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Head to Head in Medieval Times 4/17/11

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:52 am

Glad to be back with the loss of my computer phobia and near terminal writers' block.

Medieval Knights and Samurai are very often compared, and it is a relatively fair comparison.

The only force(s) of "Mounted Knights" that remained cohesive and unified fighting units, an alien new concept to Medieval Europeans, were perhaps the Knights Templars (oh yeah, here we go) and the Knights of St. John Of the Hospital (aka the 'Hospitalers').

In "Outremer" these were the only two standing forces of mounted chivalry available to the "Kings" (sort of Dukes really) of Jerusalem. Every other force could be counted on to have no committment of a lasting nature to Jerusalem, or the Kings of Jerusalem.

Much like the pent up force of the "Reqonquista" in Spain directed powerful and greedy forces led led by famous caballeros such as Pizarro and other to perhaps be discussed lated, into the "New World" and gained inconceivable if temporary wealth of a country who, well really, was without its "Flotas" and Cabalerros kind of poor, or so it would seem.

The force "pent up" in this fashion was that of the , at base, Norman Knights of France and other nations. The Pent up force seemed so likely to turn on itself and the Fldgling Kings of the nascent Nation States.

This was done when a Pope, a spiritual leader, succeded in directing this "force" against a common enemy. Hmmmm-how did the soldiers if Ilsam in the 11th Century suddenly become a point of attack for So many armed men to travel 2000 miles, through a Christian but distrusted Empire, tackle the formidable light and medium cavalry forces of the Seljuks (well-the "Crusaders" called all Moslem warrior "Saracens". And I will look up the reason why for you.

I will decribe the men of the First and, perhaps the only really successful "Crusade" .

the Pope, of course, was Urban II " a man of blameless Life and habit then prevailing in Rome" according to Fulcher the Chronicler".

Chivalry was new to Europe and the very notion of a piece of God's world that could be called "Christendom" and which further could be harnessed sufficiently that the Saudis, for example, still used the power of their oil to change the name of America's (and Europe's) "Crusade" into Afghanistan to "Enduring Freedom".

Christendom one day was a dream, a fiction, a non entity and the next day "it" would propel the best fighting men the West has ever produced to a foreign adventure.

I will not discuss the truly insane mind of "Peter the Hermit" who managed to arrange a true slaughter of innocents in advance of Tancred the Great, Godrey de Boullioun, Eustace of Boulougne would I think, may actually have been relatively pure in motive, and, perhaps, relatively unwashed.

Discussing this "unwashed adventure" will be an adventure.

The tale of the Norman French Knight who lost a hand at Dorylaeum and simply turner around and rode first to Constantinople, and then home, apperently hearty is the glory, the unwashed peasant mob that forged itself (apparently) into the anvil for men such as this Norman Chevalier, is a bit of a miracle, but not free of sullied folk.

So have at me!!!

Re: Head to Head in Medieval Times 4/17/11

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:37 pm
by Jason Rees
Hmmmm-how did the soldiers if Ilsam in the 11th Century suddenly become a point of attack for So many armed men to travel 2000 miles, through a Christian but distrusted Empire,

It represented a surge in European confidence after facing the relentless menace of Islamic forces all along their eastern and southern borders, after expelling them from Spain, and recovering from famine and the Great Plague. It would have come in one form or another, eventually... though one could hope the depredations of the IV Crusade could have been avoided. Islam was saved by the ineptitude and politics of the invaders, and the leader we know as Saladin.

Re: Head to Head in Medieval Times 4/17/11

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:28 am
by f.Channell
I'm not much of a medieval history guy. But I did find this interesting piece on a possible crusader in the Quebec region of Canada.

And a carved stone in western Massachusetts for a Scottish Knight years before Columbus.


Re: Head to Head in Medieval Times 4/17/11

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 4:35 pm
Hi Fred:

Yes:, technically the "Reconquista" ended arond 1492 which I beileve was the year Grenada fell to "Christendom".

In the case of the Crusade preached by Urban II in 1096, the same kind of "pent up energy" in military force was, at least in part, harnessed by him.

Crusaders were granted a plenary indulgence and Urban declared a "Peace of God" banning internecine warfare between those remaoning behind to protect the property of those who had gone on Crusade.

In other Crusades, either the "Peace of God" did not hold or other matters ,such as the Plague in the 14th Century and rivalry between nascent national interests blunted the drive to keep the holy lands.

The Third Crusade was hampered, of course, by the hatred between Phillip of France, Richard of England and Conrad of Monserrat.

Nonetheless,,A treaty was won from Salah- a din which "guaranteed" access to Jerusalem to pilgrims. However, large areas remained in Christian hands. this last was a two edge sword as it gave a staging area for the remnants of the Latin Kingdoms to attack when and if they decided they could break the treaty, but the line of "Kings of Jerusalem remained effectively ended.

One often wonders why Richard II, for example, spent so much time away from England. One reason is simple to grasp, his family "owned" (of held fief to) more land on the continent than it did in the British Isles. So, the showing of Him being killed at Chalous in France is true.

What I am not clear on is whether or not he had retruned home to England after the payment of his ransom before returning to die in France.

The Massacre of the Muslim Prisoners at Acre is also true. However, it must be noted that this happened after an agrement had been struck between Saladin and Richard on several matters. It is my understanding that the letter of the agreement was not kept, and that the agreement had pledged the lives of the "hostages" as a forfeit for breaking the Agreement.

From medieval times thru the -----well today I suppose, if a City resisted, it 'ran the risk" or assumed the risk that it would be sacked.

One way out of this was to reach and agreement such as one later drafted re: the siege of Berwick by the English. Put simply it stated that no sallies would be made by the defenders and that a relieving army wold arrive by a date certain. After that date they would be obliged to surrender.

To change the subject back, either the 2nd Crusade or the 4th Crusade (I will check) resulted in the sack of Constantinople by the Crusading forces. since Urban had specifically mentioned the fact the that City had, until the fall of Jerusalem, had protected the Christian East and was thus deserving of aid.

I the first Crusade, Byzantine forces happily marched along behind the Crusading army and reoccupied cities formely part of its Empire in Asia Minor as fas as Aleppo. After that siege the latin knights did not allow the Byzantines to occupy cities in the "Levant" (ie: and area running along the mediterranean coast after the Crusading army turned south.

if any of this seems incorrect please mention it and I will research things more in depth. My Primary source book (cost me $5) is the three volume set "the Crusades" .