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Armies and Enemies of

the Crusades 1096 1291


Org~nisation.

tKtics. dress and weapons. 96 iIIustrltions.

bylan Heath
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Syrians, Se lju kl. F ' hm ldl .
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A WARGAMES RESEARCH GROU P PUBLI CAT ION

Armies and Enemies


of the Crusades
1096-1291
Or ga nisation, tact ics, dr ess and wea po ns 96 illust ra tio ns

bylan Heath

Frank s, lI osp itallers, Te m pla rs, Arm enia ns, Sy rians , Selju ks,
Fatim ids, Ayy u bids, Mamluk s, Assassins, Byza nt mes, Georgian s,
Mo ngols a nd IIkha nids

A WA RGAM ES RESEA RCH GROUP PUBLI CATION

INTROD UCTI ON
Althou gh man y books have bee n written on the C rusad es ove r the years they mostly ap proa ch the
subjec t from a political or socia l viewp oint, a nd wit h t he ex cep tion of R. C. Smau's wo rkma nlike
'C rusa di ng Warfare 10971 193' few o r no ne have ventured to desc ribe in any detail t he warri o rs a nd
a rmies with which Moslem an d Ch ristian vied for co nt ro l o f th e Holy Land . Th e ai m of t his book ,
t herefore, is to fill th is gap a nd add a litt le flesh to t he bo nes o f crusading history , by no t o nly desc rib ing
bu t alse, illu str at ing the my riad wa rrio r-types of O ut rerner a nd the lan ds o f Isla m a nd Byzuntium, so th at
toge th er with t he no tes o n o rga nisa tio n a nd tactics an e ntire pic t ure ca n be built up o f warfa re in th e
Middle East in th e two ce ntu ries between th e fat eful Ba t tle of Ma nztker t in 107 1 an d t he fa ll o f th e
cit y of Acre to the Mamluks 220 years late r.
A few notes o n terminology. I have used the wor d ' Frank' thro ughou t to describe c rusade rs of
Eu rope an o rigin or extrac tion , t ho ugh th e Byza nti nes ten ded to refer to them more o ften as ' Latin s' . Where
t he ir ethn ic o rigins are mix ed o r unce rta in Moslem s I have usu ally called by that name, t hou gh where
applicable I have so me times substitu ted 'T urks' or' Arabs' a nd o n oc casion have eve n la psed int o using
th e po pular term ' Sa race n' (a co rru ptio n of ' Sharkeei n', meaning Easte rner o r Levanti ne]. Fo llow ing
co nve ntio n, na tives of the East ern Emp ire a rc referred to as Byzant ines, o r so metim es as Greeks, which
te rm they we re beginn ing to a pply to t he mse lves d uri ng th e course of t his e ra, alt hough th ey more o fte n
persisted in ca lling the mse lves ' Ro mans' eve n in the 12t h and 13th centu ries. 'T he Holy Land' , a lthough
it ref ers specifically to the Kingdo m of Jeru salem, l have generally used (i nte rchangeab ly with Palest ine,
Fran kish Syria a nd 'Outrerner" ] as a collective te rm fo r th e mai nland crusade r states of Jeru salem,
T ripoli, An noch an d Edessa ; no modern geographical bo undaries are intended by an y of t hese te rms,
a nd if this should at times cau se co nfusion I c rave yo ur ind ulgence.
Euro pean Cru sades o f thi s same era , suc h as were fough t in Spai n, Southern France and Prussia, are not
covered he re, th e part icipat ing ar mies o f t hese ca mpaigns having a lready been desc ribe d in 'Armies o f
Feudal E ~rope 10661 300'.
T he th ird a nd fina l part o f what was o nce envisaged as a single book , I th ink I ca n safe ly say that t his is
th e par t which I have most enjo yed pre paring. I hope you will f ind it equally enjoyable to read , an d t hat it
will enco u rage furt her inte rest in one o f t he mo st neglected , and yet at th e same time most fascinating,
th eatr es o f mediaeva l war fare .
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Februa ry 19 78

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ORGA NISAT ION


T HE CRUS ADE R ST AT ES
Eu ro pean feu dalism was int rod uced into Sy ria by the cru sade rs, wh o fo un ded t he Princi palit y of
An tio ch ( 10<)81 26 3) , th e Co un ties of Ede ssa ( 1098-1 14 4) a nd Tri po li ( 1109-128 9, incorpora ting
Antioch a fte r 11 19 ), th e Kingdo m o f Cy pru s (11 91 -14 8 9, t hereafter a v cncuan co lo n y un t il 15 71 ) and
th e Kingd o m of J erusalem (1100- 118 7, t herea ft er in reality t he Kingdo m of Acre ra t her t ha n Je rusale m
un til t he final e x tinct io n of th e state in 1291 ).
Feu dal con tin ge n ts
Since the re was a co nstan t sho rtage o f ma np ow er, and the su rvival o f F rank ish Syria d e pe nded e n t irel y
on its mili tary c apa bili t ies, general kn ight servi ce was su bject to far fewe r restri cti o ns than in Eur o pe. For
instance, t her e see ms to have been no ti me-lim it on t he len gth o f se rvice tha t might be req uired even up
to a full yea r, th ou gh it is not clear whe t he r thi s was at t he ex pe nse of th e vassal o r th e ten an t-in-chie f';
e it he r way it was no t at t he kin g's e xpe nse u nless it took place o ut side o f th e kingd o m.
Ea ch vassal was a vassa l of the king, irres pective o f whose land s he was enfeo ff ed up o n ( with th e e xce ption o f th e la nds o f th e c hurch and th e Milita ry Ord ers) , an d so lo ng as he was und er 60 years o f age he
wa s expected to serve mo u nte d an d fully -a rmed an yw he re with in th e re alm and within 15 d ays whenever
t he ki ng su mmo ned him. In addi tio n t he vassa l would be accompanied by whatever kn ight s , se rgean ts.
esq uires o r mer cenaries his terms o f e nfeo ff men t might de mand (i t should be no te d, how ever c tha t a
vassal was no t allo wed to su binfe uda te mo re o f his fief t han he himself hel d, wh ich effec tivel y resmc tcd
th e size o f per so nal re rin ucs'").
T he p rin cipal lim ita tio n o n f~' u d a l se rvice to t he c row n was that Ed essa, T ripo li a nd A nt io ch were no t
co nsid ered part of t he realm , a nd m ilita ry assist an ce fr om th ese p rincip ali ties wa s o nly to be expect ed
whe n th e king was stro ng enough to en fo rce it. When t he c ro wns o f J er usalem a nd Cyp rus wer e u nited
in 1268 th is p ro blem beca me more com plicate d, Cypnote k nigh ts insisting tha t th ey owed no milih ry
service to th e king save o n the island o f Cyprus itse lf: but in 127 3 agree me nt was reached that Cy prio tc
knigh ts o wed se rvice in Je rusale m too - o r wherever else t he king migh t have need o f the m - fo r
4 mon ths every ye ar. Ho weve r, eve n p rio r to th is dat e, as ea rly as th e reig n o f Amalric 11 ( 1194 1 20 5 1.
Cy pri ote feudal t roops ha d appea red in ma inland armies on a nu m ber of occas io ns; 100 Cypriote
knigh ts to o k pa rt in t he Fifth C rusa de un d er t he Con stable o f Cyprus, and in an a ttac k on lI a ma h in
1233 , while perha ps 300 Cyprio tes were killed at La Fo rb lc in 1244 a nd at least :WO F yp not c knigh ts
a nd 50 0 infan try l oo k part in t he fin al d efence o f Acre in 129 1. (Th e Estoi re d' Eraclcs infor ms us t ha t
whe n feud al ten u re was e stablish ed o n Cyprus by G uy de Lusignun , 1192 -11 94 , vassals 'c ame fro m th e
Kingdo m of J erusale m, fro m T ripol i, from Anti och, a nd fro m Armenia u,e. Cilicia ), And there we re
established fiefs wo rth 400 white bezan ts fo r a k night an d wo rt h 300 fo r a T urco pole wit h tw o horses
and a co at-of-ma il: In all 300 knigh t's fees we re pa rcelled ou t a nd :WO T u rco pole's fee s, lea ving Gu y
wit h sca rcely enoug h land or re ven ue to maint ain a fa milia o f 20 - o ne so u rce says 70 - kn igh ts.)
Because of the sho rta ge o f la nd many vassals received mone y-fiefs in ex change fo r service (e specially in
th e Princi palit y of Antioch ), usually f ro m th e reve nue s o f spcctf'ic town s a nd ci tie s: Fra n kish mer ce nari es
were also pa id with money-fiefs (see below ), Some o f the knight s o wed by t he towns t see Appe nd ix 11
and perha ps t he ch urch as we ll were p rob ably also supplied in e xch ange fo r mo ney-fie fs
Th o ugh o fte n co m plicated by the p resence o f cr usa d ing European kings and magn ate s o verall com ma nd
was usua lly in t he ha nds o f the king him sel f or his baill i [ regen t I, th oug h in realit y a co u nci l o f t he
chief me n of th c army de cided st ra tegy a nd po licy (:I S Heha e d-Di n p u ts it , ' it is t heir custom, wh en it is
a q ues tion o f W:lT, to take co u nsel toge t her on ho rseba ck'], In t he abs ence o f kin g or bailli th e Co nst able
o f the Kingdom led t he army assisted by his lieutenant c th c Marsha l. Supplies and just ice were
res po nsib iliti es o f t he Con st able , as was th e emplo yment an d fai r pa ym en t of mer cen aries, bo t h t he
king's an d t hose hired inde pe nde nt ly by t he feu da l lords, fr om wh om he co llec ted th e ap p ropriate

By the mid13th century there was considerable dispute ;u to "..hether this meant that the vassal must fa) hold at
least 51% o f the fief himselF, or Ib) that he need only hold more than \Io'lU subinfeudated to hb ,:reatest vassal,

paym en ts; but t he Ma rshal act ua lly co mma nded th e mercenaries in the field, In battle the Constable
co m manded a do uble-stre ngth troo p (h e had the first choice o f men af te r t he king 's o wn tr oop ha d bee n
made up ) and ma rched in the vangua rd, immediately behind t he Turcopc les (see page 39 ), wit h t he
xta rshal's troo p, then t he king's, be hind him , Anti och , Edessa and T ripoli had th e ir own constab les a nd
mars hals (t wo marshals cou ld hol d offi ce simultaneously in Anti och), as did the great baro ns of Ja ffa ,
Sidon , Ga hlee an d poss ibly O ult rejo urda in an d Ceesa rea . T he Senesc hal was se nio r to t he Co nsta ble but
he was a co urt officia l rath er t han a military co mmander, In the Princi pali ty of An tioe h t here we re
add itio nal of fice rs (i n Antioch , Jahala and Lat ta kieh ] ca lled 'duces' or Dukes.
Fra nki sh mercenaries
Mercen:lril's, calle d 'S odee rs' or sold iers, we re o f great import an ce fro m th e very beginning o f t he
cru sade r sta tes' exi sten ce, a t leas t par tially co mpensa ting for t he cri tica l shortage of feuda l manpowe r.
They became eve n mo re important o ver th e yea rs as t he steady reco nq uest o f land by th e Sara cen s
furt her red uced th e numbers of fe uda l troo ps availa ble . Some were provided o n a feuda l basi s by
vassals who owed ' service de compaignons' (w hich req uire d th a t t he vassal sho uld raise and pay a
specified number o f mercenaries}, o t hers bei ng provided by Fr ankish knights and serge a nt s wh o stayed
o n in th e Fast after visi ting t he ho ly places.
Th ey were co ntrac ted mo nt h by mon t h (from t he 1st of t he mon t h), breac h of such a co ntrac t be ing
regarded as <I very se rious offen ce ; in t he case o f a knight it was pu nishab le by co nfisca tio n of his fief if
he had one ( presu ma bly land or mon ey) o r his ar mour and equ ipment if he did no t, while an o rdina ry
sold ier might have his ha nd s mu tilate d with a hot iron . On the o the r ha nd mercena ries were paid a t a
ve ry high rate ( tho ugh pro ba bly no t at 100 times the rate of a Mosle m warrior as is sugges ted in o ne of
Usamah ib n Munqld h's anecdo tes; evide nce suggests, in fact , that Fr ank s we re pa id 2-5 times as much
as t hei r Moslem co unter parts). ~h n y - knights , se rgea nts a nd infan t ry - tended to be hired outright ,
but me rcen ar y kn ights we re of ten paid for with mo ney -flcfs, usually fro m th e revenues of so me to wn ,
city or t je de speci fied in their con t ract s. T he revenu es var ied from 300 bezan fs per an num to 600 o r
even 1,000 dep end ing o n how secur e t he revenu es wen' and how ma ny men were needed - the mo re
me n needed , the lower t he revenue. However , be cause o f a lmost co nsta nt wa rfa re and th e frequ ent loss
o f towns and lands it was not uncommon fo r mer cena ries' pay to be we ll o verdue , an d under such
cir cu mstances th e y co uld sell t heir eq uipmen t and live off th e pro ceeds, owing no service until t he
o uts ta nding debt had bee n paid off. O n o t he r occasions th ey we re paid for by special taxes (as in 118 3 ),
o r by gifts of mo ney from Euro pean rule rs in lieu of act ual tr oops; t he llistori a Regni lI ie rosoly mitani
reco rds t hat a ~ many as 1,200 me rcenary kni gh ts a nd 7,000 me rcenary infant ry were hired pr io r to t he
Batt le o f Ila tt in in 118 7, e xplaining th at th ey were paid for by a money gift from lI enry 11 of England
( in at onement fo r t he murder o f T homas it Bec ket ), but t hese figu res arc somewha t on t he high side ,
while in his will of 1222 1' hilip 11 o f Fra nce left 150,000 silver mark s 10 the king of Jerusalem a nd the
O rde r of t he Tem ple for the ma intenance of 100 mer cenary knights each Ior a pe riod o f 3 yea rs.
Likew ise mon ey sent ou t to Outre mer by t he Po pe see ms to have been la rgely used to hi re me rcena ries
th rou ghout th e 13th ce ntury.
Exa mp les of Frankish knights stayi ng o n in Out reme r in ex chang e fo r pay are provided by t he 40
knight s left with a yea r's pay by Wail er d' Avesnes on his retu rn to Eu rope in 12 18, and the F re nc h
regiment o f 100 kn ight s esta blished in Acre by Loui s IX [St Lo uis) prio r to his own depa rt ure in 1254
and co nt inuo usly maint ai ned by gift s o f mo ney un til th e fall of th e cit y in 1291 . Alt hough no t st ric tly
mer cenary, the un its o f Fr e nch and Ge rman knight s ma intained by t he ba illis of Ch arles of Anjo u and
Frede rtck 11 sho uld pro bably also he me ntioned he re.
Na tive soldiers and mercenaries: Sy rians, Maro nites, T urcupoles and Arm enia ns
Far from all mercenaries wen' of Frank ish o rigin. As men tioned above, crusaders fro m Europ e oft e n dill
stay on for pay, but the majo rity of mercen anes were proba bly hired fro m amongst the na tive Chrisua ns,
t he Sy rians , Armenians and Maro nu cs. T hese woul d be hired o ut righ t rathe r than being gran te d money-fiefs.
It has bee n suggested t hat Syrians may have supplie d t he bulk of t he king dom's inf antry. and t ho ugh
the re is little eviden ce to su ppo rt t his rat her swee ping stateme nt it is un den iable that Sy rians are to be
occ asiona lly fou nd in Franki sh armies ; so me, for instance, he lped Raymo nd de Saint-G ilIes in t he
co nq uest of T ripoli . Undoubt edl y o t he rs wo uld take u p arm s in an e me rgency, as did so me in 1124,
and passages in w illia m of Tyre and F ulch er of Cha rtres ind ica te that t hey migh t sometimes pe rfor m

garr ison d uties. However, WilIiam also points o ut th a t in general the y were o f a timo rous na ture, 'a race
wh ich is regarde d by us JS wea k and effemina te', in wh ich he is bac ked up by Jacques de Vitry , Bishop
of Acre, who wro te in the 13 th ce nt ury that 'they are altogether u nwa rlike and in ba tt le are as helpless
as women, save for some of them who use bows and arrow s but are una rm o ured a nd ready for runn ing
away. T hese men are know n as Syr ia ns .. , For the most pa rt they are untrustwor thy, tw o-fa ced
cunning foxes j ust like the Greek s (Byzantines), liars and turn coat s, lovers of success, traitors , easily won
over wit h bribes, me n who say one th ing a nd mea n an other , and thi nk no thing of t heft an d robbe ry.
For a small sum of mone y th ey beco me spies a nd tell the Christians' secrets to the Sarace ns.' Ha rdly
reliable allies!
The pr incipal nati ve Christian element in th e County of T ripoli W J .~ prov ided by the Maronit cs of
Le ba non, sett led principally in Gibbat Bsarr i, Kisra wan a nd ro un d Jebail. Th ey ap pea r to ha ve
numbered a bo ut 304 0, 000. WiIlia m of Tyr e praised t he militar y skill of the Ma ro nites, 'a sta lwa rt race,
valia nt fighters, an d of grea t service to the Ch ristians in the difficult engage me nts which t hey so
freq ue ntly had', to which de Vitry adds ' they a re numerous, use bo ws and a rro ws, and are swift and
skilful in battle.' They served in most Trip olitanian a rmies, fighti ng under their ow n ch ieftains (called
by the Ara bic title Muqaddam), some of whom even received fief s (which would indica te tha t a fe w
were actuall y knights; other na tive Ch rist ian knights are also to be fo und in th e sou rces, with surn a mes
suc h as Arr a bi, Qelbe Arab, Elteffaha, etc. while in Ant ioch ma ny knight s bore Greek na mes). Bet wee n
1192 and 1194 Guy de Lusigna n is reported to have even introduced a large numbe r of Marom tes into
Cyprus (the figu re of 30, 000 is given ), th ese subse que ntly serving as a sor t of militia. Som e may have
later accom pan ied the Hospitallers to Rhode s, a nd la ter sti ll to Malta.
The most numero us, reliable an d efficie nt Syri a n ele me nt in Frankish arm ies, ho weve r, was provide d by
the Tur co pole s, The te rm Turcop ole itself, meaning liter ally 'son o f the Turks', had bee n bo rrowe d from
the Byzantines, who used the name Turco pouloi fo r the ir ow n merce nary Turkish regulars (see page 28 ;
Raym o nd d' Aguile rs sta tes that "Turcopoles were so na med because the y we re eit her reared with Turks
or were the offspring of a Christia n mother an d a Turkish father' ), The Fra nks app lied the ter m rather
more loosely to Syr ians, nati ves of mixe d pa re nta ge (Tu rkish fath e rs an d Greek mo thers acco rding to
Albert of Aix) , and co nverted Tu rks serv ing in thei r own arm ies. By the mid- 12th century, ho wever,
judging fro m t he evidence of names reco rded for Turco poles in writte n sources it would seem possible that
at least some, a nd possibly a great many , may have actually bee n Sy rian Franks ( Pou lains) or even Eur op ean
Fra nks, probably eq uipp ed to fight in Tur kish fashion. (I n sup por t of this last theor y it is interesti ng to
not e th at Tu rcop o uloi e mployed by the Catalans in Greece in th e earl y- 14t h cen tu ry incl uded native
Greeks wh o had shaved t heir heads Turkish-fashion in order to be em ploye d in this cap aci t y.] Altho ugh
it has been suggeste d that som e Turco poles were foot-soldiers the sources seem to indica te th at they
fou ght principa lly if not exclusively as light cavalry (see also no te 14 in the dress an d eq uipmen t section ).
They had th eir own offic ers called T urcopoliers ( probab ly Fran ks ) but like all othe r mercena ries came
unde r the overa ll co mma nd of the Marshal o f the Kingdom.
There were 1,500 Tur co poles in the army which cam paigned in the Jezreel valle y in 1183 and the a rmy
at Hatt in may have included as many as 4 ,00 0 ; Usam ah records a single no bleman ( William-Jo rdan, regent
of Tripoli) having as ma ny as 200 'T ur kubu li' (f rom Latin 'Turco po li' ) in his emp loy in 1107. Turco polcs
served in addit ion in Tunisia (d uri ng Louis I X's Eighth Crusade ) a nd Cypru s an d were e mployed in
co nsiderab le num bers by the Milita ry Orders - th e Hospit alle rs supplied 5 00 in 1168 whi le the
Hospitalle rs a nd Te mpl ars to gether lost over 5 00 at La Forbie in 1244.
The othe r most im portant gro up o f na tive Ch ristia ns were th e wa rlike Arme nia ns of Cilicia ( Lesser
Arm enia). These we re numerou s in th e Principality of Ant ioc h a nd co mprised most of th e populat ion
of the Co un ty o f Edessa, a nd they are to he fo und serv ing variously as subjects, me rce naries an d allies
unde r the ir ow n chieftai ns, supplying both cavalry an d infan try, particula ry under Count Joscelyn 11
(113 1-11 50 ). 1nl 108 th e Arme nian prin ce of Kesoun, Kogh Vasil ( Vasil the Ro bber), supplied Baldwin
of Edessa with an army of as many as 1-2,000 cavalry a nd 2,000 infa ntry , inclu din g a numbe r of Selju k
ren egades, while the chro nicle r Ma tt hew o f Edessa records that there were 50 0 Armen ian cavalry in
Roger of Antioch's a rmy at Ager Sang uin us in 1119 a nd a simila r numbe r at 'Aza z in 1125 . Whe n
Edessa fell in 1144 many of its me rcen ary defe nders were Armenian s, and so me Arm en ians we re even
prese nt a t th e siege of Ac re in 119 1.

