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24

I don't think it is possible to idenitify a single point in history as beginning the "slope toward the end". Such thinking results from the simplistic model of an empire's history as consisting of two segements: "growth" and "decline". In reality, the history of the Byzantine empire is a complex sequence of alternating growth and decline. I'd say that the ...


22

I don't have much historical evidence to bring to this one, but I've worn heavy SCA armour on hot days (hot by British Isles standards) and discussed the problem with people who have done so in hotter climates (Texas and Israel, most notably). So, first and foremost, they probably would not have worn the armour unless they were expecting to go into a fight. ...


22

Saladin was an unusual man who tried to win the "hearts and minds" of people he conquered. When he reclaimed Jerusalem, he ordered his men NOT to kill and plunder (in contrast even to the crusaders). When he ruled Cairo, Egypt, he built hospitals and universities for the city, even though he had to take harsh measures against the leaders of his former ...


21

The fourth crusade was the turning point. The crusade was high-jacked by Venice to take revenge on the Byzantines for past deeds: imprisonments, break of contract, etc... The crusade was aimed to land in Egypt originally, as it was seen as the main threat to taking Jerusalem back. However, since the crusaders could not pay for the large Venetian feet, it ...


20

Officially the Knights were disbanded in the early 14th century, beginning in France with King Philip IV prosecuting them for multiple reasons (the Templars had lost standing after the Third Crusade, public mistrust, and the King owed money to the order), with other countries to follow. Pope Clement V disbanded the Order in 1312.


14

I think you can't really separate the two sets of motivations for the crusades (religious fervor/ political or power-grabbing issues) from one another. In a time where politics and religion were habitually and naturally intermixed it's hard to expect something else. A look at the list of leaders of the First Crusade to examine their personalities can be ...


13

Most of the information I have found indicates that the Arab Christians were caught in the crossfire between the Muslims and the Christian Crusaders. In fact, they were often slaughtered along with the Muslims. Most likely this was because the Crusaders did not want to risk being infiltrated by Muslims posing as Christians. Ironically, the Crusades ...


12

Can we think of any reason why a major American Holywood motion picture would wish to distance it's hero from Islam? Most of his portrayal in 'literature' is from Walter Scott and the Victorians which tells you a lot more about their attitudes to themselves and what they saw as important values than it does about an actual medieval Islamic ruler


10

In GENERAL, captured nobles were ransomed. That's because this maximized their value to their captors. One notable exception was the battle of Agincourt, in 1415, during the 100 years' war. At one point, the French lines approached the English prison camp, and King Henry V feared that the prisoners would not only be released, but re-armed, and take the ...


10

Actually, Richard had acquired that name before he went on the Crusades. Richard and two of his brothers rose up in rebellion against their father, Henry II. They went to France to obtain the support of Louis VII, and it was Louis who actually knighted Richard. This established his initial ties to the French. When the brothers set out to attack their ...


10

It appears that the crusaders were eventually pushed back onto Cyprus, which continued to have Frankish rulers for another three centuries. The Knights Hospitaller also moved on to Rhodes for about two centuries, until expelled by Suleiman. From they they moved to Malta, which they held until Napoleon took it from them in 1798. The Knights Templar tried ...


8

They were ALL French. The House of Plantagenet (especially early on), in fact ALL of the Angevins, are French. They all spoke French (or a dialect thereof) as a FIRST language. Richard himself didn't speak English.


8

A recent report by USAID offers a brief but insightful view on some of current research on 'Youth Bulge' hypothesis. Some of the key take-away are: The common thread across the latest research is that youth bulges alone do not cause conflict. Rather, when unstable politics and social deterioration are combined with large numbers of disadvantaged young men, ...


8

Saladin was actually at war with the Almohads. The latter were probably pleased to see the crusaders arrive on the scene. There is a good article on this by A. Baadj in "Al-Qanṭara", 2013, pp. 276-295. A pdf is available on "Google Scholar".


8

How leprosy was considered in the Middle-Ages is an interesting story, because it evolved quite rapidly at the end of the 12th century, but differently depending on the place, and Baldwin IV was used as example. If you read French, read this article from Mark Gregory Pegg (it is a translation; I could not find the English original online). As a rough ...


