardships, they accustom it to carry great weights. During this intrepid six-year voyage, he traveled a distance equal to twice the circumference of the world and found himself a thousand times beyond the limits of endurance. They the Romans could safely assault towns, having the body covered, and being able to cover it even better with the shield.
For instance, if one is commanded to be in the second file , he will afterwards always stay there, and not only in this same file, but in the same position in the file ; it is to be observed as I have said how necessary are the great number of countersigns, so that, coming together with other companies, it may be recognized by its own men. For, if in six thousand infantry as I shall explain a little later I should have three thousand infantry with shields like the Romans, and two thousand pikes and a thousand gunners like the Germans, they would be enough for me; for I would place the pikes either in the front lines of the battle, or where I should fear the cavalry most; and of those with the shield and the sword, I would serve myself to back up the pikes and to win the engagement, as I will show you. To the thousand extraordinary pikemen, I would assign three Constables, ten Centurions, and a hundred Heads of Ten: to the extraordinary Veliti, two Constables, five Centurions, and fifty Heads of Ten. With an Afterword by Oliver Francis. And, therefore, they arranged horses of wood on which they straddled, and jumped over them armed and unarmed without any help and without using their hands: which made possible that in a moment, and at a sign from the Captain, the cavalry to become as foot soldiers, and also at another sign, for them to be remounted.
They should, therefore, be arranged into eighty ranks files , with five per file. For an infantryman who has his head covered with iron, his breast protected by a cuirass and a shield, his arms and legs with armor, is much more apt to defend himself from pikes, and enter among them, than is a man-at-arms cavalryman on foot. But the Romans sustained and overcame the cavalry, as these Germans do. There is in Machiavelli, a differing sense of newness from that which is commonly known today, which circumvents its worth in this distinct educative interpretation. And men become excellent, and show their virtu, according as they are employed and recognized by their Prince, Republic, or King, whichever it may be.
The horsemen of the Romans were likewise alone: it is true that the Triari encamped near the cavalry and were obliged to render aid to it in the handling of the horses: this can easily be imitated by us, as will be shown in the distribution of quarters. Nor does one grieve with the friends of another of his death, except for his having been born to die young unhonored within his own home, without having been able to benefit anyone with that mind of his, for one would know that no one could speak of him, except to say that a good friend had died. But this is more important and where more practice is needed, is when a company wants to turn entirely, as if it was a solid body. This results from the fact that these last two parts of the world have had a Principality or two, and few Republics; but Europe alone has had some Kingdoms and an infinite number of Republics. I want to give you a small modern example. It should therefore be so arranged, that the first and last file of every hundred of Heads of Ten; the Constable with his flag and bugler be in the middle of the first hundred century of shield-bearers; and the Centurions at the head of every century. That, therefore, which the Romans did, and that which the Germans do, we also can do; and in not doing it, we make a mistake.
Secondly, that the Constable and Centurion have tufts of feathers on their head-dress different and recognizable, and what is more important, to arrange that the Heads of Ten be recognized. The first, to harden the body and accustom it to endure hardships, to act faster, and more dexterously. They were safe from blows near and far because they were covered with armor. But let us come to the other question of yours, in which you desire to know what organization or what natural virtu causes the infantry to be superior to the cavalry. So that each company would have thirty six carriages, which I would have them to carry the necessary tents, cooking utensils, hatchets, digging bars, sufficient to make the encampment, and after that anything else of convenience.
And as to numbers, I say that departing from imitating the Roman army, I would have not less than three hundred effective cavalry for each battalion, of which I would want one hundred fifty to be men-at-arms, and a hundred fifty light cavalry; and I would give a leader to each of these parts, creating among them fifteen Heads of Ten per hand, and give each one a flag and a bugler. In every Company, I would put in charge a Constable, four Centurions, and forty Heads of Ten, and in addition, a Head of the ordinary Veliti with five Heads of Ten. The Veliti extend themselves along its flanks, according as they were disposed in the first method; which method is called Doubling by the straight line, and this last method is called Doubling by the flanks. They had the young men put on arms armor which weighed more than twice that of the real regular ones, and, as a sword, they gave them a leaded club which in comparison was very heavy. To do this, it is necessary to exercise them in those orders, which they called Chiocciole Spiralling.
This site is like a library, you could find million book here by using search box in the widget. And I have knowingly repeated this arrangement many times, so that then, when I show you the methods for organizing the Companies and the armies, you will not be confounded. This reason has caused the armies to die out first, and then the institutions, so that the Kingdoms and the Republics, especially the Italian, exist in such a weak condition today. I would want that every ten men-at-arms have five carriages and every ten light cavalrymen two, which, like those of the infantry, should carry the tents, cooking utensils, hitches, poles, and in addition over the others, their tools. Pragmatism and expediency are seen to be more important considerations than ethical ones, and a ruler must be prepared to take actions in the interest of public order that might conflict with purely private ethical concerns.