It sho uld be noted, ho wever, that the Arm en ians (and very occasionally the Maronites) co uld also be

foun d fighting against t he Fra nks. Arm en ians seem to have played a pa rti cularly impo rtant role in som e
Seljuk a rm ies o f t he la te- Ll t h cent ury , nota bly that o f T ut ush o f Damasc us 0 0 79-10 95) , and t hey we re
to be fo und too in th e various T urkish ar mies which o pposed th e First Crusa de. In additio n t he Fatirnids
employ ed Armen ian arc her s in t he 12th ce ntury. So me times too open wa rfare co uld flar e up be twee n
Ctltcta a nd neigh bo uring Ant ioch .
The flee t: t he Italian co mm unes
Tho ugh Antioch an d Tr ipoli bo t h developed sm all fleet s the Kingdo m of Jeru salem itself had no
per manen t flee t of its o wn (tho ugh it mainta ined arsenals at T yr e and Acre, raisi ng 33 ships fro m th ese
at sho rt no tice in 1182 , prob ab ly incl uding Italian me rcha nt vessels in po r t a t t he time, while in 1232
mo ney-fie f's were pa id ou t to Po ulains of th e coastal ci tie s for fitti ng out armed shi ps), Instead th e kings
of Je rusalem depe nded pri nci pa lly on th e Ita lian co mmune s and t he Military Orders for naval support
(the Orders ma intaining bo th t ranspo rts a nd galleys; in a naval e ngageme nt d uri ng t he sie ge of T yre in
118 7 we find as many as 17 galleys man ned by Hospiralle rs a nd Te mplars). 13t h centu ry Cyprus
simila rly relied on It alian ships, usually Ge noese.
The It alia n co mmu nes (seco nd in impor ta nce on ly to th e Milita ry Ord ers in 13th ce nt ury Out remer ) ha d
mos tly bee n esta blishe d in t he earl y years of th e 12th ce nt ury in ex cha nge fo r t he se rvices re ndered by
Ita lia n flee ts in t he captu re o f t he coasta l cities which, wit h th e e xce ption of T yre a nd Ascalon , all fell
bet wee n 1100 a nd 1111. Fo r e xa mple 40 Oen oesc ships ha d a tt ended th e siege o f Ie bail in 110 3, 70 were
at Acre in 1104 , 60 at T ripoli in 1109, 4 0 Gcn oc se a nd Pisa n ships at Beiru t in 1110, a nd lat er as many
as 100- 130 Veneti an ships a t th e siege o f T yr e in 1124. Such flee ts ha d bee n sup plied princi pally by the
city -states of Genoa, Pisa a nd ( a t fi rst to a lesse r ex ten t) Ve nice , ge nera lly in ex c hang e for pay, t rading
co ncessio ns o r loo t, o r of te n 01113; usually th ey were pro mised pa rt of t he besieged city too, of ten a
thi rd. Th e e nd prod uct was th e establishme nt of self-governi ng Italian co mmunes in a ll th e co astal cities,
eac h under a co nsul o r visco unt (vicom te) appointed by its pa rent cit y in It aly. Ge no a possesse d suc h
co mmunes in Acre, Antioch, Arso uf , Be irut , Caesa rea. Ja ffa , Jebail, Lattakieh, Sain t Sy meon , Tyre and
Tripoli, an d Venice had its o wn co mmunes in t he larger of t hese ci ties, bo th having qua rters in
Je rusalem too. Pisa had co mmunes in Acre, An tioc h, Botrun, l a t takieh, T ripoli and T yre. In additio n
the re wer e Amalfi tan co m mu nes in Acre and La tt akie h and Marseillais co mmunes in Acre, J affa, Jeb ail
and T yre, there even be ing a Barcelo nese co mmune in t he latt er. Exce pt fo r Acre few o f these co uld
have mustered more t ha n abou t 500 men ,
T ho ugh t he co mmunes were un de r no o bliga tio n 10 se rve in th e king's army t hey co uld be ca lled upo n to
help defen d the cities in whic h th ey had the ir quar te rs a nd to le nd naval suppo rt ( usua lly in ex cha nge
for e xt ra privileges) in defe nce of t he coastal to wns. Italia n co ntinge nts also oft e n wen t alo ng as 'allies'
in many offe nsive ca mpaigns, an d as merce naries in o t he rs,
Unfor tuna tely for t he kingd om , ho wever, the Ve ne tian , Plsa n, Gcnoese a nd o t her Italian co ntinge nts we re
mutually hos tile, and Jucq ues de Vit ry remar ks dryly t ha t ' t hey would be very te rrible to th e Saracens if
t hey wo uld cease fro m t heir j ealousy and avarice and wo uld no t co ntinually fight a nd q uarre l with each
o t her. But , . , t he y mo re ofte n join ba t tle agains t o ne a no th e r tha n against th e t rea cherous infidel.'
On e of the wo rst of th ese bloody civil wa rs was th e w ar of Sa int Sabas in Acre in 1259, in which
allegedly ( hut improba bly ) 20,0 00 v ene tia ns. Ce noese and o t hers died.
Oth e r so urces of t roop s
Chu rc h land s and th e to wns of th e kingdom were ob liged to supply co nti ngents o f se rgea nts. T hose
co ntingents o n record (list ed by J ean d' Jbelin - see Appendi x I) va ried be tween 25 and 50 0 each , t he
lists ap pare ntly reco rdi ng th e state of affai rs as it ex isted in th e reign o f Bald win IV ( 1174- 118 5).
D' fbcttn gives a to ta l of 5,02 5 sergeants be ing availa ble from the se so urces, th o ugh his figures a re probably
inco mple te a nd reflect the se rvice of the kingdom o r Je rusale m o nly, exclusive of Antioch a nd T ripoli
(Ed essa had fallen in 1144 ). T hese se rgea nts were no t a militia, se rving ra th er in e xchange for se rgea nts'
fees, T hey were prob ably infa nt ry, T hou gh th ere were also mo unted se rgea nts Isee page 7 1) th ese we re
mo re usually in th e re tin ues o f knights.
O n occasio n th e Arricrl:-Ban . th e levy of all able-bodied free men , might be sum mo ned to supple me nt
t he fe udal a nd me rce nary co ntinge nts, eit her locally as. fo r e xa mple, at la ffa in 1122 a nd Acre in 121 8,
o r to re lieve th e siege o f Ba'rin in 1137; or o n a na tio nal sca le as a t t he siege of Acre in 1104 , fo r a war

against Damascus in 11 26, at Ascalon in 115 3 (w here in addition so me pilgrims we re hire d temporarily),
at Mont gisard in 1177 , o r for t he lIalli n ca mpaign o f I 187, Pilgrims also app eared in exchange for pay
on ot her occasions, as at Ramla in 110 2, Senn abr a in I I 13, a nd in t he ' Ain Jalut ca mpaign of 1183, but
it is clea r t hat suc h service was not always perfor med willingly , Crusading knig hts co nsta ntl y arriving
from Euro pe also supplemented the kingdom 's army for th e d uration of thei r stay, often staying on as
merce narie s (as men tion ed a bo ve).
Moslems and Mo ngols
In t he first half of t he 12t h ce nt ury Turkish e mtrs. fearful of losi ng their independe nce to more
pow erful neighb o urs or eve n to t he Sulta n, co uld be fo und allied to th e c rusader states a nd supp lying
troo ps, suc h as the 600 Alcppene cavalry a nd more than 1,000 Turks and Bcdoui ns who fo ught fo r
Tancre d of Ant ioch and Baldwin 11 of Edessa respec tively at Tell Bashir in 1108 , a nd t he 5, 000 f rom
Aleppo , Mardi n a nd Damascus who serve d du ring the I l l S campaign. T he Fra nkish ar my besieg ing
Alepp o in 1124 is reco rded to have inclu de d as man y as l OO ' Moslem tents' ( Bedo uins unde r th e a mir
Dubays), com prising one-third of th e tot al fo rce, Bedo uin spies a nd sco uts being recorded in ad dit ion on
other occasions. Assassins we re also to be fo und allied to the Fran ks o n occasion ( the re were so me in
Ra ymo nd of An t ioch's a rmy defea ted at Fo ns Murat us), wh ile Egyptian troops too appeared in Frankish
armies, no tab ly during the s truggle with Nu r ed-Din for co nt ro l of Egypt in I 167, but they we re
regarded as poor soldiers of little military significance . Th ere were also so me Sara cen arche rs int rod uced
from Sicily in 1113 ; mo re acco mpanied Frede rick 11 d u ring t he Sixt h Crusade of 1228- 1229 , an d
probab ly th e 300 'T urco poles' re po rted in the flee t despa tched by William II of Sicily in 1187 were also
Saracens.
Eve n t he Mon gols (i n t his case the Nestortan o r Christ ian-influe nced lfkhanids of Pe rsia) so me times
foug ht for t he Frankish cause, an d in t his context a ppea r so me of t he most unlikely armie s of t his e ra,
such as t he mi xed bag of Mo ngols, T urks , Franks (u nder Bo he mon d VI of Antioch l, Armenians an d
Georgi a ns which campaigned in Sy ria in 1259 a nd 1260 under t he Ilkha n Hulagu. In 128 1, un der his
suc cesso r Abuqa an army of similar co mpositio n, chie fly Mongols, Geo rgians a nd Armenia ns but
including Hospitullc rs from t he garriso n of al-Marqa b, fo ught the Ma mluks at Ho rns. 10 years earlier, in
127 1, Aba qa had alleged ly de spatched as many as 10,000 Mo ngols again st t he Mamluk s in Syria in
response to an appeal from t he English prince Edwa rd (later Ed ward I), t hen invo lved in wha t transp ired
to be a ve ry mino r crusading en te rprise.
Tot al st rengt h
In the Aut umn of 1099 Godftey de Bou illon co uld muste r 3,000 me n in Jerusalem, but Albe rt o f Aix
recor ds t hat by t he Sp ring of 1100 t his ha d declined to on ly 200 knight s and 1,000 infa nt ry, The ne xt
yea r Fulch e r of Cha rt res record s tha t King Baldwin I had barely 300 cavalry a nd 300 infa ntry with whic h
to garri so n Je rusale m, Ra mla, Jaffa and Huifa , and even at the Firs t Batt le o f Ramla t here were as few as
260 cavalry a nd 90 0 infa nt ry present. Baldw in found it necessary , in fact , to establish a mercena ry
for ce to gar rison bot h Jerusalem and Jaffa a t least as early as 110 I , and in 1108 we hear of a fo rce of as
many as :!OO me rcena ry knight s a nd 500 me rcenary infa nt ry from t he garri so n of Jerusalem.
70 0 knig hts and 4,000 infant ry gathered by Bald win in 111 I pro bably rep resented the to tal fe udal
st re ngt h of th e kingdom at t ha t time ( t ho ugh here as elsewh ere to the tota l numb er o f knights sho uld
probably be added an unkn ow n num ber of mou nt ed sergeants); th e co nti ngents o f Be rt ra nd of Tripoli,
Ta ncred of Antioeh , Baldwin of Edessa ( 200 knigh ts an d 100 infa ntry ), Josccly n of Turbcssel (1 00
knigh ts a nd 50 infant ry), Ric hard o f Marash (60 kn ight s a nd 100 infa nt ry) and o the rs, plus Arm en ian
co ntinge nts, brough t t his fo rce up to a to tal st re ngt h of so me 16 ,000 men.
Fo r a ca mpaign in 11 15 Baldwi n supplied 1,000 infant ry and 500 knigh ts, Antioc h mustering 2,000
cavalry a nd infa ntry a nd Tr ipoli 2, 000 infant ry and 200 knig ht s. To t hese were added 5 ,000 Seljuk
aux iliary cavalry . Anoth er Antio chene fo rce , recor ded a t Ager Sangui nus in 11 19, co nsiste d of 700
knights an d 3-4,0 00 infa nt ry and t his possibly represe nt s the principa lity's tota l stre ngt h in kn ights and
sergeants respec tively, t he latter incl udi ng a numbe r of Sy rian s and Armenians. The tot al num be r of
knig hts act ually availab le to An tioc h or Tripoli was pro bably a bo ut t he sa me as in th e kingdom of
Jerusale m. T he num be r of kn ights in Edessa was probably so me wha t less but a ppea rs to have been a t
least 500 . In 1138 a for ce recorded march ing fro m Samosa ta to th e relief of Edessa itself is reco rded as
numbe ring 300 kn ights a nd about 4 ,00 0 infan t ry.

In 1183 a n army of over 15,000 't rul y exce llent arm ed foot-soldiers' and 1,300 knights is record ed by
Willia m o f Tyr e, while (mad ad -Din gives 15-20 ,000 infantry and 1,500 kn ights plu s in additio n 1,500
Turccpolcs. Eit her way, a t that time it was the la rgest army to have been mu stered in Frankish Syr ia,
thou gh it included so me Eu rop ean crusaders. But the largest arm y eve r mu stered by the king dom was
the force of 2Q.63,OOO recorded in th e lI alt in campaign of 1187, Th e only det ailed se t of figures for th is
army gives us a breakdown of 1,000 kn ights, 1,200 mercen ary knigh ts, 4,000 Turcopoles, 25, 000
infantry, a nd 7, 00 0 mercena ry infantry, to ta lling 48,200 men. However, on th e evide nce o f th e
Itinerar ium Regis Ricar di, whic h reckons mo re than 1,000 knights a nd 20 ,000 infantry ; the Libellus de
Expugnat m, whic h gives 1,200 kn ight s, many Turco pcle s a nd over 18,000 infant ry ; the Brevis Historja,
which gives 25,000 ; a nd the Moslem autho r Abu Sha mah, wh o reck on s at least 23,000 men , it see ms a
reasona ble assumptio n that th e a rmy was abo ut 20-25,000 stro ng, pro bably including 1,200 kn ight s of
whom abou t 200 were mercen aries, An olh er so urce, the Ilosplt alle rs' le tter, records th e arm y to have
been 30, 000 strong including so me 1,200 kn ights, T he lowest figure give n in the sou rces is 5 ,000, wh ich
is as improbable as th e 63,000 given in one Mosle m source.
It is fro m lists o f just a few years earlier tha n this dat e tha t Jean d' lb elin com piled his record of feudal
service owed to th e Kingdom of Jerusalem , full de tails of whic h are given in Appendix I. Con tinge nts
ranged in size fro m the 100 knights each du e from the 3 grea t ba ronies o f Sido n, Galilee a nd Ja ffa and
Ascalon, right down to the service o f single knight s. D' lb elin adds up his figures to a tota l of 57 7 knig hts,
but his arithmeti c appea rs 10 he at fault , the actual to ta l be ing a t the most 749 and a t th e lea st 636 if
certain d iscrepan cies are taken into account. No r are d'l helin 's figures co mplete, h is list omitt ing the
service du e to the kingdom from Tripoli (from wh ich he else whe re records the service of 100 knight s
bei ng pot en tially available) and Antioch, as well as cer tai n known fief's for wh ich he pro bab ly had no
informa tion. It seems rea sonab le to assume tha t if these unk now n contingents were added a total
strength in the regio n of 1,0 00 kn ight s wo uld pro bab ly be arr ived a t. Even then me rcena ries an d th e
Milit ary Orde rs are not inclu ded . During the 13 th ce nt ury Cyp rus to o could raise 1,000 knight s.
The last lai';:e army raised by the c rusade r sla tes was that whic h fo ught, and was des troyed, at La Pcr bie
in 1244 . Figur es vary and are not altogethe r reliable, but it would appea r that this totalled 6, 000 men
incl udi ng, accordi ng to th e Estoire d'E racle s, 600 kn ight s fro m Acre , Ja ffa, Antioch-T ripcli, Cyprus, and
the Military Orde rs o f Temple, Hospital, Teut onic Knight s and St Lazarus, On e ch ro nicler, Salimbene,
says that Cyprus and An tio ch-Tripoli lost as many as 30 0 knight s each, which is almost cer tainly an
exagge ration. However, the cas ua lties suffe red by the Military Orde rs wou ld tend to suggest th at th e
Eraclcs ' 600, if it is an acc ura te figure, refe rs on ly to lay knights. Th e Patriarch of Jerusale m wrot e a
le tter re po rting the loss of 3 12 Te mpla r bre th ren and 324 Turco poles in th eir employ , 32 5 Ilospital1er
bret hre n and 200 Turco polc s, 297 out of an improbable 300 Teu tonic Knights, and th e total de struct ion
of the l azar co ntinge nt. Fred erick 11 received reports Ihat th e Hospitatlers lost 200 bret hren an d the
Templars 300, pe rhaps th eir whole Con vent, wh ile Matt hew Paris reco rds tha t th ese 2 Orde rs toget her
muste red 500 bret hren for th e battle. (In all th ese figures no differentia tion is ma de bet ween brothe r
kn ights and brother sergea nrs.) All in all th e infe re nce is tha t th ere were about 1,000- 1,200 knights in
total, poss ibly mo re, with prob ab ly abo ut hal f sup plied by the Military Ord ers.
TH E MILITARY ORD ER S
Th ese were with o ut do ubt th e most impor tant so urce of troo ps in th e crusader states, co ntinge nts o f
Templars and f or lIospitall ers appeari ng in every arm y mu stered by the king o f Jerusale m from th e mid12th ce nt ury onwa rds, Their military services, however, were not ob ligatory, the great Or der s o f Te mple,
Hospital an d Teu tonic Knights be ing answe rable directly - a nd only - to th e Pope (the y even dre w up
their own treat ies and alliances inde pe ndentl y of th e crown, o fte n mo tiva ted by financia l co nsid erations),
and th e king o fte n felt o bliged to en courage th eir military assista nce by promising extra-large sha res of
the spoils, or other allure me nt s; in 1220, fo r e xa mple, John de Brienn e prom ised th e Teutoni c Knight s
half the plun de r of Damict ta. R. C. Sm all, ho wever, rem arks in his 'C rusad ing Wa rfare' that th e presence
of Military Ord er con tingents 'cost the feuda l ru lers full military com man d o f th eir fo rces in the field .'

The heavy reliance wh ich th e ki ng was obl iged to place on th ese tr oo ps effec tively inc reased the powe r
and independence of the Orders, which t he granting of fortresses fo r the ir defence against Mosle m
incursions (st a rting with Gibeli n or Bet hgeblin nea r Ascalon, granted to the Ifospitalle rs in 1136) did
much t o encourage; at one st age th e Templ ars held som e 18 fort resses in the crusa de r sta tes, while
Dr. Jo nat ha n Rile y-Smith estima tes tha t the Hospitalle rs pro bably hel d 25 fortresses in 1180 a nd 29

'0

in 1244 . (It sho uld be noted , however, that none of the smalle r Ord ers hel d fortresse s, with the po ssible
excep tion of o ne to wer hel d by t he Laza rs at Bethan y.) large fron t ier es ta tes were also p u rchased from
lords no lo nger ab le to mainlai n o r de fen d th em , and eve n so me to wns, su ch as Safed, T o rtosa and
Ascal on, c ame in to th eir possessio n. The Ord e rs were also en t rusted with t he d efence of some roy al
for t resses a nd assisted in the defen ce of o thers,
In add it ion to th eir territ orial possessions in th e Eas t they also re cei ved es ta tes from large numbers o f
benefactors th ro ugh o u t Euro pe , in Engla nd , Irel and, Sco tla nd , Fran ce, S pain, Por t u gal, It aly, Sicily,
Ge rma ny , Sca nd inavia , Hungary and late r G reece a nd Cyprus, Matthe w Paris estima ti ng t he p ro perty o f
the Hospital in t he mid-f J t h ce ntury at 19,0 00 man ors, a nd o f th e Te m ple at 9, 0 0 0 ma nors. It was from
t heir Eur opean commanderies tha t t he Co nven ts of O utrem er d re w their re info rcem e nts in ti mes of grea t
need , suc h as aft er th e disaster o f lI att in in 1 187 and th e fall o f the key Hosp it alle r fo rt ress o f A rsouf
in 126 5. The co mmand e ry was c o m mo n to th e organ isatio n o f all th e O rd ers, comp rising a u nit of b rother
k nigh ts and b rot her se rgea nts (u sually 12 o r more b ret hre n) un der an o ffice r called a co mmand er
(I'leger or lI ausko m t u r in t he case o f th e Teuto nic Knight s, Come ndudo re in th e case o f Montj o le and
the Spanish Orde rs). The Temple and Hosp it al had 14 a nd 12 co m ma nde ries respectivel y in Sy ria , plus
o t he rs in Cilid a a nd Cy pru s, in add ition to fort ress garris ons.
The Hosptt alle rs
T he Ilospitalle rs were so named because o f th e ir origi nal fo unda tion c. 10 70 as a nursing b rethren for
pilgrim s in t he mo nastery ho sp ita l of St Mary of t he l al in in Jeru salem . T hey wer e gran ted Pa pal
prot ec tio n in 1 1 13 as t he O rder o f th e Hospital o f St J o hn . T he nu rsing role o f th e Ord er pred o mi nat ed
at firs t a nd remained im po rta nt thr oughout thi s e ra ( t he 750 woun ded fro m the Bailie of Mo n tgisard in
1177 , for ins ta nce, wer e t reat ed a t t he Hospital in Jeru sal em ).
Thou gh th ey we re fai rly ce rtainly in exis te nce earlier ( possibly as early as 1I 26, when a Con stable is
record ed, or 1 136, whe n t he Ord er was gran ted th e fo rtress o f G ibehn) a b rother k night d oes not occu r
in an y Hos pitalle r d oc um en t un til 1 148 , and p rior to the mid- 12th cen t u ry it is probable t ha t t he majo rit y
of what eve r a rmed fo rces it mai nta ined were sup plied by mer cenaries - possib ly even includi ng T e m pla rs.
Ther eaft er th eir mili ta ry respon sibilities stea d ily incr ease d, a nd stat u tes of 120 4- 1206 ind icat e that the
Ord er's orga nisa tion was by then based o n its milit ary b rethren , bo th kn ights a nd se rgea nts.
Their mili tary hierarchy, p ro bably base d on t ha t o f the mo re mili tarist ic T cm pla rs, was he ade d b y th e
Marshal, though t he Master had su p re me co m ma nd, T he Marshal only first appears in t he I 160s though
as already me ntioned a Constable is recorde d as ea rly as 1126 an d last ed until at least 116 9 , p robably
as th e Marsha l's lie u te na nt . Im me d ia tely benea th the Marsh al ca me t he Gonfanonier {t he O rd er 's
standa rd -beare r) , th e Com ma nde r of the K night s, and th e Master Esq uire o f th e Conv ent. Of th ese the
Comman de r, first recorde d in 12 20, was an office r ap poi nt ed by the Mars hal to lead a for ce in his
absence, wh ile t he Master Esquire was a b ro ther se rgea nt responsible for a ll t he esqui res an d grooms.
Three other kno wn o fficers we re mercen a ries - th e T u rcopo lie r, th e Mast er Crossb cwman a nd th e
Mast er Sergea nt, T he T u rco polier, a b ro th er se rgea nt by 1248 and a b ro t her knight a ft e r 130 3 , was
co m mand er of th e T u rcop ole light ca valr y em plo yed b y the O rder, Tu rcopoles are regu larl y ref erred 10
in th e se rvice o f the Hos pitallers, as in t he invasion o f Egyp t in 1168 , at th e Bailie o f Arsou f in 119 1,
and at La For bie in 1244 ; by 1206 they we re even being assigned to t he ret inues of t he se nio r
Hospit aller officers.
Th e brethren-a t-a rms of the O rde r co nsisted o f knight s and se rgean ts ( th e la tte r o u t n um be red by t he
former), th o ugh this dis tinction o nly firs t ap pears in do cu men ts in 120 6 , At th is d ate eac h brot he r
knig h t was accompanied by 4 ho rses and probably 2 esq uires, w hile eac h b ro th er se rgea n t ha d on ly 2
ho rses and a single esqui re (i n all t he Militar y O rd e rs t he esquires were d raw n fro m amo ngst t he se rving
breth ren), At t he end o f Ihe 13th ce nt u ry th e kn ight's com plem en t o f ho rses was redu ced to 3.
Brother se rgea nts of bo th Hospit a l an d Te mple included converted Arab s.
As well as th e T urco poles mentio ned abo ve addi tio nal t ro o ps o f t he O rd er we re su p plied by confratre
o r co m re rc kni ght s and Do nat s (non-b reth ren affiliat ed 10 o r pe rm itted to join the Order fo r a limite d
perio d o f ti me und er speci al co nd it io ns, suc h as a do nat io n o f p ro per ty) ; feud al vassals fr om the O rd er's
esta tes ; allie d co n tinge nt s (somet imes including Moslems) ; a nd merce nar y k nigh ts, se rgea nts a nd
infan t ry. Unfor t u nately co n te m po rary c h ro nicle rs tended no t to dist inguish be t wee n the actual

