Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Mercenaries, professional soldiers, who enter a foreign service for pay, originally so called to distinguish them from troops who followed their feudal lords. The most noted associations of mercenaries are the Varangians of Constantinople in the 10th century, the Normans in Italy and Sicily in the 11th century, the company of Sir John Hawkwood in Italy in the 14th century, the Scotch and English companies during the Thirty Years' War, and the Swiss.