The Crusader Armies 1099–1187 Steve Tibble

Publication date:
09 Jun 2020
Yale University Press
424 pages: 197 x 127mm
20 color illus. + 21 maps and figs.
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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.

“I found the author's pace, clarity, and ability to communicate thoroughly, yet briefly, immensely informative. His depth of learning is immediately obvious...I believe that his ability to weave complex ideas with historical narrative is unparalleled. It is all hugely complemented by the skill and quality of Yale's publishing. The Crusader Armies is worth every penny.”—Patrick Mercer, Military History Magazine

Selected for Choice's 2019 Outstanding Academic Titles List

“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