11

bre t hren-at-arms and these various ty pes o f au xiljary" , so it is ha rd to j udge with a ny accuracy exact ly
wha t t he fu ll-st rengt h of t he Or der in Outremer mig ht have bee n. But the re are figu res avai lable in t he
sou rces which at le ast give an idea of the O rde r's po te nti al.
Th e ea rlies t large fo rce reco rded, in 1 168. consisted o f 50 0 k nigh ts and 500 T urco poles promised to
King Ama lrie I for his invasio n of Egyp t and proba bly co m p rised c hiefly of mercenaries (or so we ca n
assu me h o rn th e Iact t ha t the Mas ter. Gilbert dAssailly . raised h uge loan s to fina nce th is fo rce ).
tho ugh 4 years earlie r. in 1 163 . a visit or to Jerusale m w ro te t ha t t he Hospita l was capable o f housing
400 kn igh ts in addition to pilgri ms a nd the sick . Du ring the Fifth Crusade o f 12 17 12 2 1 t he Order
appears to have provided 700 kn igh ts ( o r. more pro bab ly. ho rsemen. t herefore incl ud ing T urcopoles,
sergeants and merce na ries) and 1 .000 'p ersons", pre sum abl y other soldiers, wh ile for a n at tack o n Harna h
in 1233 a fo rce o f 100 knigh ts. 300 mo unt ed sergean ts and 500 (o r 1.50 0 ) infan t ry sergea nts was
m ust er ed . an d thi s ap pears to have represent ed a lmost th e fu ll st re ngth of t he Convent o f An tioch at
th is ti me. In 124 4 20 Q.325 Hospitallc r bret hren wer e killed at t he Battle o f La Forbie, wh ile 5. 15 o r
26 escaped a nd o t hers were taken capti ve. suggesti ng an ove ra ll total well in e xcess of 3 50 ; 200
lI ospita ller Turcopole s were also killed , while in add ition the to tal of 3 50 may have includ ed o t her
auxilia rics such as merce nar ies. Mosl o f the Con ven t's b re t h re n-a t-ar ms ap pear to ha ve been lost whe n
Arso uf fell in 126 5,80<)0 being killed a nd 180 cap ture d (of a garrison totalling abo ut 1.000 men), a nd
a furt her 4 5 b re thre n wer e killed at Car ou blier th e following year . In 128 1 we hea r o f 50 knights a nd
50 Tu rco polc s being se nt int o Cihcla.
Ga rrison st re ngths whe re reco rded arc often co nsiderably larger, t hough th ese we re certainly largel y
merce nary. In 120 3 t he Hospitaller garr ison s of Krak de s Chevali ers a nd al- Marqah toge ther m ust e red an
ar m y o f 4500 ca valry and 1.1 OQ. I ,400 infan t ry. plus Turcopoles, whil e in 12 12 th e sa me tw o fo rt resses
arc re cord ed to have bee n garrisoned by 2.0 00 a nd 1,0 00 men res pec tive ly even in pea cetime. By 1271
Krak des Ch evaliers was held by 100 bre thren, both k nigh ts a nd sergean ts, u nde r the Marshal, and
al. Marqab in 118 0 b y 6 00 ho rsemen ( o bviously not all b rethren) , p resum abl y su p pleme n te d by infa n t ry
in bo t h ins ta nces . Bar lI e b raeus reco rds mo re Iha n 1 00 cavalry and 500 infa nt ry at al-Marqab a t t he
same d a te. wh ile in 118 1 :!OO ca va lry and 200 infantry a rc reco rde d in a so rtie against th e Mamluks: b u t
in a ll th ese figu res o nl y abo u t 15-6 0 would have been br other k night s.
Perha ps t he most relia ble piece o f evidence for t he tot al stre ngt h o f th e Hospitalle rs in Octremer is a
Ie t te r wr itt en in 1268 b y t he Mast er H ugh Revel, in which it is sp ecifica lly sl ated t hat by that date t he
Ord er could m uste r o nly 30 0 b rother knigh ts in th e wh ole o f Syria ( Le. incl ud ing t he Conve n ts o f A nt ioch
and Tri poli ). Even mo re in teresting is ano t her sta te men t in th e sa me lett er wh er e it is cla imed th at in the
pa ~t t he O rde r had been able to muster 10,00 0 men. which incl ud ing vassals. T ur eopoles, merce nari es,
serving bre thre n. et c. , is not alt o get he r imp ossible.
Follow ing th e fall of Acre in 129 1 t he Hospi tallc rs re mo ved th eir headq uart ers to Cyprus. and in 130 1
the stre ngt h o f th ei r Conve nt o n t he island to talled 70 b ro t he r k nigh ts and 10 broth e r se rgea n ts, t hou gh
the pro port ion c ha nged sligh tly in 13 0 2 to 65 knights and 15 se rgea nts; in add iti on the y were st ill
augmented b y T urcopolcs and o the r auxilia ries.
Once est a blished in Cy p rus it became o bvious t hat to ma intain th eir st ruggle against t he Moslems th e
On.k r was goin g 10 have 10 hencefo rt h concent ra te on naval o pe rations, and it was as a marit ime po we r
th a t t he Hospu alle rs we re to ea rn t heir fa me in th e late r Mid dle Ages. The y had ships even in the 12t h
ce nt u ry bu t th ese we re c hie fly tran sports. and it was no t un til tow a rds t he c nd of th e 13 th ce n tury that
t hey fi rst bega n t o co nce n tra te on b uild ing up their Fleet o f war -galleys. As early as 1300 th eir small
flee t lau nched a naval attack o n th e Nile de lta .
In 13 10 the O rder again shifte d its hea dqu art ers. th is t ime to t he island o f Rho d es (c a pt u re d from the
Byzan t incs in a se ries of cam paigns whic h ha d commence d in 130 6 ). wher e in 13 11 it was de clared tb ar
the Order nee ded to mai n tain 1,000 infan t ry and 500 cavalry for th e island's fu t ure defence.

Some indication (If prope rnon s may "os~l bl y be given by the Tempjar garrison o f Safed, record ed e. 124)
10 have con siste d of SO brother knights. 30 broth el sergeants, SO Tur ccpoles, 300 crcebo.... men. 820 esquires.
...-orkmen and o lhe rs t larllely na tives ) and 400 staves.

1,

The Templars
Unlike th e Hospitalle rs, or for that matte r t he Teutonic Knights,t he Templa rs were from th e o utse t a
purely military Or der, In fac t t he l tospitalle rs' military o rga nisa tion was to a grea t exte nt based upon
the milita ry instit utio ns o f th e Temple, and it is even posslhle t ha t in th e first half of the 12th century
the Hospital actually employe d Templar knight s to fulfil ce rta in military fun ctions.
T he aggressive ness, bellige re nce and milit ar y importa nce o f the Tcmplurs, ' the ne w Maccabees' , is well
documen ted by co nte mporaries suc h as Jacq ues de Vitry, who wrote c. 1225 th a t 'Whe n the Tem pters
were called to arm s th ey did not ask ho w many th e enem y were, o nly whe re the y were' . OnC' king of
Jer usalem e ve n wro te to Europe of the Templa rs that ' in them ind eed , afte r God , is place d th e e nlire
relia nce of all in the East,' a nd even th e Byzan tin e c hro nicler Cinnam us belie ved th at 'the ma n in
command o f (all) the knights in Palestine' was he 'whom the Lat ins call the Master of the Te mple.'
The Ord er's o rigins, how ever, were humble. It was init ially fo unded in Palest ine in abo ut 11 18 by two
Fre nch knights, Hugh de Payen s and Godfrcy de St Ome r, for th e protect io n of pilgrims o n IIll.' road
fro m Jaffa to Jerusale m. At first its handful of knigh ts, 9 in numbe r, relied on gift s a nd cast-o ffs fo r
their clothes and keep, being called the Poor Knigh ts of Christ as a result. bu t King Bald win 11 , suitab ly
impressed by th eir devo tio n, ve ry soon gra nted the m lodging in a sectio n of th e royal palace o f
Je rusale m whi ch was suppose d to have hee n the site o f the Temple o f Solomon : hence th e Ord er's
full title, the Poor Kn ight s o f Christ a nd th e Te mple of Solom on . Th ey we re gra nted Papal pr otection
as a Military Order in 1128.
Milit a ry co mma nd was basically as per tha t described above fo r the Hospnallc rs, o fficers includi ng th e
Marshal, Commande r of th e Kn ight s, Gonfa no nier, Maste r Esq uire, T urco polier and othe rs ( t here was
appa re ntly a Turco polier in each co mma ndery) . likewise in addition to bre thren the ir forces included
Tu rco poles, vassals, me rce na ries an d allies (somet imes Sarace ns) - the Te mp ter ga rrison of Safe d has
alrea dy been cited as a possible indication o f pr o por tions. The propor tio n of Turc o polcs would appea r
to have bee n simila r to those of the Hospitalle rs, basica lly o n a level with th e number of bret hren ; for
example ut La For bie in 1244 , whe re the Tem pla rs may have [0 '11 as ma ny as 3 12 bre thren , they also lost
324 T urcopole s. Foo t-sold iers in the Order's employ were a pp aren tly o rga nised in co mpan ies of 50
men - Mosle m so urces record 15 suc h infant ry co mpa nies in th e garr ison of Le Chastc uc t.
Bre thre n again consisted of kn ights a nd sergeants (t he lat ter exi sti ng at least as ea rly as 114 7). The
distinctio n be twee n them was almost inevitab ly more not iceab le than amo ngst the less militar istic
Hospltalle rs, a nd by 1250 an init iate seeking e ntry into th e Orde r as a brother knigh t had first 10
prove that he was th e so n or descen dant of a kni ght, a qualificat ion like wise requ ested by th e
lIospil alle rs a nd the Span ish Orde rs within the ne xt tw o decades.
Again, lh e full strength of th e Orde r in Dutrem e r is unknown and ca n on ly be surmised fro m the various
references which are to be fo und sca tt e red a mongst co nte mpo rary sources.
In 1152 a lette r record s that th e Ord er could 'only gathe r 120 kn ights and 1,000 serving bret hren and
hired sold te rs' tc fight in Antioc h, whi le in the kingdom of Je rusale m as early as 115 7 85-88 Te mpla rs
were ca pt ured a nd allegedl y 300 killed in an e ngageme nt with Nur ed-Din, these figur es possibl y
including vario us auxiliaries. Conve rsely at Mont glsard in 1177 there we re as few as 80 bret hren prese nt .
despite th e Convent having summoned all its available knight s for th is ca mpaign; the figu re wou ld
seem to indic a te th at the Templars' full st reng th had no t assembled befor e the a rmy mar ched,
part icula rly since a t about the same dal e WiIlia m of Tyre recor ds that 'there are in the Orde r about 300
kn ights . . . and a n alm ost co untless numbe r o f lesser brethren.' In th e disastrous ye ar of 1187 we hea r
of 90 Te mpte rs being killed in the skirmish at Cressc n a nd a furth er 26 0 (p erhaps including some
Hospitalle rs) at Huttin, fro m which a number o f oth ers escaped, which would imply that their to tal
strength <I t the latte r bail ie was in th e region of 300, as o ppose d to pe rhap s abo ut 25 0 Hospitallers.
Duri ng the Tem plar occu pation o f Cy prus a few years la te r, in 1191 . 119 2, we hear o f abou t 120
Templar cavalry. plus infan try, being shipped to th e island ; of the horseme n 15 were knights, 74 were
sergea nts an d 29 were pro bab ly Turco poles.
In th e ea rly-13 th ce nt ury Jacq ues de Vitr y records tha t th e ma inland Conve nt still co mprised about
300 brother knights (supple me nt ed by the usual auxiliaries). Another source o f similar date reco rds

13

the ir sta bles in Jerusale m ho ldin g up to 2,0 00 ho rses wh ich , allowing for th ose o f merce naries and
auxiliaries as well as spa re mo u nts , et c. (Tern pla r kni ght s be ing accom pa nied b y 2 horses, as well as 2
esq uires), see ms to su p port d e Vit ry's figu re, T he ga rriso ns o f fro n tie r fo rtr esses we re as large o r even
la rger; when Cas tle J aco b ( le Chaste llet) fe ll in 1179 its T em plar garriso n ap pears to have co m prised
8 0 kni gh ts (a nd sergean ts?) an d 750 infan t ry plus ser van ts and c rafts men, while in I 230 t he garrison o f
To rtosa , to get her wit h t he lI ospit a llers o f K rak d es Chevalie rs, ra ised as many as 500 ca valry and 2, 700
infa nt ry , o f who m a t least 20 0 c ava lr y and abou t 1,0 00 infa n try wer e probably sup plied b y t he Te m plars.
An ano nymo us 13th cen t ury so urce reco rds t he garr iso n o f Sa fed as 1,70 0 men in pea cetime and 2,200
in ti me o f war.
As wit h t he Hospitalle rs, th e T e m ple too appea rs to have su p plied 7 00 ' k nigh ts' a nd 2,0 00 o t hers d uring
t he Fift h Cr usad e, p ro bably chiefl y mer cenary , while at Darbsaq in 1237 100 breth ren and 3 0 0
crossb o wmen - appare n tly in th e em plo y o f th e Orde r - a re reported to have been kill ed (at t his d ate
t her e may have been in a ll about 200 b re thren in t he Princi palit y o f An tioch) . As alre ad y men ti oned, 3 I 2
bret hre n were killed a t l a Porbie in 1244 and 4-36 mo re escaped, t hough Matt hew Paris reco rds th at the
who le Co nven t (the figure o f 300 b rot her knight s again ap pea rs) was lost ; 6 ye ars la ter in 125 0 mo re
th an 280 T emplars , proba bl y incl ud ing a fair num ber o f me rce naries , wer e killed in t he ma in ba it le a t El
Mansura h, o t he rs being killed o r capt u red in e arlie r an d su bseq uen t engage ment s. Fi nall y th ere wer e
perhaps 240 a t th e fall of Ac re in 129 1, com pared to possibly 140 Hospitalle rs, only IS T eu t o nic Knigh ts,
a nd 25 b reth ren and 9 bret hren respect ively fro m the O rde rs o f t he Hospit als o f S t Lazarus a nd
St Tho mas Aeo n.
Aft e r th e loss o f t he ki ngdo m th e Tem plars co n tinue d to hol d a single offshore st ro nghold at Ruad, o ff
T o rtosa, u n til 1303 whe n t he Maml uks finally ca ptu red t he fo rt ress a nd e xecu ted its garr iso n. Before
t hen t he Ord er had wit hd raw n its head q ua rte rs first to Cy p rus, th en to F ra nce. Withi n a few years of
th is t he O rder came to an igno minio us e nd, It s great wea lt h had rou sed th e jealo usy of th e avaricio us
king o f Fran ce. Philip t he Fai r, who wit h Papal su ppo rt, trum pin g-up charges of he resy and wo rse.
inst igated th e arr est o f t he O rd er's membe rs o n a n in te rnatio nal sca le in 130 7-1308 . Following a se ries
o f p rejudiced tri als bac ke d u p b y 'confessio ns' extracted und e r tortu re th e Ord er was o ffi cially
su pp resse d in 13 12, t he last G rand Mast er, Jacq ues de Mo lay, being b u rn t a t t he stake as a heretic in
1314.
The T eutonic KnillhlS
The T eu t o nic Knigh ts, th ird o f t he great Military O rders , o wed its grea tne ss no t to its act ivities in
Out re me r bu t rat her to its no torio us, eve n infam o us, ca mpa igns agai nst Prussla, Lit huania and Poland,
th e ea rly st ages of whic h have bee n b riefly o u tlined in ' Arm ies o f Fe uda l Eu ro pe'.
The Ord er was fou nded in 1 19 0 d u ring t he T hird Crusa de w hen merc ha nts o f Bre men and Liibec k
esta blished a hospita l fo r t he ca re o f Ge rman pilgri ms at th e siege o f Ac re, It t u rned military in I 198
whe n some Ge rma n k night s j o ined fo llo wing t he a bo rtiv e Ge rman cr usad e of 119 7. T he O rd er, un der
the full ti tle o f th e Te u tonic Knight s o f th e Hospital o f St Mary o f Jerusale m, was always excl usively
Ge rman a nd, e xcep t fo r Ro man ia , t he Balt ic lands a nd ( brie fly ) Hu ngary, ou tside o f O u tre me r held
es ta tes o nly in Germa ny itself.
Offici ally t he O rde r's head q uart e rs was alwa ys at Acre, d es pite t he fac t t ha t t he T em plars drove th e m
o u t o f th e ci t y o n o ne o ccasio n, bu t th ei r c hief st ro ngho ld fro m 12 29 un til 1271 was act ually Montfcr t
(whic h t hey re named Sta rken be rg). Ho wever, th e Orde r was always o vershado wed in Sy ria by th e
Te m ple and Hospit al, a nd it inst ead concen tra ted most o f its atten tio ns in t he Levan t on e n te rpr ises in
Cilicia, w here th e main fo rt resses a mo ngst its many possessio ns were Amo uda and Har uniye. Even so,
Te uto nic co n tinge nts we re p rese n t at most majo r e ngage me nts of th e 13t h ce nt u ry includ ing Ba hr
Ash m un (1 nl), La Fo rbie (]24 4 ) a nd El Mansur ah (1 25 0). IS b re t hren were presen t at t he fa ll o f
Acre i n 1291 , o f who m o nly t he Hoc hmeiste r (the Grand Maste r) escaped alive. T he Order t here aft er
transferred its hea d qua rte rs to Ven ice, moving on to Marie nburg in Prussia in 1308.
like t he T e mplars a nd Hospit alle rs, th e Teu to nic Knigh ts e mp loy ed la rge nu mbers o f T u rcopole s
(pro babl y sup plyi ng t he b ulk o f t he alleged ly 3 00 -st ro ng Te uto nic co nti ngent at La Fcrbie a nd c ertainly
co m prising th e greatest part of Star ke nberg's ga rrison a t its fa ll in 127 1) and also had b ro ther sergea n ts,
co nfrere b re th re n ( called Halb b rude rs ], mercen aries , a nd t he vassals o f its es ta tes (the Order held, fo r
inst ance, t he Seigno ry of Co u nt J oscely n aft e r 12 20 ).

14

St Laza rus
Aft er t he T em ple an d t he Hospital t he Orde r of St Laza rus was the third Military Order to be
establishe d in O utremer. Like t he t wo mai n O rders it had com ma nd eries in Eu rop e (e.g. Burt o n Lazars
in Leices tershire) as well as Syria.
Th is was ba sically a Hospital Order co nce n tra ting o n th e t reatmen t o f le prosy and was p ro babl y
established as an o ffs hoo t by the Hospitalle rs the mselves in t he earfy- Lf t h ce n tu ry, tu rning m ilita ry
c. 1123. T e m plar bre th ren who co n t rac ted leprosy were tra nsferred to th e Lazars, as pro bably wer e
ll ospitalle rs. As well as these unclea n bre t h re n t here were also no n-lepers, bu t t he numbe r o f milit ary
bre t h re n was never part iculary high an d J ea n Sire d e J o inville's state men t abo ut t he Master of St La zarus
' wh o held no rank in t he ar my ' bes t su ms up th eir military im port an ce. Never theless a co nt inge n t o f
Lazar b re th ren was pr esen t, an d wiped o ut , at La For b ie , while in 125 3 t hey fo rme d part o f the arm y
u nde r St Louis wh ich e ncam ped before J affa, a n im petuous a tt ack led b y the Lazar Mast er see ing all b u t
4 o f th e bret hre n kille d. In 129 1 25 bre thren were pr esen t at Acre, all of who m were killed .
The Order basically ce ased to in volve itself in military ac tivities from t he ea rly- La th ce nt u ry .
St Thomas Aeon
The Hos pitalle rs of St T ho mas o f Can te rb ury at Acre, usu ally called t he Knight s of St T ho mas Aeon ,
were establis hed in Acr e as a nu rsing Ord er after the capt u re o f th e city b y Richard 1 o f England and
Philip 11 of F ran ce in 1191. Mem bership was restrict ed to Engli shmen. It was al way s a small Order and
proba bly di d no t tu rn mil itary until t he Fifth Crusa de o f 1217-12 2 1.
Th e 9 b reth ren p resen t and killed a t Acr e in 129 1 are an indi ca tion o f th ei r military po te n tia l. Even with
merce naries an d T urco poles it is im p roba ble t ha t they eve r muste red even 40 men in Ou t rem er. After
the fall o f Acre th e O rder establish ed a pre ceptory in Cyprus and th ereafte r und erw ent a grad ual milit ar y
decl ine; no b rot her kn ights ar e recorded aft er 1357.
Monljoie
Named aft er a castl e ou tside Je rusale m t his Span ish Ord er, es tab lishe d b y an ex-Sa nt iagan kn ight
c. 1180, did no t p ros per in O utr e mer, withdrawing to its com ma nde ries in Aragon afte r th e de feat a t
Ha tti n in 118 7, wh ere a small co n t inge nt of brethren was p rese nt . In Spa in they beca me kn own as t he
Ord er o f Trufac,
ROMAN IA ; TH E LATI N EMPI RE
Afte r th e fall o f Co nsta nti no ple in 1204 th e Fra nks d ivided up th e Byzanti ne Emp ire a mong s t the mselves, t he Latin Em peror (y et a not her Baldw in) receiving one-quarter and the Ve net ian and Fran kish
crusa ders th e re ma ining t hree-quart ers , probab ly th ree-eight hs eac h. These la nds wer e then di vided u p
and par celled ou t in gro u ps o f 200. l OO, 70 , 6 0 , 40, 20, 10, 7 o r 6 knights' fees ea ch , 10 be d ist rib u ted
by th e vassals amo ngst th eir retainers. T he greater vassals eac h rece ived th ei r Ile fs in 2 parts - one
with in t he Emperor's o wn lands near Constant inople, and t he o t he r in the p rovin ces.

Th e bas is o f military se rvice, d rawn up in 120 5 , was that when th e Em pe ror and his sen ior Vene tia n a nd
Frankish vassals d ecid ed tha t a c am paign was necessar y all k night s - v en enans as well as F ran ks - wer e
au toma t ically o bliged to serve for a pe riod o f 4 mo n th s, fr om J un e I to Septe m ber 29 . In t he case o f
invasio n this service could be requ ired fo r as long as t he Em pe ro r and no bilit y d ee me d nece ssary .
Bu t o f all the Fra nkish conq ues ts wh ich resu lte d fro m th e Fou rt h Crusa de , precise de tai ls o f
o rga nisat io n ar e know n f or o nly o ne o f the states th er eb y esta blished within t he o ld Byza n tine
te rrit ories - th e Pri nci pa lity of Achaia, also kn own as xto rea.
As with a ll o t her Fr ankis h co nq uests in th e East, o rganisa tio n involved the ap plication to th e conq uered
ter rit ories of cu rre nt feudal pra ctices. T he Principality o f Achaia was no excep tion . be ing divid ed u p
in to 12 Baro nies with esta tes va rying fro m 4 kn igh ts' fees right u p to 24 ( ch iefl y in m ult iples o f 4 ),
with many lesser esta tes of o ne fee o r a half-fee eac h , so me held b y G reeks. T he re were also 7
eccle siast ical Baro nies. 6.of 4 fees held b y Bisho ps and o ne, Ach aia itself , o f 8 fees held by an Archb ishop,
as well as 3 es tates be lo nging to t he Military Orders with T emp la rs, Hos pit alle rs an d T euto nic Knight s
ho ld ing 4 fe es ea ch .

