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The Fourth Crusade 1202-04 (Campaign) Paperback – 20 Aug 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey (20 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849083193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849083195
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 0.9 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 453,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Born in 1944, David Nicolle worked in the BBC's Arabic service for a number of years before gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He has written numerous books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This Osprey campaign book is, as another reviewer put it, merely an introduction to the Fourth Crusade and there are indeed a host of "bigger and better books" on the topic, with a large number of them having been issued in 2004-2005 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the sack of Constantinople. There are accordingly a number of glitches and problems due to size constraints. This, however, does not explain all of the problems that this volume has.
As another reviewer mentioned on another book - one of the "bigger and better ones" - any book on this controversial topic has to address and answer at least three fundamental questions. These are:
- Why did the Crusade end up in Constantinople instead of attacking Egypt?
- How were the Crusaders and their small army able to conquer Constantinople?
- Why was the sack of Constantinople particularly brutal, even by medieval standards?

One of the merits of this little book is to attempt to find some middle ground between the two extreme theories that historians have developed to explain one of the most shameful events of the Middle Ages, and of the Crusades in particular: the storming and sacking of the capital city of the Byzantine Empire by fellow-Christians and the sharing out of the spoils, both riches and lands, of the Empire.

The traditional explanation was that of collusion between the Venetians and the Crusaders, with Pope Innocent III as an accomplice, to take over the declining and weakened Empire. This is what we call today a conspiracy theory and it was debunked and refuted by Donald Queller and Thomas Madden in their book on the Fourth Crusade as of 1978 (and again in the second edition in 1997).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 13 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
The perfect companion for all military history enthusiasts is: THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

This work is not an in depth analysis of the origins, development, or major figures of the Fourth Crusade. As a result anyone approaching the work expecting such a discussion will be undoubtedly disappointed. However, this was not the intention of Nicolle or the Osprey Campaign series. The work's focus is on offering the reader an introduction to the topic in a concise manor and in this way succeeds at this goal. Keeping this in mind, the entire work will undoubtedly remind the reader of an excerpt from Crusades focused textbook in both its voice and visual style which results in both positives and negatives. Outside of the obvious benefit this style offers to general readability, the work also excels at providing extensive visual material in the form of maps and photographs of significant places and artifacts.
Via the maps the reader will be able to see the political scene of Europe before the Crusade, follow the Crusade on its way to Constantinople, and view the troop movements at the siege of the city.(6-7, 47, 50, 58-9,68-9, 80, 85) These maps help the reader visualize the crusade and allow for a greater level of understanding especially for the novice historian. The photographs also help the reader see everything from murals, important buildings, and other objects which result in a more complete picture of the Crusade.

Despite the positives this style produces, one still finds issues which arise, for example Nicolle glosses over different events and figures which deserve more discussion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pink Fluffy Bunny TOP 50 REVIEWER on 17 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a good introduction to the Fourth Crusade, but the problem with many Osprey Campaign books is that there are many "bigger and better' books out there. That is not a criticism of the author's text, which is excellent, but of the format, which is restricted in scope. The main selling point of Ospreys are the colour plates, and here we get one huge panoramic battle scene, and one with a handful of figures to make up for the scale of the first; a lot of excellent maps and plans do not make up for that. For Osprey collectors only, unless you are really interested in the subject, and you see a very cheap copy.

The Contents are -
P05: Origin of the Campaign
.Byzantium and its neighbours; Venice and the Crusaders; Constantinople's hollow empire
P17: Chronology
P21: Opposing Commanders
.Crusader commanders; Byzantine commanders
P26: Opposing Forces
.Crusader forces; Byzantine forces
P38: Opposing Plans
.Crusader plans; Byzantine plans
P42: The Campaign
.Diversion to Zadar; The first assault on Constantinople; Tottering towards confrontation; Second assault and new empire; The Fourth Crusade in the Middle East
P83: Aftermath
P89: The Battlefield Today
P92: Further Reading
P95: Index

The Colour Plates -
P6-7: Map - Europe and the Middle East c.1195
P47: Map - The Adriatic and Aegean areas, c.
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