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...............................lead an army???...............


Answer: Medieval serjantz did not lead anything. The modern term "sergeants" and the medieval term serjantz both come from Latin serviens, meaning "serving" - indicating their very lowly status at the very bottom of the social scale.

Sergeant status was part of the peasant class and could indicate two different things:

  1. A peasant craftsman, burgess, tradesman or merchant with sufficient income to own a helmet, spear and padded gambeson or mail hauberk, who was obliged to provide 40 days of military service annually.
  2. A full-time professional soldier who wore less expensive armour than a knight and might own a horse or fight on foot. Such men could be crossbowmen, archers, spearmen, or cavalry - if mounted, they formed a line behind the knights who always took first place.

The medieval sergeant was not in charge of anything or anybody, unless granted specific authority to carry a banner, for example. He took orders from his feudal lord who was a knight or a higher nobleman and he was essentially the PBI (poor bloody infantry) who suffered most of the casualties, did most of the dirty work and got none of the accolades.

After a medieval battle, casualties were normally only counted among the knights and other nobility - the casualties among the sergeants were ignored, since they were insignificant people and counted for nothing.

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Q: What did a sergeant do in the middle ages?
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