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How to Defeat the Saracens: Guillelmus Ade, <i>Tractatus quomodo Sarraceni sunt expugnandi;</i> Text and Translation with Notes (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Humanities) Hardcover – August 13, 2012
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About the Author
Ranabir Chakravarti is Professor of Ancient History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Olivia Remie Constable is Professor in the Department of History and Director of the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame.
Tia Kolbaba is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Janet M. Martin is Associate Professor Emerita in the Department of Classics at Princeton University.
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Top Customer Reviews
On one level, William's proposal for a full-scale crusade to defeat the Muslim Mamluk rulers of Egypt (who also controlled Jerusalem) was unrealistic. After all, no new crusade was launched at the time. On another level, however, his proposal is eminently realistic. Given the right amount of money, men and luck, none of his proposals are “out there”. I assumed that William's text would be some kind of fringe document written by a zealous crank. In fact, Brother William of the Dominican Order seems to have been an eminently practical man, often on the verge of Realpolitik pure and simple.
William identifies three main problems in the Mediterranean to be overcome before a new crusade could be launched: Christian commercial ties with the Mamluks, Christian pilgrims paying hefty tributes to the Muslims, and the collusion between Byzantium and certain Muslim rulers. Despite papal prohibition, Genoese and Venetian merchants had established lucrative trade deals with Egypt, providing the Mamluks with iron, wood, food and slaves. In this way, the Mamluks were able to replenish their armories, build new galleys, and expand their armies.Read more ›