The Crusader Armies


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Steve Tibble

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A major new history of the Crusades that illuminates the strength and sophistication of the Western and Muslim armies

During the Crusades, the Western and Muslim armies developed various highly sophisticated strategies of both attack and defense, which evolved during the course of the battles. In this ambitious new work, Steve Tibble draws on a wide range of Muslim texts and archaeological evidence as well as more commonly cited Western sources to analyze the respective armies’ strategy, adaptation, evolution, and cultural diversity and show just how sophisticated the Crusader armies were even by today’s standards.
In the first comprehensive account of the subject in sixty years, Tibble takes a fresh approach to Templars, Hospitallers, and other key Orders and makes the controversial proposition that the Crusades were driven as much by sedentary versus nomadic tribal concerns as by religious conflict. This fluently written, broad-ranging narrative provides a crucial missing piece in the study of the West’s attempts to colonize the Middle East during the Middle Ages.

Steve Tibble is honorary research associate at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the author of Monarchy and Lordships in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099–1291. He lives in London.

“An extraordinarily vivid and scholarly picture of the clash of arms in the age of the crusades. Tibble demolishes old ideas about crusading warfare with élan.”—John France, author of Perilous Glory

"In this important book which rips away false assumptions and stimulates fresh thinking, Tibble argues that it was climate change on the Asian steppes driving the mass migration of nomadic horsemen which was the determining factor behind the crusades – and not religion nor Western intervention. Remarkable."—Michael Haag, author of The Tragedy of the Templars

“A fresh and fast-paced study of conflict in the medieval Near East. Tibble challenges us to look anew at crusading warfare and in doing so delivers a compelling, convincing and cleverly-nuanced understanding of this multi-dimensional struggle. An essential read for historians of the Crusades, the Near East and medieval warfare.” Jonathan Phillips, author of The Crusades, 1095-1204

“In this thought-provoking work, Tibble offers a vivid insight into the realities of warfare in twelfth-century Syria and Palestine. He shows how this was a complex world in which attitudes were shaped as much by pragmatism as ideology, and where opportunism was just as important as religious conviction.”—Malcolm Barber, author of The Crusader States

"Now Tibble takes a new approach, one that adds to prior research and may well influence subsequent research. This book is a must read for medievalists."—R. J. Powell, Choice

“A book that welcomes everyone, regardless of the reader’s background in the subject. . . .  Crusade historians like to complain that the general public knows nothing about their scholarship. It is books like this that will change that.”—Thomas F. Madden, Reading Religion

The Crusader Armies offers more than the obligatory corrections to the historical ignorance of our age. It is a full-scale reassessment of the warfare, armies, and enemies of the Western Crusades in the Middle East . . . readable, expertly sourced, and well organized.”—Timothy D. Lusch, Chronicles

“The Crusader Armies: 1099–1187 is a worthy and sound contribution to the literature on its subject. . . . Steve Tibble paints a compelling picture of continual systemic warfare.”—Laurence W. Marvin, Michigan War Studies Review

Selected for Choice's 2019 Outstanding Academic Titles List
ISBN: 9780300253221
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
424 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
20 color illus. + 21 maps and figs.
The Crusader Strategy

Defending the Holy Land

Steve Tibble

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