The Loss of Jerusalem

Crusades 21 Min Read

Coming after the disaster of the Second Crusade, the fall of Ascalon can be seen as one of the high points of twelfth century crusader campaigning. For the remainder of the 1150s and into the 1160s, the situation between Franks and Muslims would remain in something of a stalemate, seeing tit-for-tat raiding on both sides, with the Templars playing a

The Second Crusade


Prelude to Hattin I



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Crusades Medieval Sail 19 Min Read

Ships of the Crusade Era Part II

Thirteenth-century warships. Illustration from the Cantigas de Santa Maria, by King Alfonso X of Castile. (Bridgeman- Giraudon/Art Resource) By John H. Pryor From the sixth to late eleventh centuries, the warship par excellence in the Mediterranean was the dromon and its Muslim and Latin imitations, although Byzantines also developed the

Crusades Sail 16 Min Read

Ships of the Crusade Era Part I

A stylised drawing of a Nef By John H. Pryor The types of ships involved in the crusades at various times were referred to in contemporary sources by a wide variety of different names, and in most cases the types of vessels to which the terms corresponded are known reasonably

Crusades 10 Min Read

German Crusades East

Late 12th Century Northern Cog In the conquest of Livonia, Bishop Albert took an important decision when he moved the centre of all his operations to Riga, close to the mouth of the Dvina, which was strongly fortified. Castles were the keys to the land, and time and time again

Crusades Ottoman 5 Min Read


A northern European cog with high sides, a straight prow, a flat keel and a single square sail. From a manuscript of ca. 1270. Maritime power played a vital part in the Third Crusade because of the transportation of both men and supplies to the East. In addition, control of

Crusades 5 Min Read


Genoese Dromone 11th Century Genoese Trader 12th Century  * The efficiency of carts explains why armies such as that of Frederick I on the Third Crusade could pass through friendly territory without pillaging and still sustain themselves. But there were definite limits to what could be carried, imposed by roads,

Crusades Medieval 9 Min Read


The Aragonese Crusade or Crusade of Aragón, a part of the larger War of the Sicilian Vespers, was declared by Pope Martin IV against the King of Aragón, Peter III the Great, in 1284 and 1285. Because of the recent conquest of Sicily by Peter, the Pope declared a crusade

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Christians, Muslims and Conflicts Up to the First Crusade Part IV

Indeed, medieval writers referred to crusaders and pilgrims with exactly the same word, peregrinus. As

Christians, Muslims and Conflicts Up to the First Crusade Part I

How do ideas change? The shift can be abrupt or gradual; it can affect one

Christians, Muslims and Conflicts Up to the First Crusade

20 July 802, the first elephant north of the Alps mentioned in a document since

Christians, Muslims and Conflicts Up to the First Crusade Part III

Saint Augustine (354-430) is one of the most influential thinkers of the Western World. His