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Armies of the Crusaders, 1096–1291 (ePub)

History, Organization, Weapons and Equipment

Ancient History Military P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval History

By Gabriele Esposito
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Armies of the Past
File Size: 146.5 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781399067461
Published: 30th October 2023


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The Crusades were among the most astonishing historical events that took place during the Middle Ages. After centuries of relative isolation following the fall of the Roman Empire, Western Europe looked again towards the Middle East in search of lands to conquer. Incited by the Church to believe that the Holy Land must be ‘liberated’ from its Muslim rulers (who had by then occupied it for centuries), and that to do so would bring spiritual salvation, many thousands from all over Christian Europe ‘took the cross’ and joined the Crusades. Led by some of the most illustrious personalities of the age, such as Richard the Lionheart and Frederick Barbarossa, they fought numerous campaigns and even founded new ‘Crusader states’, some of which lasted for almost two centuries.

Gabriele Esposito gives an overview of the key events of these campaigns, from the First Crusade in 1096 to the fall of Acre, the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land, in 1291. He analyses the various contingents that made up the Crusader forces, describing their equipment and tactics and showing how they attempted to adapt to unfamiliar terrain and enemies. Included, of course, are the military orders (the Templar, Hospitaller and Teutonic knights) who combined the religious fervour of a monastic brotherhood with martial prowess, forming an elite core to the Christian forces. As usual, the informative text is lavishly illustrated with colour photos depicting replica weapons and equipment in use.

Review as featured in

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, April 2024

About Gabriele Esposito

Gabriele Esposito is an Italian researcher and a long-time student of military history, whose interests and expertise range widely over various periods. Most of his recent studies have been dedicated to the reconstruction of the organization, functioning and tactics of the armies across history; in each of his publications there is always some relevant space dedicated to the 'material culture'of the various armies taken into account and - more in particular - to the empirical science known as 'uniformology'. Gabriele is the author of numerous books on armies and uniforms and is a regular contributor to many specialized magazines in Italy, France, Netherlands and UK. His many previous works include Armies of Early Colonial North America 1607-1713Armies of the Late Roman Empire 284-476Armies of the Hellenistic States 323 BC to AD30Armies of Celtic Europe 700 BC-AD 106Armies of Ancient Greece, circa 500 BC to 338 BC; and The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great 359-323 BC, all published by Pen & Sword since 2018. He lives in southern Italy, near the ancient battlefield of Beneventum.

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