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On the conclusion (1360) of the Peace of Bretigny between England and France, Sir John Hawkwood led an army of English mercenaries, called the White Company, into Italy, which took a prominent part in the confused wars of the next thirty years.

Towards the end of the century the Italians began to organize armies of the same description.

This ended the reign of the purely mercenary company, and began that of the semi-national mercenary army which endured in Europe till replaced by the national standing army system.

In 1363, Count von Landau was betrayed by his Hungarian soldiers, and defeated in combat, by the White Company’s more advanced tactics under commanders Albert Sterz and John Hawkwood.

from the late Middle Ages and throughout the Renaissance.

In Renaissance Italian, condottiero meant "contractor". In contemporary Italian, "condottiero" acquired the broader meaning of "military leader", not restricted to mercenaries.

Niccolò Machiavelli even said that condottieri fought each other in grandiose, but often pointless and near-bloodless battles.

In Italian historiography, Renaissance mercenary captains are usually called capitani di ventura (literally "venture captains").

The word Condottiere in the English language has come to denote, in the modern sense, any hired soldier.

However, later in the Renaissance the condottieri line of battle still deployed the grand armoured knight and medieval weapons and tactics after most European powers had begun employing professional standing armies of pikemen and musketeers —this helped to contribute to their eventual decline and destruction.

In 1347, Cola di Rienzo (Tribune and effective dictator of the city) had Werner von Urslingen executed in Rome, and Konrad von Landau assumed command of the Great Company.

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