The speedily restored democracy put little heart into the conflict, and beyond sending mercenary detachments, lent Athens no further help in the war (see Peloponnesian War).
Silesia remained a principal objective of the various contending armies and was occupied almost continuously by a succession of ill-disciplined mercenary forces whose depredations and exactions, accentuated at times by religious fanaticism, reduced the country to a state of helpless misery.
The conditions which have the five been described, of despotism, mercenary warfare and bourgeois prosperity, determined the character of this epoch, which was also the period when the great achievements of the Renaissance were prepared.
Thus Arcadia lagged behind the general development of Greece, and its political importance was small owing to chronic feuds between the townships (notably between Mantineia and Tegea) and the readiness of its youth for mercenary service abroad.
No real control was exerted by the crown over the heads of the various states, and, now that war was carried on mainly by mercenary troops, the mediate nobles did not hold their lands on condition of military service.
With the help of his clansmen among the Arabs, and to a large extent of the renegades who counted as his clients, by craft, by the sword, by keeping down the fanatical Berber element, and by forming a mercenary army of African negroes, and after thirty years of blood and battle, Abdurrahman founded the independent amirate, which in the 10th century became the caliphate of Cordova.
The duke of Milan, Maximilian Sforza, had secured the support of the emperor, the king of Spain, and the pope, and also that of the Swiss cantons, which then supplied the best and most numerous mercenary soldiers in Europe.
Hence the custom of fare, hiring mercenary troops was introduced, and a prince could never be certain, however numerous his vassals might be, that the advantage would not rest with his opponent.
He found that he had no supporters save a handful of courtiers and officials and the leaders of his mercenary bands; wherefore in despair he accepted the terms forced upon.
The former established himself in 64 at Panticapaeum, and was planning new campaigns against the Romans when his own troops revolted, and, after vainly trying to poison himself, he ordered a Gallic mercenary to kill him.