By David Nicolle
Born amid monstrous pain and bloodshed, the dominion of Jerusalem remained a battlefield for nearly two hundred years. The Crusades gave upward push to the army Orders of the Templars and Hospitallers, and have been a backdrop to the careers of a few of history's most renowned leaders together with Richard 'The Lionheart' and Saladin. every now and then the savagery of the Crusaders left their rivals reeling, growing frictions that survived for greater than seven hundred years. while, as this booklet lavishly illustrates, artwork, structure and studying all benefited from new wisdom the Crusaders introduced again from the East.
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Extra resources for The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives
It started with relatively small-scale operations against neighbouring Islamic territory in Syria but then a bolder plan was devised. The Crusaders would attack Egypt itself but this time, with control of the Eastern Mediterranean, they could invade from the sea. Although the resulting campaign demonstrated the sophistication of Western European combined operations, it failed with the Crusader army surrendering to the forces of Saladin's nephew, al-Kamil, in 1221. The Sixth Crusade, led by the cultured but excommunicated Western Emperor Frederick II, was a diplomatic exercise rather than a military expedition and resulted in the peaceful transfer of Jerusalem to Crusader sovereignty in 1229.
Between rival Muslim dynasties rather than between Muslims and alien outsiders. Though the feeble Crusader States and occasional Crusading expeditions from the West were drawn in, the Crusaders were now little more than pawns in a greater game. For their part the Mamluk rulers of Egypt and Syria recognised that these European enclaves on their left flank were a strategic danger and so decided to remove them once and for all. Meanwhile the Crusader States were weakened by internal quarrels between those supporting this or that nominal king of Jerusalem, between rival Italian merchant The fighting Arms and armour fragments from the ruins of the Great Palace in Istanbul (Constantinople), Byzantine 12th c e n t u r y .
It was right on the frontier of Islamic territory in Syria, with Crusader-held Afamiya to the north, an Ismail or 'Assassin' mini-state in the mountains to the west beyond which lay further Crusader territory. Only to the south and east lay normal Islamic territory and this was held by local TurcoSeljuk governors who were often at loggerheads with the Banu Munqidh. (David Nicolle photograph) 56 Essential Histories • The Crusades St George on a painted icon panel made in the Crusader States, probably in the late 13th century.
The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives by David Nicolle