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The Age of the Crusades: The Near East from the Eleventh Century to 1517 (A History of the Near East) Paperback – February 17, 1986

ISBN-13: 978-0582493025 ISBN-10: 0582493021 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: A History of the Near East
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (February 17, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582493021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582493025
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,345,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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'A lucid and valuable work of synthesis, and one which augurs well for the series of which it is the harbinger.'

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Troubadour on August 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
First of all, emphasis should be made that, despite its title, this book is not so much on the Crusades, nor about all of south-west Asia, but rather the book is focused on the Arab Levant, that is, "Bilad Ash-sham" (modern Syria, Jordan, Israel/Palestine, and Lebanon), as well as Egypt, with a good amount on Anatolia (modern Turkey).

In fact, a more accurate title of the book would be "A History of the Crusader, Ayyubid, and Mamluke Kingdoms", as they are the real focus ot the book.

If you interest is any these subjects, then this is an excellent over-view of their history and developement. Here Prof.Holt covers in significant detail all the various complex and labrynthine developements and politics of these three states (with side glances of those states that came into conflict/cooperation with them, such as the Byzantines, Seljuks, and Mongols).

Especially fascinating is his covering of the powerful Mamlukes, from their complex and bloody rise to power, to their fall at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1517.

As noted in the title, the book ends with the fall of the Mamlukes, and with them the fall of "Bilad Ash-Sham" and Egypt to the Ottoman Empire, and indeed the end of the "Middle Ages" for the Near East.

If you are interested only in the Crusades, then there are other books for you.

But if you are interested in the later Middle Ages in the Arab Levant, including the Crusader presence in it, and especially if you are interested in the history of the Ayyubid and the Mamlukes (both on which there is sadly very little works), then this is the book for you.

Note: If you are especially interested in the Mamlukes, then Prof.
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P.M. Holt's work contains a wealth of detail - names, places, dates, events - and yet maintains a narrative continuity over a very complex and turbulent time period. Broken down into 21 chapters, Holt covers the Crusading Age, followed by the rise of the Ayyubid Sultanate and the Mamluk Sultanate. Though these are the main actors, Holt gives coverage to Byzantine, Mongol, Seljuk, Karaman, Ottoman, and other empires or peoples who affected or impacted the Near East. He addresses military, diplomatic, social, cultural, and economic factors of continuity amongst the various empires. Previous reviewers have elaborated on the most salient aspects of this book; I'll say that this book will assume a working knowledge of the time and the events described. It is not meant to be the first (or even second or third) book read on the subject, but for a patient reader, its level of analysis and comprehensive treatment is exceptional. Significantly, a comprehensive and insightful bibliographic essay concludes the work, showing the depth of the author's understanding and fine interpretation of sources that are not always straight-forward, or fully truthful. Highly recommended.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By General Pete VINE VOICE on January 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Is able to provide readers with a new theory (at least in the eyes of westerners probably not so for people in the middle east)

The crusaders did not get as far as this did due to the fact that they fought so hard. Rather they got as far as they did because of the internal politics of the Islamic World. At the time of the first crusades the Islamic world was reeling from the assaults of the Tatars and Mongols they really didn't care about the encroachment of crusaders partly because the distance was so vast. An interesting thing to point out and a view that is probably very accurate. The book then provides the reader with an explanation of how this situation was made to come about. Blame mostly gets laid at the feet of the Ottoman Empire.

Overall-Goodish book, not the best on the subject but not the worst either.
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