15

The se rvice fro m th e larger esta tes was based o n the holding of 4 fees, which was ob liged to supp ly 14
horse me n co nsisting of the vassal [i. e. t he Banneret ). a sec o nd kn ight , and 12 se rgea nts. Estates over
4 fees had to supply a n ext ra knight or 2 se rgeants for each a ddi tio nal fee. In th e case o f a single fee or
half- fee t he vassal (knight o r sergea nt respect ive ly) served a lo ne and in person. As in th e kingdom o f
Je rusale m a ll vassals were ex pec ted to se rve in person up to th e age of 60, aft er whic h a so n or te na nt
migh t suhsnt ute.
In additio n to t he standa rd 4 mo nt hs' service garriso n du t y was requi red fo r a furt her 4 mo nt hs a year
(t ho ugh the Chu rch and Milita ry O rde rs were e xempt from th e la t te r]. Even in t he re ma ining 4 mo nth s
of t he year th ere might he a fur t her summo ns fro m t he Prince if th e need sho uld a rise. This se rvice
could also be de ma nded o verseas; Prince Willia m was ce rta inly acco mp anied by 400 Ach aia n k night s in
Cyprus in 1249 a nd in Italy in 1268.
Th is pe rmill ed t he ma intenance of an almost pe rma ne nt feudal a rmy, and the number of troop s t hat
co uld be th us summo ned was q uite co nside rable: at Bodon itsa in 1250 William was accompa nied by
800 kn ights, a nd up to 1,000 are reco rde d o n o t her occasions, t hese probably re present ing t he full
feudal muste r. As ma ny as 8,000 Achaians arc recorde d in a ca mpaign of 1246 , while at Pelago nia
there we re alleged ly 12,00 0 infan t ry in additio n to an Imp rob able 8,000 ho rseme n (of who m in any
case very fe w wo uld have ac tu ally been knigh ts).
T hrou ghou t t he Empire a ux iliary t roo ps were supplied by t he indigeno us po pulat ion , bo t h Gr eeks a nd
Slavs: in Acha ia t he la t ter were principally from the Pelo po nnesian Meli ngi tr ibe, still favoured by the
Cat ala ns in t he 14th ce nt ury. An army raised in the Duchy of At hens in 1304 co nta ined as many as
6.000 Th essalian a nd Bulgar cavalry under 18 Greek noh les ( possibly o rganised in Al1aghia - see
Byzantine o rga nisa tion ), plus so me 30,000 mixed inf antry , c hiefly Greek s and Slavs; up to 24 ,00 0 G reek
infant ry a re reco rded in t he Ath enian army a t Keph issos in 13 11, Th e Slavs usu ally supplied archers an d
spea rme n. and t hese are certa inly th e types speci fically me ntio ned in an Achaian a rmy o f 1296.
Many such t roo ps we re supplied to t he Fr ank ish ar my by Byza ntine Arc hontes ( no bleme n) who th e
Fra nks had co nfir med in t heir possessions, pro bably Pro nolai (see Byzan tine o rgani sa tio n). T he
co ntingents t hey provided were prob ably t he same as t he y had hee n o bliged to supply to t he Byza ntine
arm y in pre-Co nq ucst days so mu st have va ried co nside ra bly in numbers. but in o ne instance in 1205
a cert ain T heod o re Branas agreed to supp ly as many as 5 00 me n. In fac t t he case with which many
Byzumines and Byzant ine subjec ts shitted t heir lo yalty from Byzantine 10 Frankish rule is no te wo rt hy,
for wit hout such o bvio us disaffectio n o n their par t it is unlikely th at t hese Frankish co nq uests wo uld
have lasted fo r as lo ng as t hey did o r even . perhaps. have succ ee ded ut all. But th e d isco nten t was t here
and tr proved a very real ally o f t he Fr anks; t he inco rpo ratio n int o his arm y in 121 1 of Nicaea n
priso ne rs-of-war und er t he ir o wn o ffice rs hy t he second La tin Empero r, He nry of Flan ders, is wit hout
dou bt fa r fro m bein g an isola ted Incid ent, and suc h t roo ps clea rly helped to co mpensa te fo r Ihe consta nt
and ofte n crit ical sho rtage of man po we r in Fr ankish Greece and Rom ania. ( Ho wever, it was not long
befo re t he greed and general c ruelly of the Frank s t u rned th e native po pu lation against th e m.)
Othe r au xiliari es incl uded T urks and Cumans , t he latte r to be foun d in allia nce wit h th e Empire from
[ 239 ; th ere were ap pa rent ly Cuma ns prese nt in the Ac haia n a rmy defeated at Pelago nia in 125 9. So me
T urks se t tled in Ac haia after 1262 a nd so me were even knight ed and granted Iiefs! Aft er th e asce nt o f
Charles of Anjou 10 t he Achaia n t hr o ne in 1278 th e re was a mark ed inc rease in th e use o f T urk ish and
Bulgar a uxiliaries, and in additio n Saruce n a rchers were impo rte d fro m his Sicilian kingd om to serve
principally as 6a rriso n tr oo ps.
Frankish merce naries werealso employe d qui te o fte n. an ar my of allegedly 60, 000 reco rde d un der
Empero r Baldwi n II in 1239 co ntai ning Fre nchmen, v e net tan s a nd Fra nks o f vario us o the r nat ion alities
in addi t ion to G ree ks. Moslems a nd Cum ans. If this a rm y reall y was 60, 00 0 st ro ng th e n it is ha rdly
surprising to find t ha t it co nsisted al mo st e nt irely of fo reign mercen aries and auxiliaries. Ro man ian
armies were in general ridiculo usly small; He nry had o nly 2, 000 me n at I' hilippo polis in 1208 (o f who m
o ne-sixt h we re Gree ks ). and as few as 260 knights (p lus se rgeants and infa nt ry , pr esumahly) at Lake

U u1~ r

mercenaries :lho frequently appeared in C ypr u~ during me 14th century.

16

Apol1o nia in 1211 , tho ugh in 1206 he ha d raised a so mew hat larger fe ud al a rmy o f 600 kn ight s in
addit io n to 10,000 inf ant ry .
Altho ugh Fra nkish Greece lasted until long afte r th e clos e o f th is period th e Lat in Empir e o f Ro mania
itself survived o nly un til 126 1, whe n Co nstan tinople fell to th e Nicacan Byza ntin es (it wou ld appe ar
that th e establishment in 1260 of a full-time, regu larly-paid garrison o f 1,000 men for th e city co uld
have met with little succ ess'). There aft er titu lar Latin Emp erors drift ed abo ut Europ e in seach o f military
aid for th e reco nq uest of 'the ir' Empire. In 126 7, for insta nce, Char les of Anjo u pro mised to provide
th e ti tula r Emp e ror Baldwin 11 with 2,00 0 knight s for a year' s service to wa rds th e reco very of
Const an ti nople, while by a treat y o f 1281 he and th e titular Emperor Charles de Courte nay were to
provide 8,0 00 kni ght s for a nothe r e xpedition planned for 1283, to wh ich Ve nice promised to co ntribute
40 o r more galle ys. Grad ually, how ever , the co nce pt of eve n a titula r Latin Em peror falte red and died.
SYR IA AND ANATOLlA : T HE SE LJUK TURK S
Und er Sul ta n Alp Arslan an d his so n and successor Mallk Sha h the Selju ks rule d a vast te rritory stre tc hing
from An atolia as far east as Khwari zmia and Afghani sta n, nor th to the Cau casus an d the Aral Sea, a nd
south to Syria, the Red Sea a nd th e Persia n Gul f, and alth ough thi s great Empire began to bre ak up int o
a plet hora of lesse r sta tes towa rds th e end of the I I th cent ury th e Eastern Selju k Sulta ns retained
supremacy - albe it in many instances o nly nominal - un til th e deat h in 1157 of Sanjar, the last great
Sulta n, after whic h the re mna nts of th e once great Su lta na te co llapsed e ntirely.
Eve n pr ior to tha t date th e Sulta n's influence in Sy ria had declined co nside rably : Transoxlana ,
conq ue red in 10 73 , had fallen in 114 1 to the Qarakhit ai; and the Sul tanate o f Me rv had begun to
colla pse into to ta l a narchy as a result of a se ries of revolts by Ghuzz (T urcoman) tribes aft er 1153.
In 1194 the Su lta nat e o f Hamada n fell to the Khw arizmian s, leaving the Sulta nate of Rum in Anatolia
(conq uered in the yea rs aft er Ma nzikert] as the only rem aining major Seljuk state, since th e Syrian
Seljuk prov inces, lo ng-since a uton om ou s, had by tha t tim e passed to the Ay yub id Sultana te of Egypt.
It is th ese western Scljuk states, of Rum and Syri a, which a re our co nce rn here, since th e interests of
th e ot he r major Seljuk pow ers were always in the East a nd so techn ically lie beyond t he sco pe of this
book.
The strength of all Turkish armies lay in th eir bow-arme d cavalry, back ed by smaller numbers of hea vy
but o therw ise similarly armed horsem e n. Infantr y were provid ed chiefly by volunteer to wn m ilitias,
called Ahdath - lite rally ' Yo ung men ' - in Syria (of ten based on th e Fut uwwa h, q uasi-poli tic al fac tions,
and comparab le to the ' Ayy arun a nd Fitya n of Iraq), plus for eign aux iliaries ( no tably Daylarnis] and
tribal irregula rs, tho ugh some times be tte r-train ed foot-soldiers who may be professionals a ppear in
contem porary so urces; certainly it see ms probab le th at the na ptha-t hrowers a nd crossbo wrnen recorded
in the 12th and 13th ce nturies must have been regulars. The milit ias se rved mos t frequent ly in the
vicinity o f their cities, ofte n being used for siege an d cam p d ut ies.
As in co nte mpo rary Fa timid arm ies, ac tual o rganisation was ba sically decimal whe re it e xisted, based
on units and multiples of ID, 100 a nd 1,000.
Iqta 'at
Lack ing great wealt h and th e refo re un able to pay thei r men in cash , the Seljuk s ad op ted a nd pe rfect ed
a quasi-feudal syste m o f milit ary land tenu re previou sly uti lised hy their Ghaznuvid an d Buyi d
pre decessors. Thi s was the iqt a' (p lu ral Iqta'a t } establishe d init ially by th e Buyi ds in t he mid-LO th
cent ury when it was a grant of co nfisca te d or un cultivat ed lan d. How ever, iqta'a t had rem aine d rare
until th e Seljuk conquests o f th e mld- Ll th cen tury, a nd were o nly fully regu larised unde r Nizam
al-Mulk j the cele brated vizier of Alp Arslan and Malik Shah , so t hat his claim tha t previous rule rs had
never dis tribute d gran ts of land but pai d th eir soldie rs only in mon ey is prob abl y a reasona bly accur ate
sta teme nt. Ho wever, th e iq ta' co uld be a pay me nt in cash an d th e Gh azn avids were still pay ing their
iqta'at e xclus ively in money eve n in Nlzam 's ti me, so that the pa ym e nt o f troo ps only in mo ney by the
Selj uks' predecesso rs proba bly indicate s no more than tha t iqt a'a t were paid in cash rat he r than land .
There were 1 types o f iqta' - t he qati'a and th e tu'rna, the he redita ry benefice and the lifet ime bene fice

17

res pec tivel y. Eit her was transfera ble from district to dist rict, since un like th e Fr ankish fief th e milita ry
jqt a' re prese nted no t a per sona l esta te but a payment in la nd revenu es fo r se rvices rend ered : a nd since
as a soldie r th e hold er , th e lq ta'd ar o r muq ta', might need to he posted from o ne area to a no t he r t he n
his iq ta' co uld likewi se I'll' t ra nsferred wit h him. T he oth er main difference fro m Frankish fe uda lism
was th at th e iq ta'da r was pe rmitt ed to levy o nly a speci fic sum (i n cash and /o r kind) from th e po pulace
of his iq ta' - his actual pay - and o t her than thi s usually had no fu rth e r au th o rit y o ver t he m (a n
exception be ing t he jqra'at gran ted by th e Zeng ids). T he fac t tha t th e iq ta 'dar had to co llect h is pa y
persona lly at th e du e t ime was pro bably co nt ribu to ry to th e inabilit y of Moslem a rmies to re mai n in
the field for long pe riods.
The gran tin g o f an lq ta' involved in ret urn t he mili tary se rvice of t he lqt a'd ur, who was usually an
anur , with a specific num ber of soldiers - usually mam luk slave-sold iers (see Egyp tian nrganisa un n] de pen ding o n th e size o f th e lq ra' (la ter , und er the Ayyubids, lq tn'a t appeare d in Syr ia which were
spcci ficatly called iq tu'ut of 10 , iq ta' ut of 20, e tc., the figures referring to t he number of t roo ps to be
supplied ). Part s o f the Iqta ' might e ven be gran ted to lowe r-ranking a mirs by t he lq ta'dar by a process
compa rable to subinfeuda tio n, Und er th e Mam luks as much as tw o-t hirds o f each a mir's iq ta' ha d to be
divided a mo ngst his o wn rnamlu ks as pay , th ough under th e Ayyubids eac h am ir received 2 land gra nts,
one tthc khassa l fo r his pe rso nal nee ds, th e o t he r ( t he actu al iqt a' o r kh ubz ) fo r th e mainten an ce o f his
troo ps. Ce rtai nly by th e mid-1 2t h cen t ury Selju k mamluk s were being gran ted th eir o wn la nds under a
simila r syste m.
' Askaris and auxnta rtes
Early Scljuk armies co nsisted of 2 majo r ele me nts - t he ' askar of th e Sulta n, a full-time force paid in
cash o r lq ta' ut and comprised ch iefly of mam luk slave-soldiers: and the provincial co nti ngen ts o f t he
amirs. wh o ha d ' uskars of t heir o wn, togeth er with auxiliar ies supplied by T urco mans, Bed o uins,
Kurds and o t he r rrtbcsmc n. T he provincial 'aska rs numbered from a fe w hu ndred to several t ho usand
depl' nden t on th e silt' of t he city o r distr ict - Da mascus had an ' askur of 1,000 , Antioch apparently
2,00 0 a nd so o n. As mentioned abo ve, t he 'us karis were la rgely ma mlu ks bUI could also include freemen,
Usamah him self servi ng as a paid freem e n in th e ' askars o f Ze ngi, Damascus, Egypt and Nur ed -Din
tt hc 'askaris included Kurds. Ar menians and Ara bs as well as Tu rks). O rganisatio n was clearly o n a
deci mal hasis.
In his famo us writte n wo rk t he Siy ase t-Nam e h. th e Seljuk vizie r Nizam al-Mulk reco rds t he Sulta n's
standing a rmy to he as large as 400 ,000 me n in the reign o f Malik Sha h ( I07::! 1OQ::! ), all paid wit h
iqta'at: a cour tic r is re puted to have ad vised t ha t t his to tal sho uld be cui back to 70, 00 0 since peace
the o reigned . t hou gh Niaa m advocated an inc rease in st rengt h to a tot al o f 70 0,000 men. T hese figures,
if credible. prob ably re prese nt t he to tal st ren gt h of all th e 'askars, both ro yal a nd provincial, over t he
whole , vast Sultan a te, esp ec ially since ano t her sou rce reco rds th e rc yal taskar un der Malik Sha h o n o ne
oc-:asio n as consis ting o f 46 ,000 cavalry . Befor e t he accessio n o f his succ esso r gark jyar uq ( 109::!-1105 )
t his had dec line d to o nly 2V,OOO.
Niaam himself advised th e ma int en ance o f an elit e unit of 1,0 00 Hasham (G uards) fro m am o ngst t he
mamluk s o f th e Sultan, which sho uld be increased in st re ngt h to 5-10, 000 in wartime : these particular
maml uks were to be tr ained fro m Dayla mis. Khor asania ns. Geo rgians a nd yo ung Tu rco mans. Much lat er ,
to wards t he e nd of t he 13 t h centu ry. Ibn Bibi-D uda reco rds mamlu ks in Rum ( Anat olia) as chie fl y
of Byzant ine, Cilic ian, Geo rgian and Cnrn ean ex t ract io n, th e la rgest numbe r bei ng Byzan tine G reek s o r
Cilicia n Arme nia ns (the maml uk who cap tu red the Byzant ine Em pero r Ro man us IV a t Manzike rt was,
by a tw ist of fate, a Byzant jnelI. T hese we re ob tai ned by wa r, purchase o r gift , o r recruite d by levy
with in t he Seljuk slate itself.
Afte r th e death of ~lalik Shah in 10Q::! a nd t he subseq uent disintegratio n o f ce nt ralised Seljuk po we r,
t he seco nd of t he afo re-mentioned ele me nts (the provincial 'a skar s and va rious a uxi liaries) assum ed th e
leading role as the provi nces becam e prac tically and t hen 10la11y independent. On ly in th e mid- I ::! t h
cen t ury under Nur ed-Din. foll o wing in the foo tsteps of his fath e r Zengi, were t he Syria n pro vinces
fo rcibl y reunit ed , Nur ed-Din adding Egy pt to his do mai ns in 1169 and thereby se tting t he sta ge fo r
Satadin's rise to po we r hy making him governor, from which position it proved to be but a sh o rt step
10 th e Sult ana te , t hereby succeedi ng 10 th e Syrian pro vinces and mor e besides,

\8

Prior t o th ese eve nts co mmand of t he Sy rian provincial a rm ies was usuall y entrust ed to the mo re
po werfu l ami rs, freq uently th e amir of Mosuj. But unfortunate ly t he emirs did no t like tak ing or dc rs
fro m each o t her an d freq ue ntly thi s led 10 dissentio n and a lack of u nity in Sy rian arm ies: de libe ra te
dese rtion was often ca rried ou t by jealous ami rs in th e face o f th e e nemy so as to brin g about t he
do wnf all o f par ticu larly powe rful rivals. Such disse nt; all too co mmo n, toge ther with the so me what
t ribal co m pos itio n o f T urk ish armies, mea nt th a t t he combi ned fo rces of a dis t rict o r province co uld take
mo nt hs 10 muste r and eve n then the am irs o fte n requ ired liberal br ibes to guara ntee th eir co ntinued
pres ence and suppo rt.
Bo th Ru mi and Sy rian Seljuks relied hea vily on Turco ma n a uxiliaries, and th ese T urco ma n tr ibesrne n who we re fie rce t ho ugh un relia ble soldiers - were t he nucle us of Selju k mili tary st re ngth thro ugho ut the
whole of this pe riod . T hey did not readily accept a ny fo rm of authority o r discipli ne a nd served mainly
in t he ho pe of plunder co mi ng th eir way ; if no ne was fo rthcomi ng th ey were mor e th an likel y 10 abandon
the ar my. O t he rwise th eir pay o fte n took t he form of ransom money taken in ex change for high-rank ing
prison e rs hy t he ir employer; sometimes when t he T urco ma ns indiscrim inately massacred t heir prisoners
the y th e refo re de prived t hemse lves o f th eir o wn pay ! Some chieftains were pai d wit h ext re mel y large
lq tu'ut which see m to have been int en ded as a sub sti t ute for th e grazing land s essential to suc h nomad ic
herdsme n. T he y fo ugh t in t riba l u nits under t heir ow n sta nda rds an d c hieftains. Mod e rn estim ates haw
reck oned T ur co man st rengt h in An atolia a t so me 30,000 men in the lat e-llt h cent ury, but th is figure is
clear ly fa r too lo w. Frank ish chro niclers, tho ugh undou btedly going to t he o ppos ite e xt reme , claim Ihat
du ring t he Firsl Crusade t he Sulta n of Ru m , Kilij Arslan I, mustered som e 200360,000 ca valry, and by
far the major ity o f suc h a fo rce wo uld have been Turco mans. Ce rta inly in Ihe early-12th centu ry it
was poss ible to ra ise 20-50 ,000 Tu rco mans fro m the Jazira alon e,
Oth er auxiliaries were principa lly supplied by Bcdoui ns and Kurd s. Th e Kur ds were a hill-pe uple from Ihe
mo un tainous dist ricts o f nor t h-west Iran , accord ing to Marco 1' 010 ' lust y fijlht ers and lawless me n, very
fo nd of ro bbi ng mercha nts' ; t hey ofte n fea t ured in Seljuk arm ies (there we re as ma ny as 10 ,000 at
Manztke rt} but, like th e T urco ma ns, lacked o rganisation and fo ught pri ncipa lly for 1001 so werc
dishea rtened by lon g or unsuccessful campaigns, Kurds we re par ticu larly prom ine nt in the armies of
Nur ed- Din , Salad in an d o the r Ze ngid , Or toq id an d Ayyubid princes, serving bo t h us auxiliaries
and paid ' askaris. In Rum o ther auxil iaries were of Pe rsian, Arab a nd even Russian origin by t he 13th
cent ury, Frankish ad ve nt ure rs also appea red o n occasio n in Syri a n a nd Anatolla n a rmies (see below].
Th e Syria n a rmy present at Harran in 110 4 may help to giv e so me idea o f the pro port ion of au xiliaries
in th eir fo rces; o f 10,0 00 men 7,000 were T urco ma ns, while th e re maining 3,000 includ ed Hed nuin s
an d Kur ds as well as Seljuk s.
Rum in th e 13th cent ur y
Unde r Sulta ns Kai Ko bad I ( 1220-1237) and Kai Khcsro u 11 ( 1237-1246) a brief reviv al of Sclj uk po we r
too k place in Anatolia, bo th Cilicia n Armenia an d t he Byz umine Empire o f T rebi zc nd becoming vassal
states of th e Su lta nate of Rum . Simon de S t Q ue nti n, a Fr ankish visi tor 10 Rum in t he 124 0s, reco rded
that Kai Khosro u was o wed t he service o f 1,400 lances by t he Ctltcian Armeni an s fo r 4 mo nt hs a yea r,
1,000 lan ces by t he Sultan o f Aleppo, 400 lances by the Empe ror o f Nica ea, a nd 200 lan ces by the Empe ror
o f T rebtzo nd : t hese may have all se rved for pay since Bar lIebraeus reco rds Kai Kh osrou laking Ale ppcn c
a nd Byzantine cavalry as well as Bedo uins int o his army 'fo r gold' in 124 3. Whet he r th e figur es of la nces
arc to he take n as the total number o f men involved is unknown , bUI it see ms improbable: th e
numbers are o therwise insignifican t ly lo w when co mpared to t he Su ltanat e' s regu lar ma mluk units,
whic h per haps totalled 60 ,000 me n at thi s time.
In add ition Fr an kish mercenaries were employed , par ticularly under Kai Kaus I, Kai Ko bad I an d Ka i
Khosro u Il , t ho ugh even as early as 1148 apparen tly 3,00 0 Fr anks ca pt ured a t Atta leia dur ing t he Secon d
Crusa de had taken se rvice with Sult an Masud I. Kai Kaus even fo rmed <I bodyguard un it from Frank s
he had liberat ed by victor ies over rival Mosle m c hie ft ains. T here wcre a t least 1,0 00 Fra nkish cavalry
in Kai Khosro u H's a rmy at t he co mmence me nt o f h is reign and il was principally tha nks to 300 of
t hem tha t a serio us T urco man revo lt was pUI down in 1241 ; in 124 3 he e mplo yed 2,000 more a nd th ese
were prese nt in his a rmy a t Kuzad ugh. Th e la tt er co ntingent co nsisted c hie fly o f Cypnot es. C yprus
ulso o wing se rvice to t he Su lta nate a t ab o ut th is dat e, but o th erwise suc h merce naries were ma inly
Fre nch, Ge rma n and Itulia n. T heir co mma nder held t he rank of Ko ndlsta bl ( Co nstab le) but he was no t

