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Crusader Castles


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Table of Contents

1. Prologue to the study of crusader castles; 2. Fortification in the east and west before the First Crusade; 3. Castles in the twelfth-century Kingdom of Jerusalem; 4. Twelfth-century castles in the northern states (County of Tripoli, Principality of Antioch and County of Edessa); 5. Siege warfare in the crusader lands; 6. Nobles, Templars and Teutonic knights in the thirteenth century; 7. The Hospitallers in Tripoli and Antioch; 8. Muslim castles of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; Postscript: crusader castles and the west.

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A general illustrated account of the history and architecture of Crusader castles.


The most famous medieval wars of European expansion, the Crusades, were originally military expeditions sponsored by the papacy for recovery of Christian sites in Palestine. The Crusades also provided land and opportunity for poor and restless knights. Castles were thus built by an alien aristocracy in a hostile environment to provide shelter and to maintain control over the surrounding countryside. After a sketch of the literature and of fortifications before the crusades, Kennedy (history, Univ. of St. Andrews, Scotland) explores the evolution of castle styles, siege techniques, and defensive technologies, relying on the evidence of both Western and Muslim chroniclers and of archaeology. Although this old-fashioned history is attractively written and extensively illustrated, greater attention to social and environmental conditions would have given a fuller picture. For research and general collections.-Bennett D. Hill, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.

'... a welcome addition to the literature of military architecture. With well-chosen drawings and excellent photographs taken by the author, it provides one of the best-balanced accounts of the fortification of Palestine in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries ... a thoughtful and illuminating survey of the entire Crusader military building effort in its different phases.' Times Literary Supplement '... a brilliant survey ... Fully illustrated, Dr Kennedy's authoritative account demonstrates how the castles were used in war and peace.' Jerusalem Post 'The appearance in affordable paperback of this elegant, erudite and accessible study first published in 1994 ... is welcome. Professor Kennedy's lightly-carried learning is deployed in a style that consistently engages.' C. J. Tyerman, The English Historical Review

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