8

There was a certain amount of natural antagonism between the west and the Byzantines. Part of this was religious: They belonged to different sects of Christianity, and thus often viewed each other as little better than heretics or Muslims. Another part was commercial. What little commerce the west had was in direct competition with the Byzantines, whose ...


7

Even as someone with an Anglo-Saxon background, I find it informative to look upon the Crusades in the way the residents of the area must have viewed them — a series of barbarian invasions from the north-west. Yeah, the Crusaders had their reasons. In their own minds they were completely justified. But the same could be said for the Huns and the ...


7

A prior article mentions the empire of Justinian (and Leo, by extension), but I would argue that these are 'Roman' empires which are terminated by the eruption of Islam over much of the East Roman Empire. This was a pretty traumatic event which led to some serious results. Among them, the abandonment of Latin, abandonment (with some exceptions) of universal ...


7

The groundwork that allowed the use of the strait by the crusaders began much earlier than 1190, and has as much to do with other political and military developments around the Iberian peninsula than anything else. The Almohadin fleet had been for centuries a dominant force in the region, and has essentially controlled access to the Mediterranean for 400 ...


6

Assuming this truly did happen, there are a couple of reasons that might explain why. First of all, Saladin was Muslim, and one of the of the main principles of Islam is that Muslims should help those in need. Secondly, Saladin could use this as an opportunity to send men into Richard's camp and report back on the condition and size of Richard's army, ...


6

The motivation for the various crusades differed. The first crusade was to a large extent a response to the increasing power of the Muslim empire. This seemed to have worried Christian powers for some time, and when the Byzantine Emperor asked for military help from the Pope to fight off Turkic Muslims the Pope responded with a speech at the Council of ...


6

At this point in history the Northern European galleys were much faster and seaworthy than anything the Arabs were building. Also, in arms the Northern Europeans had caught up with the Arabs, and exceeded them by far in the quality of shields and armor. Richard's knights were fully armored in steel while the typical Spanish arab was wearing cloth robes and a ...


6

Please keep in mind that the IVth Crusade mentioned in the first answer has resulted in taking of Constantinople by mostly Venician troops in 1204. This has resulted in a long-lasting civil war between the Latins and the Byzantines. Finally Constantinople was taken back by the Byzantines in 1261, but the Empire did not regain all its territory and wealth. ...


5

Religion has been used by all groups of peoples to help them understand and regulate warfare and thus also to convince people to take part (recruit them). Provided here is a Wikipedia list of war gods. In a monotheistic religion, the role of the war god is combined as a trait of the one god. In the Old Testament, the Jewish God can be seen commanding his ...


5

Quoted from "The Civilization of the Middle Ages" by Norman F. Cantor: "Indeed, Acre never fell to the Moslems. In 1291 the French knights who garrisoned it decided that their homeland had forgotten them and that the siege of many years to which they had been subjected would never be relieved. They arranged with the Arab general to surrender ...


5

That 14th century passage of Richard eating Saracens is fictitious, for reasons @T.E.D. has gone into. Richard Coer de Lyon is a romance, not history. In this story, King Richard first became a cannibal when he requested pork to cure himself of a malady, and was given a Saracen instead - as a practical joke by his knights. Richard Coer de Lyon is a ...


5

This passage seems inspired by a number of letters Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote around 1518. One example is his March 1518 letter to John Colet, in which Erasmus concluded that "the rule of the Turks will be more tolerable than the rule of Christians like [the Papacy]". Another is his (again) March 1518 letter to John Fisher, in which he claimed that Papal ...


4

The 'treasury' inside St. Mark's basilica in Venice has a spectacular collection of byzantine artifacts.


4

Mail is actually a heatsink: it draws the heat out of you. The same principle is employed in the construction of computers. In hot weather mail makes you cooler. Indeed, the first people to use mail extensively were the Romans, who fought mostly in and around the Mediterranean and other such hot climates. The only problem is that when directly exposed to ...


4

Most of the Christian population were fairly non-militarised during the crusader period. SO generally they did not participate in military affairs. Exceptions being the Armenians and Maronites. Various Armenian Christians were allied withe the crusaders, the county of Edessa was some sort of mixed state, with a lot of intermarriage with the locals and ...



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