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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The art and architecture of the crusader states

IV: Military Architecture in the Crusader States in Palestine and Syria,   pp. 140-164 PDF (8.9 MB)

Page 141

 Camille Enlart did not live to write his account of crusader military architecture,
which with his wide knowledge of westerii castles and his incredible memory
for detail would certainly have added much to our knowledge of interrelationships
between east and west. His work was carried on by Paul Deschamps, under whom
Krak des Chevaliers was cleared of its villagers and excavated. The result
was published in 1 934 in an exhaustive work, the most important study any
medieval castle has received. C. N. Johns meanwhile was carrying out a survey
of Château Pèlerin (' Atlit), and hoping there also to free
the site of its encumbering inhabitants, a hope defeated by the unhappy history
of Palestine; but much had been achieved before the end of the mandate brought
an end also to this enterprise. 
 Certain questions have recurrently been raised. How far did the crusaders
choose the site of their castles as a strategic and coherent scheme? What
was their debt in building them to Byzantine and Moslem example? Did innovations
in the east precede similar stages in the west? The answers are not easy,
for the evidence is often insecure. The castles as a whole are little documented,
and dating is often speculative. Many of them incorporated earlier works;
most have undergone some form of rebuilding; only Krak, Château Pèlerin,
Montfort, and Belvoir have had any serious excavation, and for some of them
we are still dependent on Rey's hundred-year-old plans. But any account of
crusading castles must attempt to deal with these central disputes. 
 The sites chosen for the castles vary widely: some, such as Krak des Chevaliers,
Margat (al-Marqab), Subaibah, Belfort, Toron, and Belvoir, placed on isolated
hilltops difficult of access, surveyed a 
tr. J. M. Brownjohn (London, 1966) and T. S. R. Boase, Castles and Churches
of the Crusading Kingdom (London, 1967). The articles of G. Beyer in Zeitschrift
des deutschen Palästina-Vereins: "Das Gebiet der Kreuzfahrerherrschaft
Caesarea in Palästina siedlungs und territorialgeschichtlich untersucht,"
LIX (1936), 1-91; "Neapolis (nãblus) und sein Gebiet in der Kreuzfahrerzeit:
Eine topographische und historisch-geographische Studie," LXIII (1940), 155-209;
"Die Kreuzfahrergebiete von Jerusalem und S. Abraham (Hebron)," LXV (1942),
165-211; "Die Kreuzfahrergebiete Akko und Galilaea," LXVII (1944-1945), 183-260;
and "Die Kreuzfahrergebiete Südwestpalästinas," Beiträge zur
biblischen Landes und Altertumskunde, LXVIII (1946-1951), 148-192, 249-281,
and those of J. Prawer, "Colonization Activities in the Latin Kingdom of
Jerusalem," Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire, XXIX (1951), 1063-1118;
"The Settlement of the Latins in Jerusalem," Speculum, XXVII (1952), 490-503;
"Etude de quelques problèmes agraires et sociaux d'une seigneurie
croisée au XIIIe siecle," Byzantion, XXII (1952), 5-61, and XXIII
(1953), 143-170; and Israel Argosy, ed. by I. Halevy-Levin (Jerusalem, 1956),
pp. 178-191, are 
essential for the economic background of the settlement and its effect on
the siting of castles. An article by R. B. C. Huygens, "Monuments de l'époque
des croisades: Reflections a propos de quelques livres récentes,"
Bibliotheca orientalis, XXV (Leyden, 1968), 9-14, is valuable for information
about the present state and nomenclature of the castles. 

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