Charakterystyka „miejskich artykułów wojskowych” na przykładzie Rigischer Artikelsbrieff z 1600 roku
Description of the “municipal military articles” from the example of Rigischer Artikelsbrieff of the year 1600
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The article concerns the “municipal military articles” – regulations issued or accepted by the town council for military forces employed by the town. This type of standard act developed in the early modern period mainly in the Reich, the Swiss Confederacy in the Apennine Peninsula and in the Polish Rzeczpospolita. As far as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is concerned, we are familiar with military articles issued by the council of Gdańsk, Riga and Toruń. The regulations of Riga for the Landsknechte, unknown in historiography, were created at the end of 1600; the ceremony of their acceptance by a team of 800 people took place on 12 January 1601. The regulations were in force probably as long as Riga remained within the borders of the Polish Rzeczpospolita. The text of Artikelbrief coincides with German law. Probably the regulations followed the model of Prussian articles written by Albrecht Hohenzollern included in Kriegsordnung. The military articles of Riga helped to maintain a high level of military discipline during military campaigns in Livonia. When set behind the troops of the Polish Crown and Lithuania, the soldiers of Riga behaved relatively peacefully. The most spectacular crimes were harshly judged and sentences were executed, which at that time was quite rare. Special emphasis was given to the issue of military expeditions, which was an uncharacteristic solution when compared with other “municipal military articles”. Attention should be drawn to a regulation which prohibited undertaking attacks against allied armies, the equivalents of which were to be found in Lithuanian and Polish articles issued at that time (1601).
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