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Crusader Warfare Volume I: Byzantium, Western Europe and the Battle of the Holy Land v. 1 Hardcover – 15 May 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury 3PL (15 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847250300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847250308
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,378,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Mentioned in The Historian, October 2009

About the Author

David Nicolle is Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Medieval Studies, Nottingham University. He is the author of over a dozen books on medieval military history.

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By capitantrueno on 9 Feb. 2015
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excellent research
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Absolute Tops -- All the Background Information You Need on the Crusades (Christian Side) 30 Oct. 2009
By David M. Dougherty - Published on
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This is simply a wonderful piece of scholarship providing a vast amount of information on Europe's society and ability to make war from the 11th to the 14th centuries. The title shows the emphasis: "Byzantine, Western Europe and the Battle for the Holy Land." The author also has produced a companion volume, "Crusader Warfare Volume II Muslims, Mongols and the Struggle Against the Crusades" that is equally valuable. Both are highly recommended to all persons interested in the Crusades and the Middle Ages.

The author has split this treatise into two parts, Roman Catholic Western Europe (& the Crusader States) and the Orthodox Christian States and the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. The subjects, in unnumbered chapters are: The Military Technological Background; Recruitment; Finances, Payment and Military Organization; Flags, Insignia and Music; Motivation and Morale; Booty, Massacre, Captivity and the Laws of War; Strategy; Tactics; Combat Skills and Training; Military Equipment; Manufacture, Trade and Strategic Materials; Fortification; Pyrotechnics and Chemical Warefare; Communication, Transport and Support Services; Naval and Riverine Warfare. As the reader can see, this is not a history of the Crusades in terms of battles and leaders, but a treatise of the era from a fundamental point of view.

The reader will come away with an understanding of the culture of the times and Europe's capacity, means, and techniques to wage war, specifically against the Moslems in the Middle East and Holy Land. Such knowledge is critical to understanding the history of the crusades, the leaders' actions, conflicting actions, and the impact on Europe and the Christians in the Middle East. Europe benefited to a large degree from the crusades, but for the Christians in the Middle East the crusades were catastrophic. Muslim antipathy towards Christians grew enormously, and the effects can still be seen today. This is not to say that the crusades actually caused this antipathy, but they certainly heightened Islam's already doctrinaire treatment towards non-Muslims as second-class citizens and worse. Far from being "protected minorities", Christians were already seen as little more than cattle, but the crusades demonstrated that Christians could be dangerous as well (particularly if they supported the Mongols.)

This work has so many good features that I hardly know where to start. The text is very well-written, and the author packs information in tightly written prose so that every sentence is important (a slight exaggeration.) Nonetheless, the reader should keep a pencil handy to underline the large number of seminal observations for later reference. The end notes are extensive, and the bibliography is chock full of excellent references. After reading this work, the reader is prepared to read the traditional histories of the crusades with a much more critical viewpoint.

I recommend this work and its companion volume without reservation.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A masterful piece 10 April 2009
By aMac - Published on
Verified Purchase
I took a risk purchasing this book, but I am fond of David Nicolle's writings, so I figured his analysis would be interesting. It is incredibly.
While his introductory analysis is not particularly original, it does cover some new ground, Nicolle discussing the differences between Eastern and Western Europe in this early Medieval period, and some of the cultural differences that manifested themselves on the various battlefields. I found that particularly interesting.

Nicolle then goes on to discuss the various facets of Crusader Warfare in the West, mentioning the Byzantines of the period in their own chapter, as well siege engines.

Nicolle early on makes a distinction between the Crusades in the East and Eastern Europe, saying that the primary attention of this book is devoted to the Crusades of the Middle East.

Overall, I find this book to be very well written and a strong base of reference to anyone interested in a concise analysis of the Crusades detailing the military affairs and military culture of the Western peoples in this period of time.
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