Juvenal-Juvenall-Juvenile: a family history. Danville, Illinois: Interstate, 1972. Out-of-print. [This began as a little project, but once I discovered that all Americans bearing this name trace their ancestors back to one Huguenot powdered wig manufacturer who fled to Philadelphia from the religious wars of late 17th century France, it led me as far as the American civil war and cattle droving. I intend to work on a new edition, starting in the fall of 2006. Contributions and updates are welcome.]


The Baltic Crusade is the story of the 13th century German and Scandinavian crusades to Livonia (modern Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland) 

The Baltic Crusade. DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 1975.  2nd edition, revised and enlarged. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, 1994. 

A selection from the preface to the 2nd edition.   

Not yet out of print. Ignore what Amazon.com says. See publisher's website.

Also, this is html format. The print in the book looks normal.




https://department.monm.edu/history/urban/books/livonian.jpgThe Livonian Rhymed Chronicle. Translation with Jerry C. Smith. Bloomington, Indiana: University of Indiana Publications, 1977. A paragraph from the Introduction  That earlier edition is both out-of-print and outdated. 

Completely revised and enlarged second edition Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, 2001.[how to order below] Paperback.



 A History of Monmouth College through its fifth quarter-century. With Mary Crow, Charles J. Speel, II, and Samuel Thompson. Monmouth, Illinois: Monmouth College, 1979. The opening paragraph of the Introduction Only a few copies left for sale. Contact the Monmouth College Bookstore (309-457-2399)https://department.monm.edu/history/urban/books/Prussi1.gif



The Prussian Crusade.  The second edition, enlarged and revised, is in print: Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, 2000. [how to order below] Paperback.

    Chapter One of the Revised Edition: The Holy Roman Empire

    Chapter Two of the Revised Edition: Early Years of the Teutonic Order

 If your library owns the primitive 1982 desk-top publishing edition, please replace it.




The Livonian Crusade. Excerpt from Chapter One [1st edition. 1981] 2nd, enlarged edition. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, 2004.

549 pp, with maps and illustrations.  $45.75

If your library owns the primitive 1981 desk-top publishing edition, do replace it.

See the bottom of this page for the webpage. This is the sequel to The Baltic Crusade. Summary 




Narcissus and the Faceless Man, reflections on Individualism and Conformity. Monmouth: Monmouth College, 1984. Revised as a Sabbatical project in the spring of 2003.


Readings for the New Individual, selections on individualism and conformity. Monmouth: Monmouth College, 1984. Out of print.


The Chronicle of Balthasar Russow. Translation with Jerry C. Smith and Juergen Eichhoff.  Madison: Wisconsin Baltic Studies Series, 1988.  This sixteenth century chronicle is essential for anyone in Baltic Studies.


Hard and soft covers. 

Can be obtained at the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center in Chicago.


  Selection from the Introduction


This chronicle, written in a lively and provocative style, very sympathetic to the native Estonians, condemns the lifestyles and policies of the rich and idle German nobles. It then described the heroism, the errors and the atrocities of the great war with Ivan the Terrible. It also contains two of the most outraged rebuttals you would ever want to read--written by contemporary German nobles who were once the tsar's spokesmen.

The Samogitian Crusade. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Study Center, 2006. Selection from the Introduction Long out-of-print. Now available.https://department.monm.edu/history/urban/books/Kryziaus%20cover.jpghttps://department.monm.edu/history/urban/books/samogitian%20crusade%20cover.jpghttp://www.lithuanianresearch.org/eng/ltsceng/books/book45.htm

$30.00 paperback.


Kryžiaus karas Žemaitijoje (The Samogitian Crusade) was published in October of 2005 by The Science & Encyclopedia Publishing Institute, L. Asanaviciutes g. 23, LT-04315, Vilnius, Lithuania. Tel. +370 5 2431338, fax. +370 5 2458537



below: the castle at Trakai



Dithmarschen, a medieval peasant republic. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen, 1991. A selection from the Introduction

A look at an unusual and successful democratic republic in the far north of Germany, on the islands and shores of the North Sea. Dithmarschen succumbed to Danish forces only in 1557.

