The kings were fighting for their lives, the great nobles were indistinguishable from brigands and the whole nation seemed to be relapsing into savagery.
In order to put down the brigands who still infested the country and to check the raids of the Arabs on the frontier, he built or rebuilt fortresses, which were of material assistance to the Jews in the great revolt against Rome.
The following year he was fighting the English, and in 1443 aided his father to suppress the revolt of the count of Armagnac. His first important command, however, was in the next year, when he led an army of from 15,000 to 20,000 mercenaries and brigands, - the product of the Hundred Years' War, - against the Swiss of the canton of Basel.
Thousands of brigands were brought to justice: within a short time the country was again quiet and safe.
He succeeded beyond expectation, and with his " Christian army of the Holy Faith " (Esercito Cristiano della Santa Fede), consisting of brigands, convicts, peasants and some soldiers, marched through the kingdom plundering, burning and massacring.