19

always a Fran k ( for insta nce a Geo rgian named Zahiru ddaula held t his office al o ne point in t he 13th
cent ury, an d th e fut ure Byza ntine Emperor Micha el VIII was Kon distabl und er Sulta n Kat Kaus 11 ).
In fact ' Fra nkish ' o r ' F h en kt t roo ps appea r to have ofte n incl ude d G reek elements, bot h merce nari es
employed from th e Arch o ntes a nd Akrita i of the Emp ire and t roo ps levied from the Sult an 's ow n G ree k
subjec ts (see not e 51 in th e dr ess a nd eq uipment sectio n).
Dur ing Kai Ko bad's re ign t he t hreat o f t he Mo ngols first beca me a realit y, when o ver 10 ,000 fleei ng
Khw ariz mian troo ps e nte red t he Sulta na te, Kai Ko bad took t hem into his se rvice, gra nt ing th e m a
nu mber of e xte nsive iq ta' ut, hut th ey aba ndo ned t hese d uri ng t he civil st rife which foll owed his dea t h
in 1D7 and fled across t he Euphrates to take se rvice wit h t he Ayyu bids; a lready t he Mo ngols we re
raiding easte rn Rum, a nd this was th e reaso n fo r t he Kh warizmians' ea rlie r nigh t fro m ce rtain fro ntier
iqta'a t. T he ab rupt dep arture of suc h a large num be r of aux iliaries mu st have been a blow 10 t he Se ljuks,
who kn e w t hat it was o nly a matt er o f li me before a show-do wn with the Mo ngols shou ld prove
unavoid ab le.
Follo wing t he almost inevitable defeat o f Ka i Khcsrc u 11 at the Batt le of Kuzadagh in 1243 t he
Sult ana te of Rum becumc a vassal state of th e Mo ngols, a nd t he Seljuk army and adminis t ratio n
und erw e nt a rap id de cline. Co nsta nt financial de pressio n led to a grow ing need to gra nt ever-la rger
iq tu'ut to soldiers in lieu of pay me nt , whic h led o nly to a fu rt he r loss of revenu e 10 the state and
e nco ura ged t he indep e nden ce o f pro vincial a mlrs . No r did t he Sulta n an y lo nge r have Ihe mo ney 10
e mplo y fore ign mercena ries, eve n if his Mo ngol o ve rlo rds had been willing to perm it it, which see ms
unlike ly, a nd he was th erefo re o bliged to depend o n t he provincial a rmie s a nd th e und isci plined

Tu rcomans.
T here was, howe ver, a Mong ol garriso n force stationed in th e Sul tan ate aft er 1256 whic h stea dily grew
in numbe rs, its me mbers se t tling pr incipally in t he easte rn provinces where t hey were nearer 10 their o wn
seat of pow er (t he Persian Ilkha na te ) and to t he f ro nti e rs o f t heir ~l a m l u k ene mies. T he prese nce o f th cse
Mo ngolt roo ps W:lS an o th er reason for t he abrupt decfinc of t he Seljuk a rmy since the y sa tisfied most of
the Sulta na te' s re ma ining milita ry req uireme nts. T hey were mainta ined by pay me nts of t rib u te (o ne of
th e reason s why th e Selju ks wer e in financial st raits] a nd granIs o f grazing la nds. so me of whic h
ult ima lel y beca me Ihe inde pe nde nt pro perty of Mo ngol c hieftai ns.
By th e c nd of the 131h ce nt ury , and particula rly af ter t he ca pt ure o f Ico nium by Karama nli T urco rnans
in 1176, t he po we r o f the Sulta na te of Rum had colla psed e ntir ely as Mo ngol adm inistr atio n gradu ally
repla ced Seljuk ; by th is time t he Mo ngols had a fa irly firm hol d o n easter n Anatolia, but in t he
wes tern provin ccs u nu mber o f auto no mo us T urco man amtra tes arose, o f wh ich th e Ka ra manli was t he
most po we rful an d t he Osmanli (O t to man ] t he mos t Impo rta nt to the co urse of subsequ e nt histo ry.
T ho ugh t hey relied heavily o n their t ribesm en all of these successor a mirat es em ployed ma mlu ks of
th eir o wn.
TIlE EG YPTl Aroi S:

FA TI ~I IUS

AM) AYYllBIDS

The Fal imids


Fro m t he mid-v th ce nt ury Arab arm ies had grad ually become dependen t for regular t roop s o n Ihe ir
co nti ngen ts of slave-sold iers, t he ghu lams. Of t hese the white slaves, largely T urks, were pro perly called
ma mluk s ( der iving from t he Arahic wo rd for 'owned' ). the na me unde r wh ich t hey ro se to t heir greatest
po wer. Suc h troo ps were pu rl-hascd as slaves and train ed an d kep i at their maste r's personal expense,
wh ich thcor etic a lly ens ured t heir undivided lo yalt y 10 him. Whe n t hey became co mpe te nt so ldiers t hey
wetc Icgally freed and , by t he ta tc-Faurntc era , euch given an u a' o n which 10 support t hem sel ves: these
iq tu'ut usually reve rte d tot he mamlu ks' master on the ir death ( though in the mid- I ~ I h ce nt ury Nur
cd-Din made those of his person a l rnarnluk s hereditary a nd Ih is became t he no rm und er the later
Zeng ids and th e Ayy uhhls },
The s... nio r maml uks held the ra nk of a mir an d were ex pect ed to supply a num her o f troo ps f rom t he ir
iqta'a t.u hcsc too bein g usually - t ho ugh no t necessarily - slave-soldie rs, maintai ned by a process
co mpa rable to fe uda l subinfe uda tion, Th e occasio nal descrmnon of larger iq tu'a t as iqt a' o f 10, iq ta' o f
~5 . iq ta' o f 100 and t hc like reflect s t his pra ctice c th e figure s indica ting t he stre ngt h o f t he iq ta' dar's
"[dda , his co ntinge nt o f hor se m... n. Ho wever, prior to t he ~l a m l u k e ra iq ta'dars were no t requ ired to

'0

maintai n speci fic num bers o f men , t heir c harters o nly dernunding t ha t each sup port as many as possible .
Mo re often t ha n not t he mo re pow erfu l iqt a'dars co mmanded even larger numbers in t he field becau se
t he co nt inge nts o f lesser a mirs wo uld he added to t heir o wn.
T he cen t ral corps o f bot h Fa timid and later armies were t he Roya l Mamlu ks. Under t he late Fat imids
t hese numbered about 5,000, toge t he r wit h an elite ' Young Gu ard', the Siby a n al-K hass, o f abou t
500. T he Ro yal Ma mluks a nd o t he r regula r regiments were hac ked up in war time by t he perso na l
mam luk s o f t he"a mlrs. T hese pcrson al ma mlu ks o f eac h succ essive Cal iph. sultan o r ami r were nol
disban de d afte r his dea th , but re ta ined his name" and co nti nued to exi st as pa rt of th e regular a rm y
until th e ir membe rs fo und em plo yme nt elsewhere or died o ut; Shir kuh's regiment. th e Asad tyyah
(o riginall y 500 stro ng accordi ng to Ahu Shamah) were still figh ti ng in t he Egypt ian army in 119 ::!,
des pite the fact t ha t Shirkuh himself had died over 20 years earlier, in 1169 . Usually suc h u nits were
a bsor bed into th e sta ndi ng reg ime nt s of t he Ca liph, sul ta n o r ami rs, t ho ugh u nder t he Ayyu hids
t hey we re so meti mes attac hed to t he a l-lIalqa (see Mamlu k o rganisa tion ],
Arahs and Egy ptian s were nol per mit ted 10 become maml uks. Under t he Fat imid Caliph a te (909- 117 1)
slave-soldie rs wen: most ly Suda nese , Bcrbcrs and T ur ks. Th e Sud anese uni ts, know n co llec tivel y as t he
' Ahid al-Shira o r ' Purc hased Slaves'. co nsisted principa lly of th e Rayha niyyah , J uyushiyyah,
Fara hiyyah and Alcx a ndr ia n regime nts hy t he mid12 th ce ntu ry, t he J uyushiyyah alon e posxihly
numbe ring 10,000 men ; th ey gene rally served as infant ry. bot h spea rmen and a rchers bu t prin cipally
thela tt er , (Som etim es Negro cavalry are to he foun d in co ntem porary so urces - Saladin's Qa rughula ms
ma y have inclu ded so me such - but t hese we re rare.)
In addi tion Tu rco man and even Seljuk auxiliaries were someti mes to be fo un d in Fat imid a rm ies. as
mor e o ften were Bedo uin and Berber tr ibesmen, while addi tional infantr y might he supplied by volunt eer
irregulars. T urco ma ns were first e mploye d b)' t he Fat imi ds in 107 2. Even prio r to th e ir unificat io n with
Egyp t under the Zen gids a nd Ayyubids. Sy rian units somet imes appeared in Egyp tia n a rm ies - there
were, fo r e xa mplc, 1,0001 ,30 0 Damasce nes at the T hird Battle of Ra mla in 110 5 a nd an un recorded
number of Seljuks at t he Battle of Ascalon in 1099.
As an ind ica tion of Fat imid field-a rmy st rengt h, at Ascalon t he re were probably 20.000 cava lry a nd
infa nt r y alt oget her (thela tt er includin g volun teers a nd mi litia levies). while at th e f irst and Second
Battl es of Ra mla in 110 1 a nd 110 2 t he Egypt ian fo rces are recorded as 11,000 cavalry a mi 2 1,000
Suda nesc infa nt ry, and 20 .000 cava lry and 10.000 Sudanese infa nt ry rcspec tiv ely , bo t h armi es
co nsisting largely o f ghulams. At least 7,000 men are reco rded by Ibn al-At hir in a raid of I ll ll
(o t her sources claim ing 15,000 cavalr y a nd 20 ,00 0 infa nt ry ), a nd there were 16,000 Faurn tds at Yihne h
in 1123 . We also fre q ue nt ly hear of t he fron tier garrison of Ascalo n (50 0 cavalry a nd 1.000 inf ant ry )
la unching its o wn raid s int o Fra nkish Syria .
Du ring th is period co m rnand o f t he Fat imid army was ge ner ally in the hands of t he Vizier who , like th e
Cali ph , ma intained a larg... body o f perso nal ma mlu ks: fo r instan ce, th e Vizier Bahra m ( 11341 137 ) had
at least 2,000 Armen ia n soldie rs in his service, and his successo r ' Ahb as 3, 000 Armen ia ns in 11 54 .
( Arme nian infant ry . princip ally a rc hers , still co nstit uted a n important ele me nt of t he Fat imid army
as lat e as 116 9.)
Saladin 's ar mies, 1 J69 119 3
By 1169 , whe n Salad in succ eeded Nur ed -Din's a ppointee ASil d ad-Din Shirku h as governor of Egypt
un de r t he last Fartm td Caliph . the Egyp tian army con sisted of 40,000 cavalr y and 30-5 0 ,000 Sudanese
infa nt ry , th e ca valry pro bably inclu ding Qaraghula ms (l iterally ' Black Slaves' . prob ably Negro and Berb... r
slave cava lry ) and Bedo uin a nd Tu rcoman auxi liarics as we ll as ma mluks.
Al-Maqr iai, reco rding an ear lier write r's no tes o n a review of Salad in' s cavalry in 1171 (the yea r wh ich
t he fi nal demise of the Fat imid Calip hate] no tes tha t the standa rd un it at this da te was t he T ulh,
apparently a Kur dish or poss ibly a Ghuzz instit utio n. T he T ulb is t he o nly u nit co m mo nly mentioned
53W

Now as earlier each regfment was u su ~ Uy named after its ow n...r, for example J U >'u ~ hi Y>' a h (Vizier Amir al-Iuyush),
Haf lziyyah (Caliph al-Hafsz j, A!Iildiyyah (A....d ad-Din Shtrkuh), Nuriyyah (Sultan Nur ed-Din), Salahiyyah (Saladin).
Adiliyyah (Sultan al-Adi1). Kamilin ah (Sultan et-x amm . etc.

21

in thi s e ra , u nder ho th Ayyu hid s a nd Mam luks, but it W:l S of a very loose cha racter and varied
con siderably in numbers, t hose recor ded in th e review co mprising either 70 , 100 or 200 men ; basically
any co m pa ny led by an amir in warti me was a Tu lb, as too was the enti re body o f Ro ya l Mamtuks.
The ami r was perha ps assisted by an 'N CO' ca lled a J awis h. 174 T ulbs we re prese nt a t t he revie w o f
1171 a nd a furth er 20 were absen t. T hose pre sent are reco rd ed to have num bered some 14 ,0 00 men
excl uding Bedo uin auxiliaries. William of T yre repeat s t he earlier figure of 40,000, a nd t he difference
o f 26 ,000 possihly acco unts for absen t T ulbs (1,400 -4,000 me n), the Bedou ins ( of who m al-Maqrizi
records 7,000 inclu d ing I ,300 ' regulars') , the Turco mans and t he re mna nts o f t he Fat imid ma mlu k
unit s suc h as t he Ascaton (A saqila) regime nt s.
T he Fat imid Sudanese infa ntry , meanwhile, had revolt ed aga inst Sa lad in; th ey were c ru shed in 'T he
Batt le of thc Black s' in Cairo in 1169, t he survivo rs bei ng disbanded and dr iven o ut of Egypt, T he
Sudanese prese nt in Salad in's ar my a t Arso uf in 1191 were und o ubt edl y Irom new regime nts ra ised
afte r th a t dat e, an d Suda nese infan tr y were sti ll an imp o rta nt element of the Ayyu bid ar my in 122 1
when th ey hara ssed King Jo hn' s with d rawal from Dam ietta du ring the Fifth Crusa de. However, thei r
numbers were mu ch s malle r t ha n befor e and co ntin ued to d windle so t hat by the ti me t he Bahriyya h
Maml uk dynasty ca me to po wer in 1250 t he y had appa ren tly disa ppeared alt oget her.
By 1177 18 ,000 Quraghulams and 8 ,000 Toassin o r Ta washis Ielite, fully-ar med cavalry), incl uding t he
1,000 Ro ya l Mamlu ks, co uld he ra ised fo r a raid on Ascalo n a nd Gaza according to William of T yre,
who ..rcscr tbes t hem all as ' light-a rmed' ( t hey were de feate d at Mo nt gisard). Moslem so urces recor d
maxim um figures o f 8,000 Toassm a nd o nly 7,00 0 Qaraghu lam s d uring th e pe riod 1171 jl8 l , t houg h
in ad dit io n t here were th e usual Kurd ish, Bedo uin and T urco ma n auxiliaries, as well as Mutta wwi'a
(Ghazis, a nd volu ntee rs pa id less tha n th e regula rs and o nly fo r th e duratio n of a ca mpaig n) a nd Ara b
and Sudanese infan try . Saladin ,:I Kurd himself, employed a conside rable number o f Kur ds, t ho ugh he
disbanded man y o f the m afte r his defeat at Mo ntgisard , for which disaster he held the m respo nsible
Iw illiam of T yre's 18 ,000 Qaraghu lams therefore pro ba bly incl udes auxiliaries si nce he does no t
men tion Kur ds ind ivid ually ).
T he Egy pt ia n 'aska r as reorganised by Salad in in 118 1 co nsisted of I I I e mirs, 6,976 Toassin, and 1,553
Qaragh ulams, giving a to tal o f 8,6 40 me n bu t not including un heneficed troo ps, auxiliaries, or the
remaining Fa timid mamluks (the e x-Fatimid cle me nt was by th is time ver y small , receiving perhaps
less t han 2% of t he army's to tal pay). It will he no ticed t hat t hese figure s make no provisio n fo r regul ar
infa ntr y, t ho ugh th ese arc kn own to have e xisted, wh ich has led to th e suggestion th at per hap s th e
Qaraghula ms sho uld he assu med to represent such tr oops. Ho we ver Ihis seems improba ble.
T he arm y reviewed prior to t he Bat tle of Ilatlin in I 18 7 co nsisted o f I 2,00 0 Egyptian an d Sy rian
regular cavalry and perha ps a simila r num ber of volunteer s and a uxiliaries. H. A. R. Gibb in his article
'T he Armies of Saladin' ca lcula tes t ha t the regulars were prob ably,
1.000
1,000
1,000
4,000
5, 000

Ro ya l ~Ia m l u k s
from th e Damascc ne 'a skar
fro m nor t hern Syr ia a nd t he Aleppenc 'askar
fro m t he Egyp tian 'askar
fro m t he Ja zira ( Mesop ota mia) a nd the 'aska rs of Mosul and Diya r Bekr

T he estim a ted st rengt h o f th e 'aska rs of Damascus a nd Ale ppo at 1,000 men eac h is based o n sou nd
evidence. Gib b similarly estima tes th e 'aska rs o f Ho rns a nd Il ama h a t 500 and 1,000 or some wha t less
res p ecuvel y: ce rta inly Shir kuh's Asadiyyah regimen t of 500 men had on ce co nstitu ted the 'askar o f
lIo ms. T he figure for t h.., Ja ziru, Mosul and Diyar Bekr is based o n a sta temen t by Ibn al-At hir, who
records so me 6,500 cava lr y Io r Mc sul, Dtyar Bckr a nd the Jaztra in 1176 , spe cifica lly refu ting Imad
ad-Din's sta te me nt th at they numbe red 20 ,000. G ibb calcula tes t hat of the 6,500 approx imat ely 2,0 00
wo uld have bee n supplied by Mosut . At t he same time it seems likel y t ha l Diyar Bekr, Mardi n and
Har ran would have maintained 'a ska rs of 1,000 me n each - Harra n cer ta inly had an 'a ska r o f 1,000
(o ffk ia lly) in 1242 . II mu st he remembered, ho wever , th at t hese fo rces o nly rep resen t regul a r caval ry,
no t to tal availab le st rc ngth : as examples of t h... tatt er it is o nly necessary to q uot e the co mb ined force
of 6.000 cava lry from Da mascus and Aleppo recorded in 114Q, whic h could undou bted ly be
sup pleme nted by a liberal nu mbe r of infan try.

Alt ho ug h no accu ra te break d ow n is available fo r Saladin's arm y as it a ppeared at t he Ba ttl e of Arso uf


in 1 19 1, A mbrc lse a nd th e It inerar ium Regis Ricard i ( app a re nt ly O ld Fre nch a nd Lat in editio ns of
t he sa me ey e-wi t ness acco u nt ) give a good idea o f th e he ter o genous natu re of Egypt ian arm ies a t this
d a te, record ing Bed o uin s and Suda nese inf ant ry, Syria n a nd T u rco ma n ligh t cava lry (at least 2,0 0 0
and po ssibly 10 ,000, a rmed with bows and javelins), and per haps 20, 0 0 0 (Ambroise reco rd s 30, 0 0 0 )
heavy ca valry, bo t h Saladin's a nd th o se o f h is p ro vincial 'as kars, 'clo thed an d eq ui p ped sp lendi d ly';
th e figure of 20 ,0 0 0 , thou gh high, d o es ta lly wit h th e alleged stre ngt h of Sal adin 's fo rces a t Belvoir in
1 182 and pro babl y incl udes Oaraghu lam s. At J aff a in 1192 t her e ap pear to have bee n 7 ,000 cava lry
p rese n t.
T he lat er Ay y uhi d s
Kipcha k Turk s ( i.c. C uma ns) fo rme d th e bulk o f th e mamluk t ro o ps un de r Salad in's desce ndan ts. T here
was a n in flu x o f Kjpchak mam luk s un de r Sultan us-Salih (124 0- 1249 ) in partic ula r, as a resu lt of t he
stead ily growing pressure of th e Mo ngo ls o n their east ern fro n tier , and from amo ngst th em t he elite
bo dyg ua rd u nit of t he Bahr iy yah as-Sa liy yah was for med, so me 80 0 1,00 0 me n, usually inco rrect ly
refe rred to as t he ' R iver' regi me nt. It was th is regime nt whi ch laid the fo u nda t ions o f the Mam lu k
sta le in 1250 when so me o f its o ffice rs, led by Ay be k a nd t he f u tu re Mamlu k su lta n Baiba rs .
assa ssin ated Sulta n T uran-Shuh. T he Ro ya l .Maml u ks a p pea r t o have to t alled M,000 un d er al-Aziz
(] 19 3-1 19 8 ) a nd 10 ,000 un de r both a s-Sahh a nd his fat her Sulta n al- Kam il ( 12 18- 1238),
Bed o uin a nd T urco m an light ca valry con tin ued t o su p ple me n t th e ma ml u k reg imen ts of t he 'askars.

Ku rd s also co n t inued to fea tu re in man y a rmies, t he Ku rd ish Oai ma riy ya h regimen t bei ng a pa rt icularly
pow e rfu l e lemen t a t th e dose o f t he Ay y ub id era, In 1258 un-Nasir of Da mascus e m ployed as man y
as 3 ,000 Shahrazu riy yah Kur d s.
Other a u xilia r ies em ployed und er a l-Kami l and as-Salih we re t he Khwar izmia ns who had Fled fro m Ru m.
As many as 10 ,000 (o ne so u rce says mo re th an 12,000) u nder a certa in Barbc h Kha n wer e tak en into
service in 124 4, receiving in e xc ha nge th e la nds of Diya r Mudar as an iqta", and t hese fea tu red
pro mine n tl y in t he capt u re of J erusalem a nd the Batt le of La Forbic t he sa me year. T hey we re at first
a pow e rf ul element a mids t th e po litica l c haos wh ic h p revai led in Egypt a nd Sy ria at t ha t t ime, b u t t hei r
semi-inde pe nd e nt e xist ence was ende d ab ru p tly by a devastat ing defeat at Ho ms in 1246 at Ihe ha nds
o f Sultan as-Salih , aft er wh ich so me of th e survi vo rs again took service in th e ro ya l a nd various
pro vincialtaskars, t hou gh in conside ra bly smalle r n u mbe rs Ihan before. A fe w h u nd red (3 0 0 or more )
wer e presen t a t t he Battle o f El Mansu rah in 1250 , while t heir fin al app ear a nce was in 1260 in the
Mamlu k arm y wh ich defeat ed t he Mo ngo ls a t ' A in Jatut .
Frank ish mer cena ries
F rank ish mercen ar ies so met imes a p peared in Egypt ian ar mies in th e 12t h a nd 13t h cen turies, hut
altho ugh the re are ma ny allu sio ns th ere is ver y little concre te evidence. On e clea rly recorde d insta nce of
Fran ks in Fa ti m id e m ploy, where in 11 11 Sha ms al-K hila fah , the gove rno r of Asca lo n, emp loyed 300
knigh ts as h is bo dyg uard, is mor e appa ren t th an real since Sha ms was pla n ni ng to han d t he cit y o ver
to Kin g Bald win .
A so me what la t er indic a t io n o f t he a p pare nt d esi rab ility of Fra n kish mercena ries da tes to I I 9 I when ,
d uri ng ne got iations with Kin g Richard I of Engla nd , Saladin is a lleged to have pro posed th a t in e xc hange
fo r consid erable terri t o rial co ncessio ns he should rece ive t he se rvices fo r o ne year o f as man y as 2,000
kn ight s an d 5,0 00 infa n try fo r use agai ns t t he Z cngid s of Mo sul; bear ing in mind t he milit ar y po te ntial
o f t he kin gdom of J erusalem at t his dat e th e se are very high figu res ind ee d.
La te r in th e Ay yu bid per iod we have one of t he fe w ce rtai n re fer ences t o th e em ploy me nt of such
Fra nk ish me rcen aries, several k nights bei ng reco rded in Damascus in 1227 . La t er still al-Maq r izi reco rds
even th e Mamlu k sulta n Baib ars emp lo yi ng Fran kish kn ights after t he fall o f Caesare a a nd lI a ifa in
126 5 , even gra nti ng them feud a l e sta tes!

