Battle Castle: Crac des Chevaliers

Dan Snow at Crac des Chevaliers in Battle Castle

Trebuchets, earthquakes, Crusades and sweeping panoramas – you don’t want to miss a single minute of this fantastic first episode of Battle Castle!

The Use of Fortification as a Political Instrument by the Ayyubids and the Mamluks in Bilad al-Sham and in Egypt (Twelfth-Thirteenth Centuries)

Aleppo Citadel

Beginning in 1170/1171, Salah al-Din built fortifications as the Fatimid vizier of Egypt. His considerations were primarily defensive in this period, following the Frankish campaign of 1168 that led to the siege of Cairo, and the Frankish-Byzantine naval expedition against Damietta in 1169.

A Flat Vault in the “Crac des Chevaliers” and Some Considerations on the Development of Vault Geometry and Stereotomy in Mediaeval Masonry Structures in Syria

Crac des Chevaliers

The vault is located in the south-western cylindrical tower at the external defensive wall of the “Crac des Chevaliers” Castle in Syria, and was built in the late 13th Century. In this paper the geometry of the vault is analysed and a hypothesis developed on the design process; the technology of the vault will also be considered together with a discussion on the differences with European examples.

Images of Civil Conflict: One Early Muslim Historian’s Represenation of the Umayyad Civil War Caliphs

history-al-tabari

This thesis examines the ninth-century Baghdadi scholar al-Tabari and his narrative representation of the three civil war caliphs of the Umayyad era (661-750 CE).

The Ismailis and their Role in the History of Medieval Syria and the Near East

maysaf

The Ismailis and their Role in the History of Medieval Syria and the Near East By Farhad Daftary and Azim Nanji Syria Medieval Citadels Between East and West, ed. Stefano Bianca (Geneva, 2007) Introduction: Whether overtly or covertly, the Ismailis have played an important role in the cultural history of Islam, particularly in Syria and […]

Education and training under the Mamluks

Education and training under the Mamluks By Sevak Joseph Manjikian Master’s Thesis, McGill University, 1998 Abstract: This work analyzes the methods the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517) used to train and educate its military and religious elite. Three separate classes of people are examined: the Mamluks, the religious elite (‘ ulama‘) and finally the children of the […]

Ibn ‘Asakir (1105–1176): Muslim Historian and Advocate of Jihad against Christian Crusaders and Shi‘ite Muslims

Damascus

Ibn ‘Asakir (1105–1176): Muslim Historian and Advocate of Jihad against Christian Crusaders and Shi‘ite Muslims By James E. Lindsay Middlebury College Working Paper #11 (2003) Abstract: This paper argues that Ibn ‘Asakir was very much concerned with preserving what he considered the proper Sunni character of Islam, and that he did so as an eager […]

How Eager He Was for the Victory of Islam!’: Saladin’s Strategy Against the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1171-1187)

Artistic representation of Saladin

How Eager He Was for the Victory of Islam!’: Saladin’s Strategy Against the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1171-1187) By Jan Vandeburie Paper given at the ISHA Seminar ‘War, Father of All – Warfare in History’, 7-12 June 2010, Nicosia Introduction: After Saladin assumed military command over Egypt as vizier in 1169, he took the opportunity to […]

Infidel Dogs: Hunting Crusaders with Usama ibn Munqidh

Hitti

Infidel Dogs: Hunting Crusaders with Usama ibn Munqidh By Paul M. Cobb Crusades, Vol. 6 (2007) Introduction: Few works of medieval Arabic literature are as valuable to the student of Islamic perspectives on the Crusades as the Kitab al-I’tibar or Book of Learning by Example by the Syrian warrior and man-of-letters Usama ibn Munqidh (1095–1188). […]

The Rise of Latin Christian Naval Power in the Third Crusade

crusade ships

The international conflict in the late twelfth century known as the Third Crusade usually holds a somewhat inconclusive place in medieval history, at least when one looks only at the results on land

Funduq, Fondaco, and Khan in the Wake of Christian Commerce and Crusade

Medieval marketplace

Funduq, Fondaco, and Khan in the Wake of Christian Commerce and Crusade Olivia Remie, Constable The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection Washington, D.C. (2001) Abstract The arrival of the Crusaders in the Near East brought warfare to the region, but their coming also encouraged an […]

The role of castles in the political and military history of the Crusader States and the Levant 1187 to 1380

Crac des Chevaliers

This thesis deals with the various functions of Latin and Armenian fortifications in Cilician Armenia, Greece, Cyprus, Syria and Palestine between 1187 and c.1380.

Medieval Sites in Italy, Syria, Turkey and Vietnam added to World Heritage List

Ancient villages of Northern Syria © François Cristofoli/UNESCO

Twenty-five sites were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List last month, including four which date from the Middle Ages. The 35th session of the World Heritage Committee was held last month in Paris, where 25 of the 35 proposed sites received final approval to be included on the List, which marks places that are particularly […]

Medieval Syriac Historians’ Perceptions of the Turks

Medieval Syriac Historians’ Perceptions of the Turks By Mark Dickens MPhil Dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2004 Introduction: The eleventh through thirteenth centuries were eventful times in the Middle East, marking the end of exclusive Arab dominance in the heartland of Islam and the beginning of Turkish rule, which continued until the demise of the Ottoman […]

A Syrian-Christian Perspective on the Supernatural

A Syrian-Christian Perspective on the Supernatural By Silke Trzcionka Paper given at the Western Pacific Rim Patristics Society Inaugural Conference (2004) Introduction: Whenever anyone looks with envy upon beautiful objects, the ambient air becomes charged with a malignant quality, and that person’s breath, laden with bitterness, blows hard upon the person near him. This breath, […]

Genoese Trade with Syria in the Twelfth Century

Genoese Trade with Syria in the Twelfth Century By Eugene H Byrne The American Historical Review, Vol.25:2 (1920) Introduction: The economic significance of the medieval Italian cities has received less attention from historians than it has deserved, perhaps because their political and artistic importance has been so striking. But the bonds of medievalism were material […]

The Templars and the castle of Tortosa in Syria: an unknown document concerning the acquisition of the fortress

16th century map of the Middle East

The Templars and the castle of Tortosa in Syria: an unknown document concerning the acquisition of the fortress By Jonathan Riley-Smith English Historical Review, Vol.84 (1969) Introduction: One of the best historians of Latin Syria recently pointed out that the loss of the archives of the Templars made it impossible for him to describe in […]

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