Salomon Henning's Chronicle, translation with Jerry C. Smith and J. Ward Jones. Madison: Wisconsin Baltic Studies Series, 1992. Hard and soft covers. This chronicle of Ivan the Terrible's invasion of Livonia and his eventual defeat describes the collapse of the Livonian Confederation, the dissolution of the Livonian Order, and the occupation of the land by Sweden and Poland. An important companion piece to Russow's Chronicle.

Out of print. Therefore, we offer the basic text, without maps or introduction.  This is html format. The print in the book looks normal.

Part One: 1554-1562


Part Two 1562-1577


Part Three 1577-1590

The Independence of the Baltic States: Origins, Causes, and Consequences. A Comparison of the Critical Years 1918/1919 and 1990/1991. Edited with Eberhard Demm and Roger Noël. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, 1996. Introduction by Eberhard Demm

Translation of Johannes Renner's Chronicle with Jerry C. Smith and Ward Jones. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1997. Selection from the Introduction Another important chronicle of Ivan the Terrible's invasion of Livonia.

    Chapter One: The Years 1556-1557

https://department.monm.edu/history/images/2000/Tannenberg%20and%20After.JPGTannenberg and After: Lithuania, Poland, and the Teutonic Order in Search of Immortality. 3rd edition. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, 2003. 535 pp.







Photo: John Rackauskas, President of the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, William Urban, and Ricardas Spitrys, who printed the 535 page book. Holding the first copies of Tannenberg and After.

This book was selected by the U.S. Commission on Military History for inclusion in vol. 22 of the Bibliographie International d'Histoire Militaire.

https://department.monm.edu/history/urban/books/Zalgiris.gif    Chapter One      

This concluding volume of the series of crusading histories in the Baltic describes the fall and decline (that's right, no misprint) of the Teutonic Order and the rise of Poland-Lithuania to regional hegemony, 1398-1525.




A Lithuanian translation was published by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in February of 2004.

Žalgiris ir kas po jo.


TO ORDER BOOKS published by the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center in Chicago, call (773) 434-4545 or write 5600 South Claremont Avenue, Chicago IL 60636-1039. Check out its WEBSITE.



The Library of American Lives and Times.  For middle school readers. 



If you are looking for a birthday or Christmas gift for a middle school child, particularly if that child thinks history is dull, consider this.








https://department.monm.edu/history/urban/books/BOOKS.2.jpgThe Teutonic Order, a military history (Greenhill, 2003)  Greenhill Press is a prominent English publisher of reference books and monographs on military history. This has been a History Book Club selection since the spring of 2003, and on its best-seller list.


Why I write about the Teutonic Knights


‘Urban brings an epic quality to the lives of the German crusaders, the hard men of Europe, whose military campaigns could rival those of the Templars.’ – Oxford Times

‘This clever and capable author writes a brilliant overview of 500 years of its political and military history. . . . The Teutonic Knights is a terrific book . . . Well-written, concise, and fast moving, you'll appreciate Urban’s efforts to highlight crusader action on the fringes of Christendom’
– Magweb (USA)

‘This narrative history of the Teutonic Order . . .fills an important gap in English writing on crusading history. Urban is a distinguished historian of the Christianization of the Baltic in the period between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, and gives us a general history of the order and of the great process conversion in which it played such a major role. . . . Enlivened by Urban’s occasional acerbic remarks, as exemplified in his bibliography: “Some well-known works have been omitted because their only worth is for propaganda in disputes now long forgotten or for providing the author's income”.’
– History: The Journal of the Historical Association


Available in paperback.                                             

The Swedish translation (2006) and Hungarian  (2005)



A Polish translation appeared in July 2005.

Producent: Książka i Wiedza

Malowniczy opis dziejów Zakonu Krzyżackiego ? od założenia i działalności w okresie krucjat, poprzez walki z plemionami pruskimi, wojny z Polską i Litwą, do upadku w XVI w. Obfituje w opisy dramatycznych wydarzeń europejskiego średniowiecza. Zawiera gruntowną i obiektywną analizę przebiegu bitwy pod Grunwaldem.

William Urban jest profesorem historii i studiów międzynarodowych w Monmouth College, w stanie Illinois, USA. Jest także doktorem filozofii Uniwersytetu Teksaskiego w Austin. Jest autorem kilkunastu książek.

/.../ A więc cofnijmy się wstecz, wykorzystajmy okazję do zagłębienia się w fotelu i odbycia podróży w przeszłość do wieków średnich, do czasów, kiedy ludzie nie byli zapewne ani lepsi, ani gorsi niż dzisiaj, tylko po prostu trochę inni.