THE MAMl UKS


Und er th e Mamluk Sul t an s the regula r army co nsist ed o f 3 major ele me n ts - t he Royal Mam lu ks, t he
ma mluk tr oo ps o f th e emirs. an d the al-Halq a.

23

T he Ro yal Mamlu ks consisted o f the reigning sulta n's ow n gua rds (the Khassa kiy ya h), who wer e
selected from the Ju lba n I ' fm po rted ', T u rkish mam luks purchased fro m the step pes, Ca ucas us o r
else where ), plus t he ma mlu k u nits o f fo rme r sultans (the Sulta niyy ah ) and t he u nits o f de cea sed am irs
It he Saif iy yah). Und er Baihars (1 160-1 27 7 ) t he Royal Mamlu ks wer e 12- 16 ,00 0 stro ng. O ne so urce
cla ims t he un likely to tal of 40,00 0, Ihou gh else where giving t he figu re of 4 ,000: al-Maq rizi re co rds
12,00 0 ,4 ,00 0 each be ing post ed in Cairo, Damascus and Aleppo. Qa la u n ( 1279 -1290 ) had at t he most
7-12,0 0 0 and ap pa rent ly on ly 6 ,00 0 by the close of his reign : if, as Moslem so u rces clai m, his maml uks
exceed ed in nu m ber t hose o f any precedi ng sultan then Baibars m ust have had co nsid erably less tha n
11,00 0, let alone 16-40 ,00 0. In ad d it io n Q alaun just ifiably dis t rusted t he Bah riyyah regiment a nd
raised inst ead a new elite un it of 3,700 men wh ich ca me to be k no wn as t he Burjiy ya h ('Tower')
regi ment : these were Circassia ns and Mo ngo ls as o pposed to Kipc ha ks, an d th ey even t ually dis placed
th e Ba hriyyah sult a ns fro m th e th ro ne in 13 90. Und e r Qal au n's successo rs Khalil (1 290-1293) and
Mo ha mm ed ( 1193-134 1, with int cr ru ptions) a l-Maq riz i reco rds th at t he Ro yal Mamluks nu m be red
11,0 00 ,t hou gh elsewhere he imp lies tha t Khalil actu ally had less th an 10 ,000. Ano t her so u rce suggests
tha t Mo hammed had 10 ,0 00 in 1299 an d it seems t hat in realit y he p robab ly had eve n less, per ha ps as
fe w as 1.000 by 13 19. In pea ce time most o f the Ro yal Mamlu ks Were sta t io ned in Cair o itself.
T he amirs were mostl y, if not e xclusively, draw n from a mo ng t he Ro yal Marnluk s. They were grade d
acco rd ing to t he ac tu al n u mbe r o f hor semen and /o r mamlu ks they em ploye d, giving rise to th e tit les
am ir o f 5, amir o f 10, amir o f 40 (u sually ca lled a mir al-tablkhanah, 'amir with han d ') and a mir o f 10 0,
and to ra n k as an amir a t a ll one had to co mma nd 5 o r more maml u ks or ho rsemen. T his was basically
t he sa me system as had been em plo ye d b y the Ayyuhids ex ce pt th a t u nde r t he Mam luk s th e prev ious ly
highly varia ble n u mbe rs o f horse men had bee n st ra tificd in lo just th e 4 o r 5 fo rma l ra n ks as listed
a bove and below. Th e ti tles th em selves are a little mislead ing, however, since co n te m po rary so urces
state t ha t the ami r of 10 co uld command up to 20 ma rntuks ( t he t itle a mtr o f 20 also ap pears ), the a mir
o f 40 up to 70-80 mamluks. a ndthe a mir o f lOO u p to 110- 120. Even t hese o ffi cia l figures were o fte n
sur passed, to tals of up 10 5-700, 1,500 a nd in o ne case even 3,0 00 horsemen sometimes be ing reco rd ed
in th e e m plo y o f a single ami r, lh o ugh suc h insta nces were excep tional. Vet t hey indicate tha t th e
o ff icia l quo tas were orte n ex ceed ed.
Amir s o f 100 a lso th eo re tically co m ma nde d a regime nt o f 1,0 00 al-lI a lq a in wart ime , giving rise to th e
alte rnative and equally inaccu rate ran k amir o f 1,000 ; th e inaccu racy o f t his t itle is best witnessed by
the fact th at a lthough in 13 15 o nly 8 ,93 2 men a nd 20 4 o ffi ce rs o f th e al-lI alq a arc recorded in Egy pt ,
me re wer e u nder the first Mam lu k sultans a s many as 24 a mirs of 1,000 in Egy pt , so that t he average
al-Halqa co mm a nd of each amir co uld no t have m uch exce ede d ap pro ximat ely 380 men . Possibly t he
nu m bers were mad e u p wit h auxilia ries
By 13 15 th e re W l'U' 200 am irs o f 40 and 200 a mirs of l O in ad d itio n to t he 24 am irs o f lOO. A later
au t hor it y, Zahiri, qu oti ng a so u rce of unknown d at e, gives t he low er fig ures o f 14 a mirs of 10 0,40
amlrs o f 4 0.20 am irs of 10. SO amirs o f l a and 30 a mirs o f 5 in Egypt , whil e Da mascus had 11 amirs
o f 100 , 10 anurs o f 40 and 60 am irs of 10 , a nd Ale ppo 6-<} emirs of 100 . la a m u s of 40 a nd :20 amirs of
10 . T he sma lles t Mamlu k province, Gala, had o nly 1 am irs of 40 .
T he al-lIa lqa itself f irst ap peared in 1 174 and co nsisted o f a n ehrc of no n-mamluk cavalry, mainly
Ara bs. na ti ve Fgy pt ia ns a nd mamluk s' so ns ho rn in Egy pt. T he la t te r, the Awl'ad al-nas , were rega rde d
as second-c rass because t hey had no t been bo rn o n t he s te ppes as true T urk s, wh ile Ara hs and Egy pri a ns
were not p~' rmille ll to become mamlu ks. Whe n Jo inville de scri bes the al-Halqa as the Su ltan 's bo dygu ard ,
an d ma mluk s to bo o t , he is therefore und o u bte dly confused in his te rm inol o gy (though their na me
al-lIalq a, meaning ' Ring ', do es te nd to im ply a bod yguar d fu nc tio n) . Ho wever , th e al-Halq a o ft e n, if no t
a lwa ys. o utnumbe red t he Ro ya l Maml u ks. but th ey were generall y po sted in t he provinces as o p po sed
to Cairo . It has alrea d y bee n men t ion ed t hat there were o ver q ,00 0 al-Hulq a in Egyp t in 13 15. Zah iri,
who a ppea rs to he spea king o f t he 14 th o r the heginn ing o f th e I 51h cen t ury. records th at th er e wer e
as many as 24,000 ul-Hulqa in Egypt (which tallie s wit h 24 amirs of 100j , 12,0 0 0 in Damascus, 6 ,00 0
in Alep po , an d 9- 1 1,000 sp rea d o ver 5 o u t o f t he remai ning 6 pro vinces, and t his is despit e the al-Halqa
hav ing unde rgo ne a decl ine in im po rt anc e si nce Ihc ea rty- f a th ce n tu ry; ho wever , since th ese figu res
wer e recorded in respon se to a Mongol t h rea t o ne sho uld allo w fo r e xaggera tion an d la ke t he m all wit h
a pinch o f sal t, even th ou gh al-Maqrili a lso im plies the imp robable fig ure of 14 .000 Egyptia n al-Halqa
at o ne po in t. A n alt erna tive acco u nt says th e al-Ha lq a nu m bered on ly 11 ,000, th is figure la ter being

24

reduced. 4.000 31.H31qa a re recorde d to have been presen t in t he arm y which fou ght at Ho rns in
128 1, in co mpariso n to o nly 800 Ro yal Ma mluks. In ad ditio n some o f the al-Halqa th e mselves
e mplo yed 1-4 pers on a l mamluk s.
Every 40 al-Halqa were co mma nded by an offic er with the title Muqadda m al-Halqa (literally
'Co mma nde r o f al-Halqa', eq uiva lent in rank to an ami rof 10 ), every lOO by a Bash , assisted by a
Naq ib , a nd every 1,000 by an Ami r mi 'a Muqad dam alf. Unlik e the ami rs t he al-Halq a o fficers held
th eir rank o nly d uring wart ime . T he orga nisa tio n o f t he ac tu al maml uks was pro babl y hk ewrse ease u o n
a 40 o r 50-ma n un it , with companies of 100 (or possibly 200 ) and regiment s of 1,000 . Am irs a nd
office rs were not incl uded in t hese totals. Ho wever, a much later aut ho r, Ibn Iyas, sta tes t hat the Roy a l
Ma mlu ks at least were no t o rganised into regula r un its an d sub-units un til they se t o ut on campaign ,
and even t he n i t was th e sultan who decided t he sizes of t he unit s.
T he o verall stre ngth of these regular Mamlu k troo ps is no t easy to reso lve, but cer tai nly 40 ,000 a re
recor ded o n ca mpaign aga inst the Sudan in 1289 a nd 10-19 ,00 0 a t the siege o f Tripoli in t he same yea r,
while 60, 00 0. th o ugh inclu d ing some auxilia ry cavalry , were presen t at th e siege of Acre in 129 1. Gihho n,
in his ' Decli ne and j-:all of t he Ro man Em pire' . records on ly 25,000 Ma mluk cuvalry. j hou gh he does
no t ci te a so urce , o r dat e, fo r th e informa tio n. Wheth er a ny of these figu res include a l-lIa lqa
unit s is unk nown .
AU ll:i1iari es a nd infa nt ry
In add itio n to t he ma mluks and al-lIa lqa large numbers o f auxiliary t roop s co uld be raised fro m am on gst
t he T urco man , Kur d, Bedo uin, Syro-P alestinia n a nd Leba nese tribesmen . Such aux iliaries wer e
so meti mes ca lled Khasse k! ( er. Russia n ' Kaza ks', meani ng f ree boote rs o r no mad vagabo nds ].
T he 'l'u rco ma ns an d Kurds were settled on gran ts of land as mili tar y colonists by th e Mam tuk s. chieftains
be ing given t he titles a mir of 10, a mir o f 20 or amir of 40 depe nding o n t heir impo rtance. Ho weve r,
th ese chieft a ins remained inferior in ran k to Mamluk amirs o f t he sa me grade .
Th e Bcdouins we re under no o bligations whatsoever and supplied au xilia r y cavalry in emergencies o nly ;
no r were t hey co nsiste ntly relia ble. T he ir chie ftai ns wer e t herefore graded lo wer thu n th ose o f the
T urco ma ns a nd Kurds, be ing ranked 3S a mirs o nly if th e y were po werful, o t he rwise be ing classi fied as
al-H alqa .
T he se mi-no madic al-' Asha ir, t he Syro- I'a lesti nia n a nd Le ba nese t ribesmen, ap pea r to have be en hired
princi pa lly as bow a nd sling a rmed mer ce nary infa ntry du ring t his period, t ho ugh th ey someti mes
supplied cavalry. Af ter 128 9 mos t offici a lly beca me regu lar soldie rs of so rts wh en t he t ribal ch ieftains
ca me to hold thei r la nd s as di rec t gra nts from the sulta n. T heir infan try proba bly resem bled figure 15
in t he d ress and eq uipme nt sect ion.
Za hiri recor ds t ha t t he a uxiliary co ntinge nts availa ble fro m t hese so urces numbered 180 ,000 T urco ma ns.
20, 000 Kurds (h e says 'fo r merly' 20, 000 ), 93,000 Bedo uin s ( 29,000 fro m Sy ria and Palesli ne, 33,000
from Egy pt. a nd 3 1.000 from t he lI ijaz a nd Meso po ta mia, co ntingents ran ging fro m 100 to 2, 000 men) ,
and 35,000 Sy ro-Palestlnians a nd Leba nese. In addi tion l ah iri reco rds t hat every village in the Mamluk
state was req uired to supply 2 horse me n. a nd he gives t he Iiguee of 33, 000 villages: th ese possibly
re prese nt t he Awl'ad al-nas. T hese a uxiliaries were all cava lry, no infan t ry figures being give n.
Ho wever , Gib bo n men tio ns au xilia ry t roop s co nsisting o f a ' provincia l militia' of 10 7,000 infa ntry ,
almost cer tai nly incl udi ng t he Syro-Palestmians an d Leban ese, in addi tion to 66,000 Bedou in cavalry,
while Frankish so urces recor d 100 ,000 and Moslem so urces 100-160,000 irregula r infa nt ry a t the sieges
of T ripoli {I 289 } an d Acre ( I 29 1) respecti vely .
Th oug h the infan try were nearly a lway s irregulars ( pla ying on ly a mi nor role in Ma mluk wa rfare) a
de scr iptio n o f t he siege of at-xtarqab in 1285 me ntions a regiment of 1,000 infa ntry called t he Aqjiyya h
for ming part of th e garrison installed by t he Ma mluks af ter its ca ptu re; t he regimen t is o ther wise
u nkn own , hut t hey were qu ite clea rly no n-ma mluk regu lars o f so me kind . perha ps Leba nese. So mew hat
earlier, in [ 279 , a n arm y comprised of 4 ,000 infa ntry a nd 9,000 cavalr y at tacked Qa!'a t Rho ma ita
o n th e Eu phrates, a nd certai nly so far fro m ho me such infantry co uld hardly have been sup plied by
irregula r militia. In addit io n the a xe-armed Ta barda riyyah regiment was clea rly regular.

Ano th er ha nd of infa nt ry irreg ula rs in t he Mamluk arm y wer e th e Hadj is, light -ar med religiou s fa natics
co m para ble 10 t he layla rs o f t he la ter Ottomans. At the siege of Acr e they a re record ed thr o wing
t hemselves into t he d it c h befo re t he walls so that thei r o wn infan t ry co uld advance, across t heir
bo die s!
Engin eers wer e a lso irr egulars, t ho ugh nap tha tr oops may have bee n e m ployed f ull-time since na pt ha,
sipho ns a nd o ther incend iary equ ipment was kep t excl usively in royal arsen als.
Th e Wafidi ya
In addit ion to t he usual auxiliarie s so me Mo ngo ls wer e to he fo u nd serving in Mam luk ar mies afte r
I ~ 6 ~, as man y a s 3, 0 00 tak ing se rvice d uring Balh ar's re ign. T hese wer e gene rally ca lled by t he na mes
Wa ridi ya o r Musta ' mina, mea ning ' im migra n ts' or ' t hos e w ho see k asylum' respect ively . like t he
T ur co ma ns, Bedo uins and Kurds t hey retained t heir sta t us as free me n but , unl ike o t her aux ilia ries ,
so me actuall y se rved within regular Ma mlu k un its, usua lly th ose of the am irs though so me even
served alongside t he Roya l Mamlu ks a nd even in t he Khassa kiy ya h, t he Sultan's perso nal bo dyguard,
itself. Most, ho wever, were e nro lled in th e al-Halqa a nd nea rly all ran ke d lo wer t han t he Ma mlu ks
th em selves, th e ir c hief ta ins being given onl y very low ranks, usuall y Muq ad dam al-Halq a and rarely
higher tha n a n amir o f 40 d ur ing t his e ra (this ra n k wa s even given to the Ilk ha n Hulagu's son -in-law,
Turghay. w ho ent ered Marnlu k se rvice in 129 7 wit h as many as 10, 0 00 or 18 ,00 0 Kulmu ks! Later,
however , in Mo ha mm ed 's reign whe n t he d ay s o f su ch mass imm igrations were past , highe r ra nks were
so met imes a ssigned t o Warid iya chieft ai ns, )
T ilE ASSASS INS
The Assassins were fo un d ed in the late-Ll t h ce nt u ry by a Persian, lI asa n as-Sabah, who in 1090 se t u p
his headq uarters at Ala mu t in t he Dayl am mounta ins. T he y were an ex tremist group of a Shi'ite Moslem
sec t , t he l sma' Hi tes, th eir na me o f Assassins ( Arabic lI ashishiy u n ) de riving from a co rru ptio n o f t he
La ti n for hashi sh, to wh ich they were allegedly ( hut highly im probably) add icted . Th e Moslems more
ofte n ca lled t hem Barin is o r Nazaris.
T heir e xiste nce as an ind ep ende nt po lit ical e ntity und er their Grand Maste r was main ly a resu lt of t he
inaccessib ilit y o f t he ir mounta in fortresses - Ala mu t itself means 'Eagle's Nest' - o f wh ich t her e were
per ha ps 60 or more in th e regio n of Ala rnu t alo ne b y th e mid -13 th cen t ur y. In add itio n fro m the earlyI ~I h cen t u ry there was a la rge Syrian o ffs ho o t of 10 for tre sses, with its head quarters at Ma sya f aft er
1141 , mo st fam ous leade r o f whom was Rash id ad- Din Sinan ( 1169- 1193) know n as Shei kh a l-Dja bel,
T he O ld Man of t he Mo un ta in. a ti tle thereafter born e by his successo rs.
Th eir most nota hie co nt rib u tio n to t his era - a nd all e ras si nce - wa s t he gentle ar t o f poli t ica l
assassin a tion , to w hic h t hey gave t heir nam e. T he sec ta ries we re blindly o bedie n t to the G rand Ma ste r
or t he OM Ma n o f t he Mo u n ta in and w...re even prepared to killth emse lves if o rde red to do so, so they
d id not fear cap tu re o r dea t h in t he cou rse o f e xec u ting t he ir d u ty , whic h was a good j ob since mo re
often than no t t hey d id not re turn from their ass ignmen ts: as Bar Hcbraeus graphically puts it, ' killing
the y were killed.' I'Fho se o f th e ir bre thren actually resp o ns ible fo r th e majo rity of a ssassination s were
t he Fida' is or Fid awi s, m...a ning ' th ose ready to o ff er th eir Hves fo r a ca use.') Celeb rit ies remove d fro m
th e co u rse of history h y ,\ssassi n ac tivit y inclu d ed Niza m al-Mulk ( 1092), th e Fat imid vizier at-Are a!
( 1 1~~), il-Bursuq i o f Mosul ( 1 126), Con rad o f Mo n tferrat (1 192 ), a nd Genghis Kh an' s second so n
Jagata i (I ~ 4:!) to nam e bu t a kw. Eve n Saladin curne dose to havi ng his ca ree r a bb revia ted o n mo re
than o ne occas io n, wh ile Princ e Edwurd , la ter Ed ward I o f England , narr ow ly esca ped death whe n he
was wounded b y a poisoned Assassin d agger in 1271 . Ther e ar e even sto nes tha t Assassins we re ac tually
sen t as fa r afield as Eur ope, and tha t so me tr ied 10 murder Lo uis IX o f Fran ce pr ior to his departu re
o n the Seve nth Crusa d e.
Q uit e often suc h assassinations were mo ti vated b)' o ut side rs - the m urder of th e Pa t riar ch o f Jerusale m
in I :!14, fo r ...xa mple , was inst igated by the Ho sp u ajlers of all people - but eq ually , if not more , ofte n
rhey we re aimed at co n tro lling the bal ance o f pow er am on gst the Assassins' e ne mies. Fo r t he sam e
reaso n Assassins might be fo u nd a llied to ei t her F ra nks or Moslem s as t he needs o f th e mom en t di ctat ed .
Duri ng t he 13 t h ce nt u ry th e Syria n Assassins were almos t per mane n tly su bjec t to th e Hospitalle rs.
T Il1.' st re ngt h of th e sec t was effec tively brok e n when its headqua rters at Ala mu t was d est roy ed by th e

Mo ngo ls in I 256, t he nucleus o f th e Persia n sec ra nes bei ng all but ext e rmi nated by I 25 7. T he Syrian
Assassins lasted a litt le lo nger , tho ugh t he Mamluk Sulta n Ba ibar s achieved th eir fina l de structio n by
1273 , e nd ing t heir po litical power for ever. Nevertheless, Assass ins still oc casionally a ppear t he reaft er,
in 1275 eve n reca pt uring an d hol d ing Alam ut for a few mo nt hs, and though t he rema ining sect artes
were grad ually absorbed by o ther Isma'ilite groups t hey co ntin ued to be e mployed as po lit ica l
assass ins under t he Mamluks, Ibn Ba t t uta recordi ng ho w duri ng t he 14 t h cen t ury th ey we re normally
paid a t a fixed ra te per murder.
Sca tte red as t he c o mmunities o f the sect were it is im possible to establish th eir milita ry po te nti a l, hut
William o f T yre sta tes t ha t the Syrian Assassi ns n umbe red 60 ,00 0 and Burcha rd of Mo unt Sion t ha t
t hey num bered 4 0,000 ; t he Sy ria n Assassins a re reco rded to have fielded per hap s as many as 10 ,000
men agains t t he F ra nks as early as 1128 , They relied o n vo lunt ee r civic militias for bo th infa n tr y an d
cava lry ; these were of a high stan dard and received pay fo r t he du ration o f t heir se rvice, usually in the
form of boo t y, hor semen be ing pa id tw ice as muc h as foot- soldiers.
TH E BYZA NTI NE EMPI RE
T he t rad itio na l army as described in ' Armies of t he Dar k Ages' was defeated and a ll but des troyed by
the Se ljuk T ur ks at t he d isast ro us Battl e o f Manzike rt in 10 7 1, and t he succeed ing cent uries saw th e
final de mise of classical military o rganisation. T he subseque nt c hanges in Byza ntine orga nisation ca n be
fairly acc ura tely summarised as a decline in t he importa nce o f the provi ncial fo rces of th e T he ma ta
acco mpa nie d by a n inc reased reliance o n merce naries a nd the co ntin gents of the la ndo wning arist ocra cy .

