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crusades bibliography

Posted by nick on April 8, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Here is a list of most of the books that I own which are relevant to the Crusades. I would appreciate suggestions on books which will complement this list - especially if they are currently in print.

Warfare in the Latin East 1192-1294     Christopher Marshall

Latin Siege Warfare in the twelfth century  R. Rogers

Crusading Warfare 1097-1193    R.C. Smail

A Wargamers guide to the Crusades    Ian Heath

Armies & Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291   Ian Heath

The Art of War in the Middle Ages (vol1)   Charles Oman

The Crusaders     Robert Payne

The third Crusade     Anonymous (published by Folio books)

Alexiad of Anna Commena     Penguin classics

Chronicles of the Crusades   Joinville & Villehardouin   Penguin classics

A History of the Crusades (in 3 volumes)     Stephen Runciman

Arms & Armour of the Crusading era 1050-1350   David Nicolle

Crusader Castles in Cyprus, Greece & the Aegean 1191-1571  D. Nicolle  (Osprey books)

Crusader Castles in the Holy Land 1097-1192  David Nicolle  (osprey)

Crusading Castles   Hugh Kennedy


I also enjoyed the following novels:-

Lord Geoffreys Fancy  Alfred Duggan

Lady for Ransom   Alfred Duggan

Count Bohemund   Alfred Duggan

Knight with Armour  Alfred Duggan

Knights of Dark Renown    Graham Shelby

Kings of Vain Intent           Graham Shelby

Categories: Campaign News, Books

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Reply Steve
12:23 PM on April 8, 2013 
John France's "Victory in the East" is a pretty good look at the 1st crusade, from military pov.
I also enjoyed Thomas Asbridge's general history of the crusades.
Reply nick
2:00 PM on April 8, 2013 
I am currently reading "Victory in the East" but I find him quite a boring author which is a pity because he has exciting events to write about.
Reply Adam
6:28 PM on April 8, 2013 
When this was last asked on ancmed the following were recommended:

Steven Runciman's History of the Crusades
"Victory in the East: A Military History of the First Crusade" by John France
Arab Histories of the Crusades" by Francesco Gabrieli
Reply Adam
4:44 PM on April 9, 2013 
Out of all the David Nicolle Ospreys on the Saracen side of things my favourite is the old "Armies of Islam 7th-11th C.", although I do like the 2 Saracen stronghold books too (let's face it I just like castles!) His 2 volume Medieval Warfare Sourcebook has a lot of good information but aren't the best laid out IMHO.

Also quite informative is the British Library booklet "Medieval Muslim Horsemanship" by G. Rex Smith.
Reply Adam
7:12 PM on April 29, 2013 
Just read the review of Terry Wise, Osprey "The Wars of the Crusades" in Slingshot 1979. They tear is to pieces somewhat. In the summary is the suggested alternative reading is the Runciman volumes, RC Smail and the WRG book. You would hope there was something new in the last 34 years though...
Reply Adam
1:09 PM on May 18, 2013 
From Duncan Head on SOA:
Armies of The Crusades isn't all that good, and The Armies of Islam, 7th-11th Centuries is the very first of David Nicolle's many Ospreys so it's a bit more superficial than his later works, as well as not really covering the Crusades era. You'd be better off with his Saladin and the Saracens, The Crusades, The Mamluks, or any of the Campaign titles on the individual Crusades.

I used to point people at Ian Heath's Armies and Enemies of the Crusades, 1096-1291 (WRG) and A Wargamers' Guide to the Crusades (PSL) but they're both ageing and out of print now - you can pick up copies of the PSL book cheapish but the WRG one is in more demand.

Steven Runciman's three-volume A History of the Crusades is still well worth reading, but there are loads of more recent general histories. P M Holt, The Age of the Crusades: Near East from the Eleventh Century to 1517 (in the Longmans A History of the Near East series) is good, but not just about the Crusades. And you should really try to get R C Smail, Crusading Warfare 1097-1193 and Christopher Marshall's "sequel" Warfare in the Latin East, 1192-1291.
Reply Adam
1:10 PM on May 18, 2013 
Books, in addition to Duncan's list
- Steven Runciman = excellent read
- Recent books by Thomas Asbridger and Christopher Tyerman
- I enjoyed, Peter Frankopan - The First Crusade, Call from the East - nice Runciman-style writing, emphasis on Byzantine angle, although he does behave as if nobody else had noticed it.
- Norwich - the Normans in Sicily (and actually Norwich's Byzantine Trilogy, but you'll change your interests on the basis of that one)
- Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades - John France
- Moslem history (Spain and Caliphates) - Hugh Kennedy's stuff. Also Richard Fletcher - Moorish Spain

If you want an ongoing source of pictures and essays about medieval warfare, cheaper than Osprey but not as "selectable" - look at a sub to Medieval Warfare - once again there's a Society discount.
Reply nick
11:55 AM on May 19, 2013 
Two further books on other crusading efforts - I have nothing on the Spanish Reconquista but I do have , & like - "The Cathars & the Albigensian Crusade" by Michael Costen; & "The Northern Crusades" by Eric Christiansen.
Reply Adam
6:14 AM on September 21, 2013 
nick says...
Two further books on other crusading efforts - I have nothing on the Spanish Reconquista but I do have , & like - "The Cathars & the Albigensian Crusade" by Michael Costen; & "The Northern Crusades" by Eric Christiansen.

Well it took me some time to find it (found lots of other interesting books on my shelves along the way!)
"The Art of War in Spain - The Conquest of Granada 1481-1492" by William H. Prescott. Haven't read it yet but hopefully good background for my early Italian Wars Spanish army. (Coming to kick the butts of a Landsknecht near you in 2014!)
Reply Adam
10:01 AM on September 21, 2013 
Started reading "The Knights of Islam" by James Waterson about the Mamluks. Very good so far.