Crusader Castles in the Holy Land 1192-1302 (Fortress, by David Nicolle

By David Nicolle

The debacle of the second one campaign in 1148 prompted the Crusader States to grasp the need of constructing a extra wary process. the unique expansionist spirit mostly disappeared, and the Crusader States made priorities of strengthening their current fortifications and cities and construction new castles. those buildings encompassed center facets of Western eu army structure with the combination of swiftly constructing Arab and Islamic traditions. Following citadel 21: 'Crusader Castles within the Holy Land 1097–1192', this publication examines the layout, improvement and protective rules of a few of the best-known Crusader fortifications and castles, together with Crac des Chevaliers, Castel Blanc, Arsuf, Margat, Atlit, Montfort and Acre.

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Extra resources for Crusader Castles in the Holy Land 1192-1302 (Fortress, Volume 32)

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How far this inner wall originally extended is, however, unclear. The north of the site has a single wall dominated by a square tower, probably from the 12th century. On the western side was an enclosure strengthened by four early 13th-century round towers whose wall-head defences are now lost. The main castle dominated the southern end of the enclosure, and was approached through a square gatehouse in the outer wall. Above the entrance arch are the corbels, which supported a machicolation; there is also a groove for a portcullis.

Instead they lived in the cities where their way of life had more in common with the aristocratic elites of Italy than of France or Germany. Many members of the aristocracy no longer held much (or indeed any) land. Instead they maintained themselves by other forms of ‘feudal rent’. Meanwhile the castles were under authority of professional chatelains. Most of the strategically significant castles were also passing into the hands of the Military Orders. Castles and social order As in Italy, the knightly class of the Crusader States tried to preserve their social status and live what was seen as a knightly way of life.

The Templar garrison of Jaffa used the same sort of weapons in defence of Jaffa in 1266. Other chroniclers add further details about defensive measures; these being particularly abundant in accounts of the final siege of Acre in 1291. For example, Oliver of Paderborn, in his Historia Damiatina, described one tower as having huge iron spikes attached to wooden hoardings. Similar obstacles may have been planted in the moat. However, a suggestion that, during the final epic siege, the main wall of Acre was protected by wooden barbicans seems more doubtful.

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