Mercenari es a nd the Regular arm y


T hou gh t hey had always bee n a n o utstandi ng fe ature of By za n tine armie s, fro m the pra ctical po int of
view, a nd ce rtai nly as a successful so lut io n to t he Em pire's im mediate needs, t he principa l result of
Ma nzike rt was a co nside ra ble and ever- increasing rel ianc e o n mercenaries. It was undou bt edly thi s
whic h led to the fi nal disapp earance amo ngst many of t he na tive Grcck e pop ulation o r any kind o f
mili tar y po tential, stead ily o n t he decl ine since the 10 th cent ury. It was ine vitahle, t herefo re, tha t t he
Co mnen i Em perors and t he ir suc cesso rs should sho w a marked pre fe re nce fo r me rcenary t roo ps.
Anna Com nena describes the mercena ries in the arm y of her father Alexius I as 'horsemen a nd foo tm en
f ro m a ll la nds' ; by th e end of the 11t h ce ntury the y incl ude d Colbingia ns tK ol bi ngo i = Kol hya gy?
Ge rma nic inhabitan ts o f the so ut hern Ba lt ic co as tline), Curnans, Se lj uks, Pat zina ks ( Pechencgsj ,
Uzes (T orks), Ala ns, Mac edo nia ns (Sla vs a nd Bulgars, employ e d ex tcn sivc ly under t he ea rly Conmcnij.
Scrbs, Geo rgia ns, Armenian s, Nemi tz oi o r Ala ma no i (Germans and possibly Flcmings; just to co nf use
th e issue F re nc hmen a re someti mes refe rred to as 'Germans' in Byzan tine so urces ), Lati ns ( a blanket
te r m fo r F re nch me n, Norma ns an d Italia ns ), Englishmen, Saracen s, Ru ssian s a nd Va ra ngia ns, and on
t he who le t hese elemen ts co ntin ued to se rve throughout the I ::! t h a nd 13t h ce nt uries. (So me, how ever,
served as a llied auxiliarie s o r vassals rathe r than as mercenaries: t he Serb s, fo r insta nce, su pp lied 500
caval ry fo r ca mpa igns in Asia and 2,00 0 fo r ca m paigns in Europe durin g Ma nuel l's reign.) Nik eta s
Cho niat es, writing in t he ea rly-13t h ce nt ury, sa ys that eac h differe nt tribe o r race formed a differen t
regi me nt, whic h must have helped to mi nimi se what would have o t he rwise un dou btedl y bee n a
disas trou s com municati on problem!
Alongside t hese irre gular unit s of mercen ari es a nd auxiliaries there were a num ber of full-ti me
mer cena ry un its which , throu ghout mo st of th is e ra, co nsti tuted th e h ulk o f th e regular ar my , t he ol d
elite regime nts of th e Tagma ta havi ng been prac tica lly des troyed at xta nztke rt. T ho ugh the Excu bita e
arc recorded a t Dur azz o in 1081 , the Ile taeria and Ika na to i else where, and th ou gh the Sc hcla e
appa rently survived at least as an institution , t hese units we re merely shado ws of their fo rme r selves
and as elite ar my units fad e int o obli vion befo re t he close of th e 11t h ce ntury. Fo r a brief pe riod
du ring t he re ign o f Alcxi us I ( 108 1- 1118 ) t he restored arm y nucleu s was based o n th e following un its:
- t he Vardar io ts, a cavalry unit o f Christianised Turks, pro babl y Uzes. from Maced o nia .
- Frankish me rce naries, lat er c alled th e Lat iniko n, at th is da te mainl y of Norman o r Fr enc h e xt rac tio n,
Although even after 1204 the Byzamines continued to j!enerally call them....Ives 'Rhomaioi' ( Le. Romans) the ~'
seem 10 have gradually adopted a preference for the term lIellene or 'Greek' so as 10 avoid any confusion between
themseIves and the hated h anks.

27

co mman ded by a n office r with t he feudal European ti tle of Kc nosta blo s o r ' co nsta ble' . (T he Maniak et es
regimen t, wh ich featu res in latc- I lth century so urc es, a lso a ppears to have consisted of Franks,
desce nda nts of t he me rcen ar ies e mployed by th e genera l Man iakes in th e I030 s and 104 0s.)
- t he Sky t hiko n, at t he hegm ning of t his era cons isting mainly o f Peche ncgs, fo r who m th e Byza ntines
gen erally reserved Ihe arc ha ic te rm 'Scyt h'.
- the Turco pou loi, , So ns o f T urks' , co mprised o f t he so ns of Ch ristianised T urks and Seliu k a nd
T urcoman mercena ries.
- a number o f na tive G reek regime nts which all vanished after o nly shor t caree rs. These co m prised t he
Immo rtals, a large un it ( 10,000 men acco rd ing 10 Brycnnius) fo r med by Niceph o ros III in 10 78 from
remnant s of t he Eastern Thcrnata sup ple me nte d wit h new rec ruit s; the Choma te ncl, a cavalry regiment
ra ised in Cho ma in Phr ygla, also by Niceph o ros, ap parently num bering as few as 300 me n in 10 81 but
pro ba bly a bou t \ ,000 whe n at full strengt h ; t he Arc ho nt o pouloi ('Sons o f l eaders'), a un it of 2,000
cavalry raised hy Alex ius fro m o fficers' or phan s in Ihe I0 80 s; a nd the v esnar ttee. hou sehold troo ps
who per haps included in additicn
- the fam ou s Vara ngian Guard , fo unded in thc tate- t nrh ce ntur y by Basil 11 fro m Scandinav ia n a nd
Russia n merce nari es. Th ere wer e in add ition o t her Vara ngian regime nts, which by the end of t he 11t h
cent ury also inclu ded English merce naries.
c-

Fr ank s (o the rwise referred to in Byza ntine so urces as La tin s o r 'K elt s'j were em ploy ed in large nu mbers
1'0)" the end o f th e I I th cent ury, a nd it may have bee n a req ues t made to th e West by Ale xiu s for

mercen a ries in 10'11 o r IOQ5 th a t inad verten tly res ulted in the Firsl Crusade ! AI t he begi nni ng of th is
e ra, in 107 1, wh en th cy were co mmanded by th e un scrupulou s adve nt ure r Rou ssel de Oa iJIe ul, t heir
st re ngth is reco rded as 3 ,000. A few years later there ap pear to have bee n as ma ny as 8,000 . T heir
nu mhers were increa sed co nsidera bly by th e la tinop hile Emp eror Manucl I (1143- 1180) und er
who m Fra nk s. part icu larly Fren chmen , German s and Ita lians, became t he predo minant mercena ry
clement of Ihe ar my arre r t he T urks.
Most of th e nat ive, and so me o f th e merce nary, regi me nts me ntioned ab o ve had disap pear ed by as ea rly
as th e e nd of th e 11t h ce nt ury, a ppare ntly bei ng disba nded by Alex ius: th e disappearance of ot hers was
poss ibly the resu lt of havi ng suffered hea vy casual tie s thr ou ghou t th e 12th ce ntury , pa rticularly a t
the Battle of Myriok eph alo n in 1176 , whic h left th e ar my in an even wo rse state compa ratively t han
had Munziker t a ce nt ury earlie r. Ho wever, t he Archontop o uloi arc still recorded in Ihe Nicaean period
in court circles : in 1261 there were o nly 5 2 of t he m, which woul d see m to indica te tha t t hey had
earlier beco me so me ry pe of inner bodyguard a nd had declined co nsiderably in strength and
imp ortance . O the rs of t he old regim en ts may . like th e Schotae a nd Arch onto po uloi, have go ne th rou gh
a simila r process of grad ual de teri or a tion .
T he regu lar mercenar y regiment s, however, t hrived . O nly t he T urcop o uloi, a nume which ap pea rs
regula rly in Byza ntine so urces from the la te-llth century thr ou gh to th e 141h cen tury , seem to have
unde rgo ne an y kind of decline a nd t his a ppe a rs 10 have been in status ra th er t han strengt h. Ale xius I
see ms to have relied hea vily o n the Tu rcopo uloi : Ihey feature pro mine nt ly in th e even ts of th e Crusade
of 110 1, and he had as many as 7,0 00 Selju k T urks in his e mploy as early as 10 83. It is a lso wo rth
re marking nere tha t under t he Comneni a large number of se nior Byzan tine officers were eit her
Byzanun ised T ur ks or o f T urkish descen t.
T he o t he r 4 regi me nt s - Vara ngia ns, v arda rio ts. Sk ythiko n and Latinikon - con tinued to fo rm th e
nu cleu s of t he regula r a rmy , cha nging o nly in th eir et hnic co mpos ition. Th e Sk y t hikon, for insta nce ,
wh ich had since 1 1.:!2 recruit ed its me mb ers principa lly fro m am o ngst Pec he neg pri soners-of-war
settled in the Euro pea n provin ces after th e decisive defea t of Eski Zagru, had begun 10 incl ude Cuman s
lIuring t he reign o r Joh n I I (1 118-1143 ) ut t he latest , and th ou gh th e Pecheneg colonies co nt inued to
n ourish un tilthe Lat in Co nqu est of 1.:!04 th e Cumans seem 10 have beco me predomi nant hy th e e nd
of t he l I t h ce ntu ry ; militarily, in fact , th e Pec he ncg elemen t was probably o n th e de cline by th e midI :!th cen t ury an d it seems likely t hat inter-marriage an d the introducti on o f reinfor cem e nt s fro m o t her
T urkish peo ples brou ght a bo ut t he gradual c hange or co mposition from Peche neg to Cuman. Uaes also
app ea r in large numbe rs d ur ing th is ce nt ur y, and so me a t least found t heir way into t he Skyth ikon ;
Byza ntine sou rces even see m to imply t hat they fo r med the largest percentage of T urk ish mercena ries
a t the ti me of ~I ~ riok e p h a l o n .

l8

Likewise th e co mpos it io n of th e v ara ngian s, still principa lly Sca ndinavian a t the beginni ng of t his
per iod, gradu all y cha nged, acq uiring a larger a nd larger percent a ge of Englishmen. In t he lat e-! 0 70s the
St rategicon of Ccca umen us mak es th e first men tion o f Englishm e n in a n a ppa rently mili ta ry co nte xt,
but t he y ar e o nly fi rst men tio ned in o fficial Byza nt ine so urces in 10 80 a nd 10 88 , whe re the y a re
never t hel ess specifically mentio ned se para tel y fro m t he Varangia ns. Ordericu s Vitalis, writ ing c, I 130 ,
d early reco rds Englishm en serving th e Emp eror, and t here wer e certai nly English t roo ps presen t at
Myr io ke phalo n in 1176 (t hey arc men tio ned in a let te r fro m Man uel to King Henry 11 ), T ho ugh
impo rtan t ( a ppa rently t he most trusted e lement of t he G uard und er Ale xius I) t he ir numbers we re
o bviously st ill small in t he early-12 t h cen t ury, Sax o Grammat icus (wr iti ng c. 1101) sta ti ng t ha t t he
Emperor 's gua rd was co mposed o f ' me n o f Danish tongue', an d S nor ri St urlu sso n reco rd ing 'a grea t
many No rt hme n'taking service with Ate xtus in 1112, Th e English element, ho wever, steadily
inc rease d unt il by c. 1180 t he Byzantine c hro nicler Ctnna mus co uld state qu ite specifica lly t hat th e
Varangia ns were 'of British race ', Eve n so , Svemr' s Saga recor ds t ha t as la te as 119 5 en voys were
sen t to the Sca ndinavia n kings to req uest 1,200 men for t he Gu a rd, while Villehardo uin reco rds Danis h
as well as English gua rdsm en in 1204 . alon gside o t her un its co mpose d o f me n o f many nati on alities,
After the fall o f Co nsta ntino ple to th e Fra nks in tha t yea r t he Empire devolved into 3 pr inci pal sta tes,
Nica ea, Epirus and Tr e bizo nd , of wh ich Nicat'a ap pears to have inh erite d th e ma in rem nant s o f the
Imperial a rm y, T he od o re 1I (1 254-1258) reo rganised t he a rmy nucle us, no w called the AlIaghio n or
T axis a nd at least 27 Allaghi;l stro ng by 1259 , unde r an off icer called t he Archon , lat er titled the
Megas Archo n. T he Vara ngian s an d Vardario ts were the mainstay o f the Tax is while th e Lali niko n
and Skyt hiko n were loose ly associat ed wit h it. Pseudo-Codin us reco rds t hat after 126 1 t he full st re ngt h
o f t he Taxis pro per was 6 ,00 0 men , co nsisti ng of 12 Allagh ia o f 500 me n eac h, which woul d seem to
suggest t hat th e Vardar io ts and Va rangians pro bably nu mbered abo ut 3,000 men each, By th is time t he
Scandi navian ele men t o f the latt er had pract ically disap pea red, an d in a doc umen t of 1272 Michael VIII
refers to t he Varan gian s as Engfinvarr hango i which, if it needs tran sla tio n, is ' English Varangi a ns',
In o t her so urces th e name is ab breviated to Englinoi , ' Englishme n',
O ne o f T heodor e's o t her refo rm s was a red uction of th e wages a mi privileges gra nte d to Fra nkish
mercen ar ies, since he th ou ght t hat t he large-scale relia nce on foreigners was a princip al weak ness o f the
Byza nti ne a rmy an d had a prefe ren ce fo r na tive Gree k soldiers, Nevert heless, t he Lat iniko n see ms to
ha ve bee n as stro ng a t th e e nd of his reign as it had been at t he beginn ing, so his me asu res proba bly had
lit tle o r no effec t. T he Fr an kish merce nar ies cons titu ting t he Latiniko n were chiefly d rawn from the
Syrian crusade r sta tes a nd Ro ma nia by this time (and proba bly had been since t he mid- l jth ce ntury ),
t ho ugh t hey also inclu de d Sicilians, Italia ns, Venc tians a nd Ach aia n Fra nk s. T he ir co mma nde r's title
had c ha nged to Megas Ko nostahlo s, 'G rand Co nstab le' . und er T heodo re 11 t ho ugh, like t he ea rlier
Kon ostabl os, he was no t al wa ys himself a Fr ank - t he fu t ure Emp eror Mic hael VIII, fo r insta nce , held
the ra nk of Megas Ko nc sta blos under T heodor e.
T he Sky thiko n now co nsisted chi efly of Cuma ns, recruited af ter 1241 from so me 10 ,00 0 who had been
se tt led on lan d-gran ts in Anatolia a nd Thrace . ~ a n y of the m, toge the r wit h other regular me rcen aries,
we re de tac hed to serve as ga rrison tro o ps a t st rategic poi nts or under provincia l co m manders, t his
being partic ularly tr ue of t he Cuma ns, a nd , ea rlier, t he Pech enegs, th ese o ften serving as a kind o f
pro vincial police, T hese de tache d units wer e called Megalo n Allaghia o r St ra to peda a nd their o llicers
Stra top edarc hs. Eve n th e Vara ngian s a ppea r to have so me times bee n used in th is way , for de tac hmen ts
are fo und a t Kala ura in T hracc, Ctbe to t o n t he Ana tolia n coa stlin e, and possibly even at Che rson in the
Cri mea.
Th e irreg ular mercenar y units who bac ked up t he regula r field army also co nta ined la rge nu mbe rs of
Fra nks, T heodo re t' s army of 2,000 men a t Anlioch -in-Pisidia in 121 1, fo r example, co ntained 800
Frankish merce naries, principa lly Italia ns. 3 yea rs late r, in 1214 , his army is described as co nsist ing o f
Germans, Ro mania ns, Armen ians and T urks, a nd his succes sor John I II Va ta tzes ( 1222-125 4) is reco rded
to have em ployed particularly large numb ers of Frank ish merce naries. T he Nicaean ar my at Pelago nia in
1259 included 300 Ge rman ca va lry, 1,500 Hungaria n cavalry, 600, 1,000 o r 5,000 Se rbia n cavalry
(ap parently includin g ho rse-arch e rs, pro ba bly T ur ks o r Cum a ns), 500-1,500 Tur kish hor se-archer s,
4,000 Cu man s an d Ala ns and an unk now n number o f Bulgarian ho rse-archers,
O ne ear ly Otto ma n so urce even reco rds Mo ngol au xiliaries in a Ntcaca n ar my defeat ed by Ka i Khosrou 11

o f Rum in th e I NOs. T he Mon gols so met imes supplied troo ps during Michae l VIIl 's reign as well, fo r
e xa mp le in 128 1 when 4 ,000 were sen t to his assista nce by t he Golde n Horde, while And ron ikos 11 was
prom ised 40,000 hy the Ilkhan Dljeitu in 130 5. Pac hyme res reco rds th at 20,000 of t hese actually
ad vanced as fa r as !co ni um, wh ile in 1308 he reco rds an o t her 30 ,000 bein g se nt into Bit hynia by th e
IIkha n to reca ptu re certa in places recently seized from th e Byaan tines by t he T ur ks. Even as la te as 140 2
5,000 ~I o n go l s are reco rde d figh ting for t he Byzuntines against t he Otto mans,
Unde r Michael VIII ( 1259-1282 ) t here was an increased inta ke of T ur kish merce na ries, Michae l ha ving
a minimum of 5,000 regula rs in his e mploy by 1262 , and T ur ks and T urco po uloi, bo t h infa nt ry a nd
cavalry, co ntinued to I'll' a major cleme nt in th e a rm y o f his so n and successo r Andr on tkos 11. Ho wever,
t he most mc morahle mercenaries o f Andro nikos' reign were undou btedly th e Ca ta tans an d Almugh avari
of Rogc r de Flo r's Cat alan G rand Co mpa ny, whose caree r is desc ribed in detail in Appendix 2, In
addttion to t hc T ur ks and Cat a lans t he o t her princip a l merce nary elem ent s of his arm y a n' reco rded
hy Puc hy mc res as Ga zmo uloi. Cre ta ns a nd Alans, IQ.16,OOO of the la t te r being em plo yed as late as 130 2,
By th e ea rly yea rs of t he 14 t h centu ry, howeve r, co ntinu ed fina ncia l di ffic ulties had necessi tated a
severe cutbac k in military ex pe ndit ure, to t h e point where, in abo ut 1,1 20 , on ly by utilising increased
tax ation reve nue co uld Andru nikos env isage ma inta ining a stan ding ar my o f 3,000 cavalry , a nd even t his
plan may never have been e xecuted . Of t hese 2,000 were 10 have bee n sta tio ned in Macedon ia a nd
T hracc a nd 1,000 in Bu hynia. Po ssibl y t hese re presen ted no mo re than e lite or pure ly Gree k units, hut
all in all it is not sur prising to fi nd the 14 t h cent ury histo ria n Grego ras lamen ting t he sad sta te o f th e
army, cal ling it ' t he la ughi ng stock o f the worl d' !
Prm 'incial troops: T he mat a and Stra rlo tes
In additjon to the regular cen tra l ar my based in Co nsrant mople t here were subsid ia ry ar mies sca t tere d
throughou t t he Emp ire's va rio us provin ces. Thcs... semi-regular pro vincial t roo ps, how ever, we re usua lly
rclativ ely f... w in nu mbe r and tu Iacc a ny la rgc scale incur sion it was necessary fo r t he ar mie s of several
pro vmces to be gathered into O!1l' large for ce, of ten reinfo rced in addit io n by t he ce ntral army a nd
laced with hbcral qu a ntit ies of me rce naries. Ho weve r, it sho uld he no ted th a t mos t pro vincial t roo ps
contmucd to hl' lar ~d y of native stoc k i cer tainly, des pite th e prc po ndc rence of merce naries, na tive
t roops con tinued to serve in Byza nt ine fo rces in large numbe rs, nota bly under Ale xius I, Manuell
a nd lsaac ll. Even whe n th e Asiatic pro vincial reguncms underwe nt a decline in the 1190s ;lI1<1 wer e
r...placed with en nre ty new a nd rigo ro usly trained regimen ts they were rec ruited aga in fro m tlre native
peasa nt-far mers . In me course of the lJ th cen t ury man y such pro vinc ial troo ps were d rafted into t he
regular army, not a bly in t he re ign of Th eodorc 11 Lascans . t ho ugh by t his time th e distin ction bet wee n
central and provincia l ar mies was heco min g sorn ...wha t blurred, As early as Man ucl ls reign we even
find t he cc nrral ar my itsel f bein g billeted t hro ugho ut t he pro vinces in winte r so as to ease th e st rai n on
the l mpe rjal treusury, a mI this prac tice a ppears to have pe rsiste d t hro ughout the re mainde r o f t his e ra.
Ano t her la rge pa rt o f thc Lmpire's provincial troops was com prised of the con tin gents o f th e Dynat o i
and Arc ho ntcs. t he lando wning magna tes, Even before Manzike rt ( and a t t he ba u!e itself) such no ble me n
are to he fo und leading thcir personal re tinues in huttle, a nd afte r 1071 th is elemen t beca me preva lent,
till' old provincial levies of th e T he mat a a t the sa me t imc unde rgoing a d ramatic de cline in most pa rts
of till' Empire. T helast ~e m'ral mu st er o f the Easte rn T hemut a was in 10 73, a nd t he ease with wh ich
t hl')' were defea ted hy some 3,00 0 re be l Nor man mercenartcs wo uld ind icat e th a t t hey were inadequa te
in qualft y and fe w in number. Even so, evidenc c suggests tha t t he mili ta ry ohlig a rio ns of t he T hemata
confinued to su rvive; certain ly when And ronik os I marc hed o n Constant inople in 118 1 t he hulk o f his
a rm y ..... a ~ co mpose d o f the T hema tic forc es of T hracesion . Paphlagoniu a nd x tcaca, while t he milita r)'
T he me st ruc ture o f Chaldia.x-omplc te with its Ba nda o f semi-regu lar cavalr y, survived right up to 146 1.
Aft e r 1071, ho wever. many na tive troops were being raised in ret urn fo r a n alte rna tive type of la nd-grunt
to m at held hy t he T hem atic farmers, T his was t he Pro noia ( lite rally ' Provisio n'}, which may possibly
have or iginillly evolved from t he Mosle m iq ta' (see page 17) . Th o ugh it was th en chiefly a civilia n h () l d in ~
rhere is so m... evid...nee of military se rvice occ asio nally bein g perfo rmed in exchange fo r Pron oia i as
early as t he mid - lOt h ce ntury. a nd ce rtainly in t he immedia te post-Ma nzike rt era ~l i<: h ael VII mad e
incr caxing us.' o f suc h gran ts to pay his troo ps, T he ma in difference o f th e Pro noia fro m t he old
Th c mauc gran t WJ S t ha t th e owner of th e latt e r was a self-suppo r ting fa rme r who rec e ived his land