Z angielskiego przełożył Eugeniusz Możejko

Wyd. I, 376 str., 14,5 x 20,5 cm, oprawa twarda, ISBN 83-05-13365-6

Cena det. 45 zł

St. 10





Translation into Italian, October 2006 and later Russian.

Storie di uomini, armi, atti di forza

» tutti i titoli della collana LEGuerre 

 · il libro ·



I CAVALIERI TEUTONICIУрбан В. Тевтонский орден:роман. -М:АСТ,2007.-416с.
Storia militare delle Crociate del Nord

di William Urban

Collana: "LEGuerre", n° 34
Brossura, pagine: 400
Prima edizione "LEGuerre"
ISBN: 88-86928-99-8
prezzo: Euro 23,00 i.i.



                                                                                                Translation into Russian (2007)

A translation into Spanish is underway.


Medieval Mercenaries

What Greenhill Press says:

Medieval MercenariesBook cover scan 2.jpg

The Business of War

William Urban

• Groundbreaking work on soldiers of fortune in the Middle Ages
• Explores the surprising variety of mercenaries across the period
• Meticulously researched and engagingly written

The Middle Ages were a turbulent and violent time, when the fate of nations was most often decided on the battlefield, and strength of arms was key to acquiring and maintaining power. Feudal oaths and local militias were more often than not incapable of providing the skilled and disciplined warriors necessary to keep the enemy at bay. It was the mercenary who stepped in to fill the ranks.

In this benchmark work, William Urban explores the vital importance of the mercenary to the medieval power-broker, from the Byzantine Varangian Guard to fifteenth-century soldiers of fortune in the Baltic. Through contemporary chronicles and the most up-to-date scholarship, he presents an in-depth portrait of the mercenary across the Middle Ages.

A mercenary was a professional soldier who took employment with minimum concern for the morals, ethics or cause of the paymaster. But within these confines we discover a surprising array of fighting-men, from the lowest-born foot soldier to the wealthiest aristocrat – the occasional clergyman, even. What united them all was a willingness, and often the desire, to fight for their supper.

Shocking, informative and hugely entertaining, Medieval Mercenaries is a compelling account of the business of war in the age of chivalry.


http://ksiegarnia.bellona.pl/nokl/big/3400.jpgThis was translated into Polish in 2008.

William Urban

W burzliwych czasach średniowiecza losy państw i narodów rozstrzygały się najczęściej na polach bitew, a czynnikiem decydującym o uzyskaniu i utrzymaniu władzy była siła oręża. Rycerstwo oraz złożone z ludzi niższego stanu lokalne oddziały pomocnicze przeważnie jednak nie zapewniały wystarczającej liczby wyćwiczonych w wojennym rzemiośle, sprawnych fizycznie i nielękających się walki żołnierzy. W takiej sytuacji sięgano po najemników. Popularna monografia znanego amerykańskiego historyka poświęcona jest dawnym "psom wojny", walczącym wyłącznie dla sutego żołdu i bogatych łupów. Wojownicy ci wywodzili się z różnych warstw społecznych. Najemnikami bywali zamożni arystokraci, chłopi, mieszczanie, a nawet duchowni. Wyróżniali się nadzwyczajną skutecznością i wytrwałością, cenili też nowe zdobycze techniki wojennej.






August 15, 2007. The Greenhill blurb:
From the Greek professional armies of Alexander, through the Hundred Years War, indeed, to today, mercenaries have been ever-present, their role constantly evolving. In this compelling new history William Urban takes up their captivating and turbulent story from 1550 to 1789: from the Wars of Religion to the eve of the French Revolution.

The 16th century saw increasing sophistication in European politics and commerce, religious and scientific thought, and military technology. Everywhere professionals became more important. Mercenaries are often considered a marginal phenomenon, but Urban shows that as military professionals they contributed significantly to the development of the modern state.

Increasingly not just individual soldiers and officers became mercenaries, but entire armies of well-equipped, well-trained, and, in time, experienced soldiers were available to friends and allies. By the late-1600s these armies had evolved into large and efficient fighting forces. The infantry were using muskets equipped with bayonets; the engineers were building better fortresses and devising better methods of assaulting them; the cavalry were adjusting to new tactics; the generals learning strategy from service under great field marshals and by reading their books; and everyone was paying attention to treasury officers. Nothing could be done without money. With money, anything was possible – buying cannons and the neutrality of neighbours, providing troops with food and clothing, satisfying fashion-conscious mistresses. For money, anything was possible.

