Renaissance Warfare
in Munitions of the Mind
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The advent of the printing press coincided with other significant developments in human activity, especially in the conduct of warfare. People have already noted the arrival of gunpowder by the late Middle Ages, although its initial impact had been more psychological than military. By the late fifteenth century, its military use was being perfected in the form of cannon and hand-held weapons. This in turn tended to depersonalize combat. Renaissance cities in Italy, for all their self-conscious cultural development in the arts and philosophy, remained deeply affected by the military ethic. In Florence, for example, the Medici staged mock battles and sieges and even imitation Roman triumphs to amuse their subjects - and, of course, to remind them of who was in charge. The Italian city-states in which the Renaissance flowered in the fifteenth century may well be better remembered for their artistic achievements.

Munitions of the Mind

A history of propaganda from the ancient world to the present era


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