Five new publications about the crusades.
By Gregory D. Bell
Excerpt: Looking at the logistics of the First Crusade – that is the movement and supply of the participants of the expedition – provides much more specific insight into how the participants managed to organize and march an enormous and diverse army thousands of miles into foreign, hostile territory and capture the well-fortified city of Jerusalem. It is my hope that in examining logistics we can separate the wheat from the chaff in order to determine what these first crusaders actually did.
By Michael S. Fulton
Pen and Sword Books
Excerpt: Every siege was unique, influenced by an assortment of geographical, political, social, economic, and other factors specific to each scenario; nevertheless, sets of conflicting strategic and tactical aims lay at the core of each: a desire to maintain control of a region and a desire to take it; the means of taking possession and the means of resisting. These fundamental principles will be used as the framework for most of the following chapters.
By Mihai Dragnea
Excerpt: Our main question is how to justify a crusade that did not aim at recovering the Holy Land, but to conquer a region where the Christian presence was temporary. This study addresses the discussions about the relationship between warfare and ideology. The initiators of the Saxon expedition against the Wends and later apologists employed moral and legal arguments to justify the conquest of a region under the auspices of a crusade. Therefore in this study we will focus on the evolution of crusading ideology and practice according to political contexts in twelfth-century Germany.
By Stephen J. Spencer
Oxford University Press
Excerpt: On 15 July 1099, the participants of the First Crusade prosecuted a bloody conquest of Jerusalem and then visited the site they had longed to see: the church of the Holy Sepulchre, thought to be the site of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. With ‘abounding passions,’ wrote one chronicler, they wept and embraced Christ, as if he were still suspended from the cross, while another insisted that the Sepulchre’s flood was flooded ‘by the shower of tears.’ Such emotions and emotional gestures pervade the many western narratives (composed by both participants and non-participants) of not only that initial expedition, but also the wide crusading movement.
By Roger Crowley
Excerpt: In the spring of 1291, the largest army that Islam had ever assembled against the crusades in the Holy Land was moving toward the city of Acre. It was, by all accounts, an extraordinary spectacle – an immense concourse of men and animals, tents, baggage and supplies, all converging on Christendom’s last foothold. The aim was to deliver a knock-out blow.