Monday, March 1, 2021

Book Irreview: Crusading Warfare


In my quest to find information regarding the makeup and recruitment of the armies of the Third Crusade, my old History professor recommended that I check out R.C. Smail's Crusading Warfare, so I did.

While the book doesn't provide the specific information that I'm (still) looking for, it does provide a more generalized version of that information in quite a bit of detail and is a pretty interesting read.

That stated, Crusading Warfare is not written with any intent to engage the casual reader.  This is research presented in a critical, academic context, and while much of it is fun to read, quite a bit of it isn't.  Indeed, the final chapter is sure to only please hard-core researchers and irrational fans of castle structure.  Furthermore, R.C. Smail has a terrible tendency to NOT translate copious amounts of French, German, and Latin, preferring instead to just cut and paste original quotes in original languages.  Granted, I can read the French and some of the German, but for fuck's sake, man... WHAT ARE THEY SAYING???

Anyway, unless you're into hard-core research regarding the first three Crusades (or are an irrational fan of something to do with those conflicts), you might want to skip this one.

If you are, though, pick it up.  But you probably already have.


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