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Chase Moltedo




Location: Woonsocket, RI / Worcester, MA
Joined: 15 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct, 2010 8:58 pm    Post subject: Combat in the Crusades         Reply with quote

Alright, I've a very interesting question to throw out for anyone who has experience with the period; what was combat during the Crusades like? (other than hot, thirsty, and bloody.)

I'm in the first semester of my thesis sequence on the Crusades and next semester I'll be writing my 40 page paper about, hopefully, combat in the Crusades (or broader "warfare" if I can't find enough information on the physical combat.)

The time period, as I stated earlier, is just, well, the Crusades. Anything from 1095 up until... lets say the turn of the 14th C. (1390s-1410s). Do we know how people fought during these periods. Yes, we might know the tactics, the battles, the names but is anyone familiar with one on one combat. Of course this can include battle accounts, records of Duels. I've done some initial research and unfortunately, as we all know, not many on-the-front-lines type of people wrote things down back then, at least nothing that might have survived.

Primary sources/authors, search terms, thoughts, comments, anything you bunch might contribute would be invaluable, even ones relating to any combat during the Crusades; weapons, armor, dueling, training, techniques, etc.

*Crosses fingers* Worried

PS: First post! Laughing Out Loud
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct, 2010 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd start with Joinville's Life of St Louis. First-hand accounts of battlefield fighting, e.g., in the Battle of Mansourah.
"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Chase, I'm sure you'r probably aware of the fight manuals from this period (well the later part of it anyway), but just in case you weren't I thought I'd give them a mention. The earliest of one these manuals dates to about 1275 - 1300 and deals with unarmoured sword and buckler combat. There is plenty of info about these on these fora and online, so happy hunting :-)
Éirinn go Brách
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William C Champlin




Location: San Antonio,Texas USA
Joined: 22 Sep 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 12:13 am    Post subject: Combat in The Crusades         Reply with quote

Hey Chase. William Seymoure's Decisive Factors in Twenty Great Battles of The World has a bibliography that might be helpful. With twenty entries for this period, I'm too lazy to list them here, but if you would like, pm me and I'll do the typing. (or if anyone else would like this info, I'll post it here)W
tweetchris
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Tom Kinder





Joined: 27 Nov 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Curtin wrote:
Hi Chase, I'm sure you'r probably aware of the fight manuals from this period (well the later part of it anyway), but just in case you weren't I thought I'd give them a mention. The earliest of one these manuals dates to about 1275 - 1300 and deals with unarmoured sword and buckler combat. There is plenty of info about these on these fora and online, so happy hunting :-)


I assume you mean I.33. it's a funny thing to think of a crusader fighting that way, doesn't fit the mental picture at all. I would expect that is because I.33 was a civilian style.

actually I think that the books talking about battles would probably be a great place to research. I would expect single combat did not figure very strongly into the crusades as a whole. if you want to talk about combat in the time then you should probably talk about group combat and the tactics discussions will probably give you a decent idea of what was going on.

you just aren't going to find an instruction manual and if you do, translate it for us and become a hero because there isn't one (well we don't have one anyway)

good luck on the research, very cool topic, but not going to be easy I'm afraid.
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William C Champlin




Location: San Antonio,Texas USA
Joined: 22 Sep 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct, 2010 6:37 pm    Post subject: Combat in the Crusades Bibliography         Reply with quote

Here we go. Please forgive the typos.
Beha el-Din Abu El-Mehassan Yusuf, Saladin, Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society, London,1897
Chronique Arabes des Croisades, col.& presented by Francisco Gabriell, Sindabad, Paris, 1977
Conder, C.R.,The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, London,1897
Finucane, Ronald C., Soldiers of Faith,J.M. Dent & SonsLtd,1983
Fuller,J.F.C.,The Decisive Battles of the Western World, Vol.1, Eyre & Spottiswoode,1954
Hindley,Geoffrey, Saladin,Constable,1975
Keightley,Thomas, The Crusaders,John W. Parker,1847
Lane-Poole, Stanley, Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem,G.P. Putnam's Sons,1898
Latrie,M.L.De Mas,Chronique D'Ernoul, La Societe de L'Histoire de France, Paris,1871
Oman,Charles,A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages, Vol 1,Metuen & Co.Ltd, 1924
Peters, Edward,The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres, U of Pennsylvania Press, 1971
Recueil des Historians des Croisades, Vol 3 & 4, Paris,1841-1906
Richard,Jean, " An Account of the battle of Hattin", Speculum, Vol XXVII, 1952
Runciman, Steven A History of the Crusades, Vol 1&2, Cambridge,1951&1952
" ,The First Crusade, Cambridge University Press, 1980
Setton,Kenneth M,A History of the Crusades, Vol 1,The First Hundred Years, U of Pennsylvania Press,1955
Smail,R. C.,Crusading Warfare,1097-1193,Cambridge U. Press,1956
Stevenson,W.B.,The Crusaders in the East,Cambridge U. Press,1907
Treece,Henry,The Crusades,The Bodley Head,1962
William of Tyre,A History of the Deeds done beyond the sea,2 Vols, Columbia,1971
The first entry's "Saladin" should be in italics, but I'm a lousey typist. I hope this helps,W

tweetchris
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Oct, 2010 11:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tom Kinder wrote:
I would expect single combat did not figure very strongly into the crusades as a whole.


Seriously? Challenges to single combat was a ubiquitous feature of warfare at this time, and it was an accepted way to resolve a fight without resorting to full-scale pitched battles (which people tried to avoid most of the time). There's no shortage of accounts about single combat in any primary source about the military aspects of the Crusades (or at least the ones that go into any detail about what happened in the field as opposed to simply saying "they fought here and so many people died.")
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