The Spanish fury was a disaster for Antwerp, but although the savagery of the attack was unusual, mutinies in the Spanish army were not. The Habsburgs often neglected to pay their soldiers for years on end and this failure, combined with harsh conditions and seemingly interminable warfare, provoked at least a couple of mutinies every year. Indeed, mutinies became so commonplace that they began to develop their own rituals, with the tercio (army unit) concerned refusing orders but keeping military discipline and electing representatives to haggle a financial deal with the army authorities. A deal was usually reached, outstanding wages were paid (at least in part), normal military life was resumed and, remarkably enough, punishments were rare.

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