By the mid-1700s military service had become a profession. The old-fashioned mercenary was less common, but he would not disappear until swept away by the volunteer armies of the French Revolution. Money gave way, temporarily, to patriotism.

Bayonets for Hire

Mercenaries at War, 1550–1789

William Urban and Foreword by William McNeill


‘Bayonets for Hire slashes into the sordid history of mercenaries in the Early Modern age. A fine addition to Urban’s previous books, his historic findings and narrative blend together for an exciting read’ - Jay Franco, Military Book Club (USA)

With Bayonets for Hire, William Urban, author of highly acclaimed book The Teutonic Knights, moves his focus from the Middle Ages to the years 1550-1789 (the Wars of Religion to the eve of the French Revolution) to provide a close analysis of his subject of expertise: the mercenary.
Urban begins in the mid-16th Century and the rise of the professional soldier, arguing that the mercenary had a greater impact on the success and subsequent development of the European military than commentators have acknowledged. As the decades passed, the practice of hiring individual soldiers evolved into that of hiring entire mercenary armies. By the dawn of the 18th Century, these armies were some of the most efficient fighting forces on the continent. The lesson learned? Money buys success. The wealthiest leaders could afford not only the best weapons and training but those equally important assets, as well—food, clothing and political influence. By the mid-18th Century, military service had become a profession.
Bayonets for Hire delves deeply into a fascinating and important subject. And in our opinion, there isn't a better man for the job than William Urban.  Military Book Club (USA)

THE DEAN IS DEAD. iUniverse, 2007.      Author's comments


The Dean Is Still Dead iUniverse, 2008.

cover deanisstilldead.jpg

In the fall semester of 1995 Professor Donahue and Chief Biggs investigated the watery demise of Dean Wooda, murdered as part of an insurance scam intended to resolve Briarpatch College’s financial problems. Now, only a few months later, they have it all to do over again. Another murder. Could the dean have done it? And if so, how?

            Donahue’s on-and-off romance of Mary is off again. Can murder bring them together once more? Or will it drive them apart for good?

            The college’s future looks good, thanks to media coverage of the trial—everyone wants a campus tour that includes the sites associated with the scandal, and some visitors are enrolling!


If you’ve ever attended a small college, you’ve been to Briarpatch. Your alma maters endowment may be larger, the buildings newer and the football team more successful, but the faculty, the staff and the cafeteria food are the same everywhere.

dean dead again.jpgiUniverse, 2009.

Dean Returns Cover.jpg iUniverse 2010

Dean Returns Back.jpg


http://ksiegarnia.bellona.pl/gfx/lupka.gifpokaż okładkę

William Urban

Cena detaliczna: 57,00
Cena internetowa: 46,70

Wydawca: Bellona
ISBN/EAN 9788311111059
Tłumaczenie: Arkadiusz Romanek
368 stron
format 170x240 mm
oprawa twarda lakierowana




Książka Williama Urbana jest próbą przekrojowego opisu losów najemników - żołnierzy zaciężnych w Europie w latach 1550-1789, czyli w okresie pomiędzy końcem mrocznej ery średniowiecza a Wielką Rewolucją Francuską. Autor opisuje, jak zmieniał się profil charakterologiczny najemników oraz sama służba i wyposażenie żołnierzy na przestrzeni dwóch wieków. Najemnik z 1550 roku parał się wojaczką głównie dla pieniędzy. Wiek później typowy najemnik był już zainteresowany przeżyciem przygód, podróżami, poznaniem świata w takim samym stopniu, co wynagrodzeniem. W XVIII wieku większość najemników służyła już w regularnych oddziałach stałych armii. W tym czasie najważniejszymi najemnikami byli profesjonalni oficerowie - inteligencja wśród mas zwykłych żołnierzy. W czasie Wielkiej Rewolucji Francuskiej coraz większe znaczenie zaczęły mieć uczucia wspólnoty narodowościowej i armia poborowa.

 2013: Why the Dean Is Dead.




