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- Artikel-Nr.: OS1855325551
Author: David Nicolle
Illustrator: Christa Hook
After Saladin's great victory at the Battle of Hattin in 1137, Outremer, as medieval westerners called the remaining Latin or Catholic enclaves in the eastern Mediterranean, was no longer a threat to Islam. Its military elites preferred to live in peace, focusing on trade as much as on the defence of Christendom's holy places. In this, the first book in the English language to objectively study the knights of the Latin East, David Nicolle presents a well-balanced and informed account of the Western warriors who defended the Crusader territories for so long.
This text was originally printed as an article and refers to Saracen Faris 1050-1250 AD (Warrior 10) as well as to this book.
Being asked to choose your favourite title from the Osprey list is like being asked which of your children is your favourite - an impossible decision to make. Consequently, I have cheated and selected two books.
I have had a personal fascination with the phenomenon of the Crusades since my days at university. Often one of the difficulties of the study of history is to translate dry facts and figures into human terms. It can be almost impossible to fully understand the significance of past events, or certainly to see them in their true context without some idea of the attitudes and philosophies that motivated the people of the period. One of the unique strengths of the Osprey Warrior Series is its ability to take the reader 'under the skin' of its subjects and, at least to some extent, to allow one to see through their eyes, not reflected in the distorted mirror of hindsight.
I think both the books I have chosen achieve this aim admirably. Islamic history, society and culture have for centuries been tragically and even wilfully misunderstood by western Europeans. Saracen Faris AD 1050-1250, David Nicolle's study of the mounted Islamic warriors during the Crusades, reveals a civilised and cultured society, more advanced in science and medicine than its European contemporaries. He examines in great detail the weapons, armour and equipment used by the Saracens on a day to day basis - including the intricate construction of the composite bow.
The Latin or Catholic Christian population of the Outremer (literally 'the land over the sea') saw their Islamic neighbours in a different light to the more fanatical western Europeans. In Knight of Outremer 1187-1344 AD, David Nicolle brings to life a people for whom the Holy Land was not some abstract concept to be defended, but their home. After the disastrous defeat at Hattin in 1187 the knights no longer represented a threat to Islam and their military lite preferred to live in peace, focusing on trade as much as on the defence of Christendom's holy places. In the Outremer, warfare was seen as a business where victory meant profit and defeat loss. The idea that medieval warfare relied on individual prowess with little or no planning is revealed as nonsense. It was a science whose successful prosecution required sophisticated skills as Dr. Nicolle reveals. These are but a few of the fallacies revealed in the pages of these books and I hope you find both volumes as fascinating as I still do.
Lee Johnson, Campaign Series Editor
Lee studied Medieval and Early Modern History at University, having caught the history 'bug' from his father at a young age. He was 'recruited' by the architect of the Osprey military list of books, Martin Windrow, joining Osprey in November 1989. Until June 2000 he was Managing Editor of the Military List, when he took the freelance plunge and now works for Osprey commissioning and editing the Campaign Series.
- The Knight in Outremer
- Education and Training
- Society and Culture
- On Campaign
- Arms and Armour
- Display and Heraldry