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Download Crusader Castles by Hugh Kennedy PDF

By Hugh Kennedy

This can be a basic account of the historical past and structure of Crusader castles within the nation of Jerusalem, County of Tripoli and Principality of Antioch among 1099 and 1291, the years within which the Crusaders had an everlasting presence at the Levantine coast. huge use is made up of modern chronicles to teach the explanations why castles have been equipped and the way they have been utilized in peace and struggle. The booklet is absolutely illustrated via pictures, drawings and plans, and encompasses a entire bibliography.

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The castle itself was much rebuilt in Ottoman times but enough remains to show that the Crusader building was an enclosure castle protected by corner towers with a thick-walled central keep (plate n ) . 3 3 The Principality of Galilee had been independently conquered originally by Tancred, a Norman from southern Italy who went on to become Prince of • 38 . THE TWELFTH-CENTURY KINGDOM OF JERUSALEM Plate I I Mirabel: interior of courtyard looking northwest. The south-east corner of the donjon can clearly be distinguished from the later building by the large size of the blocks.

The castle site is protected on the east by a sheer precipice which falls to the Litani 300 m below (fig. 3). On the west side the ground slopes more gently to the village of Arnun and it was here that the original builders concentrated their defences. On the north the castle is protected by a vast rock-cut basin. The site was handed over by Fulk to the lords of Sidon and it seems that building work began very soon after its capture. The castle passed into Muslim hands in 1190, back into Frankish hands in 1240 and then again into Muslim hands in 1268.

CRUSADER CASTLES Despite the lack of surviving buildings to illustrate the written accounts, they are of great interest in understanding the building of castles in the early twelfth century. The purposes are made abundantly clear: above all to prevent raids from Ascalon and provide a refuge for those who are attacked, but there is also the intention that they should serve as a base for launching attacks on the city. The building of castles also brought economic benefits and the description of the effect that the building of Blanchegarde had on the surrounding country is a classic statement of the role of the castle as a bringer of wealth: 'The people of the surrounding region began to place great reliance on this castle as well as on the other strongholds and many suburban places grew up around it with numerous households and tillers of the fields.

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