William Urban is often asked where he gets his ideas. He always answers that he just looks around, reads the Chronicle of Higher Education, and shares beers with colleagues at conferences. Insanity abounds!


   Matchlocks to Flintlocks  (2011)


matchlocks to flintocksPublicity blurb  Matchlocks to Flintlocks

             Military history is rarely taught in colleges and universities. Matchlocks and Flintlocks offers a correction to this, arguing that the rise of the West between 1500 and 1700 had less to do with technological superiority than to the reliance on feudal levies and hurriedly-raised mercenary units evolving first into state-directed contract armies, then into state armies.

            Historians have long explained this development the work of absolute rulers. Yes, there were powerful rulers, but they imposed their will less by tyrannical methods than a combination of persuasion, compromise, bribery, and flattery; the iron fist is most effective when clad in a silk glove.

            This was not an era that would attract a time-traveler, but it was never dull. Christendom, fractured by quarrels among Catholics, Protestants and Orthodoxy, faced invasions by Muslim Turks and Tatars. The West was on the defensive until just before 1700, with several crises having been barely survived until the decisive encounter at Vienna in 1683. The subsequent struggle over Budapest, then the Christian drive down the Danube intended to liberate the peoples of the Balkans demonstrated that the future belonged to the West, not the traditional empires of the East.

            Louis XIV’s attacks across the Rhine into Germany and Holland ended the Austrian effort to drive the Turks out of Europe, leaving the way open for Peter the Great to advance Russia’s borders far to the south.

            This is military history in social, economic and political contexts. Urban’s well-known light touch is in evidence, but readers will also benefit from his insights into the contributions of leading scholars of military history.



 anBayonets and Scimitars  (London: Frontline: summer 2013)

Small Wars and their Influence on Nation States: 1500 to the PresentHardcover – March 30, 2016


After 1500, European warfare was repeatedly revolutionized by new weapons, new methods for supplying armies in the field, improved fortifications and new tactics for taking fortifications. This allowed empires to grow, with, for example, the Ottomans expanding into the Middle East and Africa, Britain dominating India, and Russia conquering the steppe.

The dynamics of resistance to this expansion were remarkably similar to what we see today in ISIS, Afghan and Pakistani Talibans, and various jihadist groups that are more tribal than Islamist. The driving force behind these organizations may be tribal resentment of the modern world undermining long-established traditions and beliefs. Religion – or their interpretation of Islam – is merely a glue that holds the rebels together.

Such resistance continues to be met by world powers who misunderstand the motives of the people that take up arms against them, and we should understand that ours is not the first generation to deal with this problem, and ours will probably not be the last. However, there are some methods that work better than others. The failures and successes of the past can help us now and in the future

Chapter 1 Every Periphery Has a Centre

Chapter 2 Gunpowder Regimes

Chapter 3 The Frontiers of Christendom

Chapter 4 Africa, the Ultimate Periphery

Chapter 5 The Collapse of Old Empires

Chapter 6 Scotland and Ireland

Chapter 7 The New Armies

Chapter 8 Britain in America

Chapter 9 Central Asia, the Periphery of Empires

Chapter 10 Mercenaries in Literature

Chapter 11 Peripheries Are Not Always Distant

Chapter 12 Reflections on the Writing of History

Time seems to bear out my contention that tribalism is more important than religion, though when combined their power is greater than the sum of their parts.


Published in November 2018:

The Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg, Žalgris) was one of the largest battles in Medieval Europe and was the most important in the histories of Poland and Lithuania.

It was fought on 15 July 1410 during the Polish-Lithuania-Teutonic War between the alliance of the Kingdom of Poland (led by King Jagiello) and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (led by Grand Duke Vytautas) against the German-Prussian Teutonic Knights (led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen) and with the assistance of Sigismund, then King of Hungary and Croatia.

The Teutonic Knights, a crusading military order, were defeated and most of their leaders were killed or taken prisoner. This defeat would mark the beginning of their decline and they would never again regain their former power.

Following the battle, the balance of power shifted in Central and Eastern Europe and so came the rise of the Polish-Lithuanian union as the dominant political and military force.

In this compelling account the action takes place in Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia and Germany. There are bloody battles; fascinating characters; intrigue; betrayals; sex; unexpected twists of fate; religious heresy and a smattering of saints. There is also the monumental end of one era making way for the beginning of another.








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