Not an unthinking cipher

A very good quote for understanding early modern soldier:

“The emergence of the modern European soldier, who was not required to know his reason why, but was required to obey without question the orders of his superiors is undoubtedly a significant phenomena. The Tudor soldier, perhaps, never quite reached that point; although with fewer and fewer soldiers raised on quasi-feudal lines there was an increased emphasis on obedience to orders as the underlying principle in the maintenance of discipline. The hungry, ragged, ill-paid, and ill-used soldier did not cease to grumble at his lot, to disappear when his captain’s back was turned, to organise and protest when his treatment became unbearable. In many respects, military indiscipline ran parallel to civilian popular protest. In both cases, the common man recognised that alongside power and privilege came responsibility and obligation, and he was swift to protest against those who failed in their duties. For all the insistence on obedience, the Tudor soldier was never reduced to an unthinking cipher”. (Gervase Phillips. To Cry “Home! Home!”: Mutiny, Morale, and Indiscipline in Tudor Armies // The Journal of Military History, Vol. 65, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), p.332)

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2 Comments

Filed under 16th century, England

2 responses to “Not an unthinking cipher

  1. veber

    Hi! Very glad to see you here.

  2. Pingback: Definition of an early modern mercenary | Sellswords, mercenaries and condottieri

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