.10

as pa yme nt for pe rfo rme d milita ry service, while t he fo rmer was a n esta te held by a q uasi-feu dal tena nt
who perfo rmed mili ta ry se rvice in e xchange for the grant, wh ich was usually sup pleme nt e d by paymen ts
in c ash a nd/or kind . But, unlike th e Th em atic gra nt, the Pronoia was no t he red itable unt il t he reign of
Michael VIII ( 1259-1282 ), usua lly being ma de o nly for a specific numbe r of ye ars ( most co mmo nly t he
ho lder's life time ). During t ha t time t he tax es a nd reven ues o f t he es tate we re pa ya ble to t he hol der
ra t her t ha n th e Imperial t reasury, while the ho lder himself - kn ow n e it he r as a Pro nc iarios o r
Pro noet es o r, more usu ally, a St ra tio tes ( 'So ld ier' ) - paid no tax at a ll. Instead he was ob liged to
perfo rm mo u nted military service, almost cer ta inly (tho ugh t his is a mu ch de bated po int) wit h a
predetermi ned number of men in th e case o f t he larger es ta tes - in t he mid- 13th ce nt ury a Lo mba rd
receiv e d t he islan d of Eu boea in e xcha nge for th e service of himse lf a nd 200 k night s, bu t whe t her such
t ro op s we re ever o bligato ry o r merely rep rese nt t he pe rson a l a t te ndan ts of the great er S tra tio tai is
unknow n , Most Stratiotai, ho wever, ob vio usly woul d have held o nly small es tates and se rved alo ne an d
in perso n,
Alt ho ugh so me me mbers o f such co ntingents as d id foll ow t he Stra tio tai were pro bab ly simi la rly
ar mou red and eq uipp ed as hea vy cavalr y o t hers were equally pro ba bly lighter-arm ed or served as
infantry ; cer ta inly as earl y as Alexius l's re ign ch urch a nd mona ster y la nds were o bliged 10 raise levies
of light infa ntry , a nd so me lesser la ndown ers also a ppear to have ser ved as infa nt ry, t ho ugh under wha t
o bligat io n is unclea r ( possibly t hey were local T hema tic tr oo ps ), Ckarly, how ever , Pro noiai were
regar de d princi pa lly as a so urce of heavy ca valry, a nd mo re a nd mo re Pro noia i were gra nted to t his e nd
in the co urse o f th e 12th ce nt ur y, th e Su a uota t ra pidl y evo lving int o a qua si-feu dal militar y aristocracy
as t heir n umb ers grew, In fact th e general resem blan ce of t his sys te m to European feud a lism is striki ng
a nd beco mes even mo re so when we learn th a t by t he beg in ning o f t he 13 th ce nt ury a t th e lat est so me
suc h land -gran ts were ac t ually ca lled F ters, a nd whe n t he F ranks con q uered vast tract s of Byza nti ne
territo ry aft er 1204 t hey fou nd t he exis ting co ndi tio ns of land-te nu re so simila r to those of fe uda l
Eur o pe th a tlit tle ad minist rative c hange ( in so me cases none whatsoeve r] was necessa ry.
Unde r Man uel l Pro no ia i were first gran ted to ' ha lf-barba rians', probab ly Curnan s o r Turks in Byza ntine
em ploy , t hough t hey had bee n used as pay me nt fo r o t her merce naries, chiefly Fra nks such as t he
Norman mention ed above, even in th e 11t h ce ntury a nd d ur ing t he 12t h ce nt ury had become t he
genera lly acce pted mea ns of main tai ning the regular a rmy as well as provincial un its. In t his fo r m
Pro noi ai survived rig ht dow n to the fall of Co nsta ntinop le in 145 3, alt ho ugh - in to ta l contradic tio n
to t he pu r pose for whic h t hey had bee n esta blished - some were rece iving e xemp tio n from th e
ob ligati on of mil itar y service by t he middle to la te-13 t h cent ur y.
Likewise man y o f t he remai ning T hem a tic soldie rs cus to mari ly e xem pted them selves fro m se rvice by
cas h paymen ts by th c end of t he I I t h ce ntur y. However , as no ted above, such T hemat ic troo ps still
served in th e 13 t h ce ntury, so me perfo rm ing garriso n dut ies in local front ier for tresses unde r office rs
called T zao usio i a nd Kast ro phy lakcs. T hese garrison troo ps incl uded foreign mercenari es as well as native
far mers, a ll bein g gran ted Pro no ia i in t he vici nit y of wh ich ever fo rtress t hey defended, T hese garrisons, of
vital imp orta nce in Anato lia, dec lined conside rab ly unde r And ro nik c s 11 at t he very e nd of t his era.
Unit Si ll'S
Alt ho ugh t he o ld Byza ntine unit organisation descri bed in ' Armies of t he Da rk Ages' survived, by the
12th ce ntu ry at t he latest , a nd probably as ea rly as th e late I l rh-ce ntu ry, the standard unit of t he
Byzantine ar my consisted of so me 3 00-500 men, compa rab le to the o ld Ba ndo n or l'agma but by thi s
later d a te ge nerally called by th e nam e Allaghio n (this term havi ng clearly derived a ne w mean ing since
the da ys of Leo VI's Tucfica, when it hall referred 10 a unit of o nly 50 men ). It is lo gical to assume tha t
th e unit's str e ngth was tec hnic ally 40 0 bUI, like the ear lier Ba ndo n, t his cou ld vary depend ing o n
wh eth e r the uni t was under or o ver th e o fficia l st rengt h. ,\ t t he siege of Co nstantinopl e in 1204, for
exam ple, t he F re nc h ch ro nicle r Ro bc r t de Clari spea ks of the Byzar uines muste ring 17 'b aule s' fo r a n
engage me nt hcfo re t he Palace of Blach em ac ; of \) of t hese he says ' t here was no one o f these 9
Ba t tles in which t here were not 3,000 knights, o r 4 or 5 in so me', a nd allo wing for de Clan's te ndency

* This term, somewhat corrupted.up peurs in the West in the 15th and 16th cen tunes as 'St radio t", the name under
which Albanians and Greeks served in Venetian employ after the fall of Const.:mti n" ple in 145 3 and subsequent
conquest of Albania by the Ottomans.

31

tow a rds e xaggera tion th ese 'b a tt les' pro bably repr esent suc h units of 300, 400 o r 500 cavalr y.
Th e term Mo ira (a un it co nsisti ng of a nu mber of Banda in t he old syste m) is also s till used
occ asio na lly in t he sou rces (a s are Ban do n a nd Tagma), bu t in general t he Allaghion a ppears to have
no w been th e la rgest unit ; for insta nce , a for ce o f 6,000 cavalry reco rded in 126 3 includ ing a minimum
o f 1,500 T urk s was o rganised as 18 A jlaghia . Smalle r un its of 4060 an d 100 men also ap pear to have
existed, probab ly indica ting th at t he AlIaghi on was sub divided into 4 un its o f 100 (official stre ngt h),
each o f .2 un its o f 50 men. Th e smalles t cavalry un it was still of 10 men . Infant ry may st ill have been
org ani sed in 16-m3n sub-units .
It sho uld also he no ted t hat un its of a ra t he r mor e ' fe uda l' c harac te r a re to be so me times found in th e
so urces. Cinnamus, for instance, records a reg ime nt under t he Empero r Man uel 'co nsisting o f th ose
neare st him in blo od , among wh om were ma ny of his most intima te associates and th ose who had
wedded his sister s' ; und ou btedl y th e Sill' o f suc h a un it wou ld, like its Frankish coun te rpa rt, adhere to
no regula tion standard what soever.
Ser vallb
Pa id se rva nts acco mpanied Hyzantinc soldiers now as in th e earlier pe riod . By th e 13t h ce nt ury th ey are
ge nerally refer red to as t he T zo uto u kon ae. Like t hei r earlier co unte rpa rts th ey were o n occasion ex pec ted
to righ t, as at Serr hac in 124(1, but t he y were ligh tly, if no t poor ly, a rme d a nd probab ly served chiefly
as stingers a nd arc her s.
Th e Navy
As in t he crus ader sta tes of Palesti ne, Byzan tine naval po we r throu ghout most o f t his era depended
heavily o n t he contingen ts of t he Ita lian mari time repu blics, particu larly Venice an d Genoa but also on
occasio n Pisa , which served in e xch a nge fo r pay a nd fa vourab le trading concessions with in t he Emp ire ,
v cncuan co lonists were presen t in Constan tino ple fro m 1084 , t hou gh t he Pisa n and Geno ese co lonies
were onl y established in I1 II a nd 1155 respectively and o n a n inferi or scale. By 1171 t here wc re so me
20, 000 v cneua ns settled wit hin t he Empire, 10 ,00 0 of t hem in Co nsta ntino ple itsel f, whi le Ba r Hc braeus
reco rds as many as .l O,OOO Fran kish merchants ( probah ly chiefly Pisan s a nd Ge noese] in Co nstantino ple
!'o y 1204 .
An agrcc mcn t made wit h th e v enertans in 1187 is fairly t ypical o f the a rrange me nts by wh ich such
a uxiliancs saved. By th e co nd itions of t his t reat y the republic o f Veni ce agreed to supply 40-100
galtey s equ ipped at t he Empe ro r's e xpense, o n wh ich 3 out of ever y 4 Ven etia n co lonists wer e to serve.
T he)' had their o wn officers, t ho ugh these had to foll ow t he o rde rs of the Byzan tine ad miral. In
emergencies suc h as a sudde n attack b)' 40 o r mo re enemy ships, in which sit uat io n no time wo uld have
bee n available to await t he ar riva l of th e galley s from v cnic e. Yhc co lo nists were o bliged to se rve instead
on Byzan tmc ship s. O n till' co nclusion of pea ce au xiliary galleys co uld re turn to Ven ice but had to be
kepi ready for furth er service. By a later agreement t he Oe nocsc. in e xcha nge for th eir re-es tablishmen t
in Galata in I ::!61 (following th e reco uq ucst of Co nstan tinop le) agreed to sup ply 100 galle ys for defe nsive
warf'are, 50 of th c m man n e.! and full y a rmed,t hc o t h er SO unm a nne d. In ad dition furt her gall eys wer e
often hired on a pu rely mercen ary basis.
Th e Byza ntine navy proper co ntinued a stea dy d...chn e, T he T he mat ic flee ts a nd Im peria l fleet were
co mbin ed under th e co mma nd of a Mcgas n ux d uring th e reign of Alext us I, but altho ugh the fleet
un de rwent a bri ef revival at t his time even Alcxius found it ex pedient to employ Vene na n ships and t heir
numbe rs stea dily increased un til th e mid- I ~ l h cen tu ry , wh e n Manu c11 tem porarily rec tified th e balance
by co ns: ruct ing a fleet of considerable pro portion s: as many as 200 ships, including galleys a nd horsetranspor ts. are recor ded in 1109 , Qu itc what reso urce s Manu e! employed to mai nla in th is fleet , how ever ,
is no t c1ca r, since it was dur ing his reign tha t many o f t he coastal districts and island s exe mpted
the mse lves from naval service by pay me nt s in rash. No t sur prisingly, the refo re, t he fleet decli ned again
under his successors so th at by 1196 o nly 30 galley s re ma ined. w hen t he flee t of t he Fourth Crusade
a pp eared befo re Constantinople in I !03 no t a single large ship remain ed serviceable in th e whole
Byzurnin e flee t, whic h by that tim e co nsis ted o f o nly 20 wo rm-e a te n hu lks, and the ~l ega s Dux when he did ap pear - was in command of a de tachme nt o f ca valr y!
l.vc n so. afl l' r Constanti nop le fell the Nicacan Despo t Thcodore I Lascaris is recor de d to have poss essed

32

a fleet of 30 galley s as early as 1205 , In th e same year Leo Gaba las, the Despo t of Rh od es, co uld
muster 20-30 galley s, 33 shi ps are reco rded under the Nicaea n Megas Dux in [ 230 , an d 10 yea rs later
Jo hn va tat zes had 30 galleys .
T he flee t had increased to so me 80 galley s by 128 3 whe n, sho r tly after his suc cessio n, And ron ikos 11
disband ed it al together, instead placi ng to tal reliance o n Genoese auxiliar y vessels, 50-60 of t hese being
e mployed by 1291 . Thi s was principally a finan cial c ut back wh ich increased tax atio n reven ue was
int en ded to recti fy c. 13 20 by th e establishment o f a Byzantine flee t o f 20 galley s; however, thi s plan
may never have been ca rried o ut.
T he Gazmo uloi
T hese we re ha lf-caste Fran ko-G reek s (o f Fra nk ish fath ers an d Greek mothers), regarded by th e
Byzun tines as particu larly good soldiers because th e ir mixed blood gave them , acco rd ing to Pachym eres,
bot h t he wild , re ckless co urage of th e Fr anks a nd th e ca lculating cautio n of th e Byza ntines. Together
wit h th c Tzako nes ( Pclo po nnesia ns - Pach vmeres plau sibl y iden tifies th em wit h th e descend an ts of
t he cla ssica l Laco nia ns, t he Spar tuns) t hey supplied a large part of t he Byzan tines' naval man po we r.
Andro nikos J1 d isbanded th em when he ab olishe d t he fleet, which was a mista ke since th ereaft er a
numbe r of t he m took serv ice wit h t he Emp ire's Fr ankish enemies, o t hers even going o ver to t he
T ur ks!
In th e 13 t h cent ur y a large num ber o f pirates - par tic ularly Genoese pira tes - also o perated under t he
Byzantine flag against t he Fra nks an d 2 succ essive Byzant ine Mcgas Duces of t he last q uar te r of th e
cent ur y ( Lica rio and Jo hn de 10 Cave) we re t hemselves co rsairs. (Som e Sy rian a nd Ro ma nia n Fra nks
also e mployed pir a te ships, such as th e 15 in t he pay of Gera rd o f Sido n at t he siege of Ascalon in
11 53.)
G EO R GI A
T he state of Geo rgia, found ed th rough t he union o f Abasgia and Ibe ria in 10 08 (the name de rives not
from a ny special associa tio n with St George but ra the r fro m t hei r Arab ic/P ersian na me, G urj o r Kurj ),
underwe nt mixed fort une s du ring t his per iod, gro wing to co nside rable dimension s before being defeat ed
in 122 1, and red uced to vassalage in 1239, by t he Mo ngols. T ho ugh Chri stia ns t he Georgia ns had no
special liking fo r the Fran ks of O utremer, but th eir co un t ry was st rategica lly sit uated o n the flan k of t he
Moslem wo rld an d at least o ne Fr ank ish writer, An seau, o bserved t hat 'the la nd and kingdom ( of
Geo rgia) a re fo r us like a rampart against th e Medes a nd Persians.'

A feu dal syste m, called Pat ro nq mo ba, prevailed in Geo rgia from the 11th cen t ury o nwa rds and mos t
Ge o rgian armies were co mposed chiefl y o f t he 'fe uda l' co ntingents o f t he no bilit y. The ru ling class were
t he Pa t ro ni, co mprised of Eristavt-Eristavni, who led th e provincial co ntingen ts in wart ime un der t he ir
o wn ban ners : Eristavni, 'co mmanders of armie s' , eq uivalent to t he Byzan tine St rategoi ; Dide bulni,
literally ' t he G rea t', subj ec t to th e local Enstavt-Eristavi (n ot to t he Ersita vi) ; Spasa lari ( er. th e Arabic
Sipahsala r); Atassistav ni, co mma nde rs of 1,000 ( o rganisati o n in Georgia was deci mal) ; and Aznauri,
t he basic ' knightl y' class. Man y az naur! had t hei r o wn fo rtr esses (som et imes no more t ha n a fo rt ified
ho use) , an d ma ny install ed castellans, called Tsikistavni o r ' heads of fo rt resses'. T he-ir 'feuda l'
co nti ngents co nsisted of th e Qma ni, clien ts resident o n th e ir esta te s, num ber s de pend ing o n t he- size of
the esta te; t hose Qm a ni who se rved well were given their ow n la nds an d improved status in retu rn. T he
e lite t roo ps we re t hose fro m t he regio n of Kurutli, a nd it was fro m a mon gst th ese that t he king
maintained a per so nal cavalry retinue, a so rt o f Fa milia , ap paren tly 200-strong unde r King Dimitr i in
th e la te- 13t h century.
No regular army was fo rmall y estahlished until th e re ign o f David 1I Aghm ashenbeli ( 1089 1125) who
recrui ted a stan ding arm y o f mercen aries fro m amo ngst t he Kipc hak s (Cuma ns) and Ossena ns ( Alans).
T he Kipchaks, se ttled in large numbers in de pop ula ted parts of t he kingdom , co uld muster 40 ,000
men on demand, as well as an elite guard unit o f 5,000. In fac t it was a new wave of these Kipc hak
mercenaries who were largel y respo nsible fo r Geo rgia's ra pid, bu t sho r t-lived , gro wt h to milit ary great ness
in t he la t e- Lj t h century un de r Gio rgi I11 ( 1156- 11 84 ) and t he celeb ra ted Q ueen T hamar ( 1184 -12 13 ),
whe n t he y were led hy a cerlai n Qubasar, In addition to t hese troo ps a la rge force o f re gular , pa id
garrison tro o ps was mainta ined in Tlffls, t he ca pita l, and in ma ny pro vincial fo rtresses ( David 11
ma intain ed as ma ny as 60,0 00 men in th is ca paci ty , o f whom a t least so me if no t the grea ter proportion

33

are certa in to have been fo reign mer cenaries.)


In fact mo st G eo rgia n ki ngs appear to have maintained su ch fo reig n tro o ps, Bagra t IV of Karat li
( 1027- 1072) even havi ng a conti nge n t o f 3 ,000 Var angian s in his employ {chie fly Russians but
possib ly including so me Scan din avian s) , as too did Q ueen T ham ar . In ad ditio n to Osse ttans a nd
Kipc haks, David 11 was even em p loyi ng seve ra l hu ndr ed Frank ish me rce nary k nights as ea rly as 1 12 1,
and Selj uks a nd T u rco m an s we re emp loyed o n other occ asio ns. All suc h tr oo ps we re respo ns ible fo r
sup plying t heir o wn armo u r an d equi pment.
A good idea of t he m ixed nat ur e o f Ge o rgian armies can be taken from a n army o f 40,000 reco rded
in 1228 t o have co nsisted o f Georgians, Arm en ia ns (fro m Greate r Arm e nia , no t Cilicia), var io us
nomads (Se rifs, Lesghs, Suans a nd J ikils) an d as many as 20 ,000 Kip ch aks. An earlie r ar my , in the reign
o f David 11 , included only l OO F rank ish k night s bu t co m pe nsat ed with 5 ,000 Alans a nd 15,0 00
Kipcha ks.
TH E MO NGOLS
Mo ngol ar m ies were organ ised o n a d eci ma l bas is. Marco Po lo re co rd s th e largest un it as be ing th e Tuk o f
100,000 men , b u t this was pro bably o nly tru e o f t he e no rmo us multi-ra cial armie s o f Mo ngo l China .
T he sta nd ard un it was t he To u man o f 10 ,000 men, c o nsist ing o f 10 Min gha ns of 1,000. Each Minghan
(al so called a Ilaraza o r, in one early inst an ce, a G u ra n) was o f 10 J agun s o f 100 men , an d each J agu n
o f 10 Ar ba ns o f 10 m en . The Arba n, the basic u n it, consisted of a n u mbe r o f Yu rt s, e ac h o f 1-3 m en
wit h a family rela t io nsh ip , and was com manded by an unr e la te d o ffice r called a Baa tut (or Baga lur).
2 o r mor e To u m an s, usua lly 3, co nst it u t ed a n arm y and one of Ih e co m ma nders was de signated the
senio r; he was accompa nied by a great drum (see note 62 in the dress a nd equipm en t se ction) w hich
co uld only be sou nded a t his comma nd , wh en it was t he signa l to a tt ack .
O th er officers were d ra .....n from am o ng th e Dark hat , a speci al cla ss o f free men, an d t he Baa t u ts,
Ncya ns a nd Nuk u ts. all noblemen by bir th ; when the Mingha n u nit s we re first formally es tablished by
Genghis Kh a n in th e early- 13t h cen t ur y each was co m manded by a Noyan, th o ugh simi lar T h o usa nd
un its called Gu ran s (' R ings') reco rd ed in 119 3 wer e commanded by office rs called G u rkhans. By the
14t h ce nt u ry the co m manders o f Mingh an s and T oum ans were mostl y p rin ces of t h e Im peria l family .
In a ddit ion t here was wh at ca n hest he de scribed as a ce nt ral corps o f 9 sta ff o fficers c alled th e Or lo k,
o f .....hom Subutai and Mukuf ar e pr o ba hl y th e bes t-kn ow n.
Milit ary se rvice was due fro m every ab le-bodied man between Ih e ages of 14 and 61 , th o ugh th e G rea t
Vasa laws of Ge nghis Kh an say 20 and over. A co lu mn o f rein fo rce men ts re cor d ed in 123 5 certain ly
co n ta ined hoys of I 3-14 ye ars o f age , thoug h t hese may o nly have been par t icip at ing in escort du ty as
part o f the ir t rai ning. On campaign ea ch man was accom panie d by a min imu m of 2 o r 3 hor ses , or o n
occas io n as man y as 6 o r 7 ; o ne version o f Marco 1'0 10 re cords each Mo ngo l o wning o n average 18
ho rses and mares. 4 horses per rider are reco rd ed in th e invasio n of K hwariz mia in 12 19 a nd 5 fo r the
Ilkha n id a t tack o n Syria in 1299. F ria r J o h n de Pian o Ca r pi ni, who wr ot e c. 1246, re cords thal if
possible a hor se ridd e n o ne da y was no t aga in ridden fo r th e ne xt 3 or 4.
Gua rd sm en and auxi lia ries
In addi t io n to t he ' line' T o uma ns t here were auxiliaries and t he Keshik . T he latt er was a gua rd un it
which o nly to ok the fiel d when t h e Kha n we nt o n ca mpaign. It is fir st mentio ned in 120 3 wh en it
co nsis te d o f 70 d ay guards I the T ur ghau t ), 80 night guard s (the Kabtau t] , 400 elite archers I th e
Kho rchin ). un d th e Baatut or Bagat ur, a n e lite of 1,000 ' Warr iors' who formed th e adva nce gu ard in
bat tle . In 1206 t he Ke shik was incre ased to To u m an stre ngt h, wit h T ur gha u t o f 1,0 00 , Kahtau t o f firs t
800 an d t he n 1,0 00, Khorc hin o f 1,0 00 a nd an add itio na l 6 ,000 Baat ut . who re m ained ju nio r t o the
o riginal Baat u t ~l i ngh a n . Ea ch o f these Kesh ik ~l i n g h a ns rod e ho rse s o f u ni form co lo u r ; th e Baatut
ho rses were black (poss ib ly fo r all 7 Mingh ans). Kesh ik wa rr io rs wer e high er in rank t ha n co m ma nders
of ' line ' Minghans, and non-co mbatants attached to t he Keshik higher in ra nk t han co m ma nd ers of
J agu ns.
A ux iliar y tro o ps ( the Cherig) in clud ed Russians, Baskirs, Vol ga Bulgar s, Alans, Geo rgians, Ar menians,
Kur ds, T ur corn ans , Cuma ns, Ulgurs, Qa rluqs, Ju rc hids, Qarakhi ta i, Kalm u ks (O tra ts) , Tanguts, Turks,
Khw arizmians, Bed ou in Ara bs, Ind ians an d Chi nese ; Ch inese t roops firs t d efect ed to t he Mo ngo ls in

34

12 14 and were mainl y inf antr y - t he fir st time the Mo ngols had used large numbe rs c f foot -sold ie rs.
Officers of t hese various natio nalit ies co uld even be fo und as gene rals in Mo ngol ar mies - a Tan gut,
for insta nce, co mma nded t he Mo ngol fo rces wh ich cr ushed t he Ala ns in 1239 - but mo re of te n Mo ngol
offi cers co mma nded a uxiliar y t roo ps a nd o rganised th e m in Mon gol fashio n.
Ho weve r, suc h auxilia ry co ntinge nts, co nsisting as t he y did of peo ples the Mo ngols had co nq ue red ,
were no t totally reliable. Even Car pini reco rds th is disside nce , say ing th a t if a n op po rt un ity sho uld
ever a rise a nd th ey co uld be sure t hat Iheir enemies wo uld not kill t hem, th e au xilia ries wo uld turn
on t he Mo ngols t hemselves a nd att ack th e m mo re fierce ly t ha n even t he e nemy wou ld . It is no su r prise,
therefo re, that we so me times find t he Mo ngols disband ing o r dist ributing t hei r au xilia ry t roop s.
Some idea of th e scale o n whic h auxiliaries were e mployed ma y be tak en from ar mies o pera ting in China
in 12 17 a nd 1225 ; th e fo rm er co mprised 10 ,000 O ngut s, 20-30 ,000 Qara khitai, l urchids a nd Ch ine se,
a nd 50 ,000 Tanguts, bu t o nly 13,000 Mo ngo ls, while t he la tt er alt ho ugh co nta ining a higher pro po rti o n
of Mo ngols (80 ,000 in fact, t ho ugh so me o f t hese were pro ba bly T ur ks) also con ta ined 20.00 0
Indians, 30, 000 Jetes and Cum a ns, and 50,000 Khwar iz mian s. Bat u's arm y whic h invaded Russia
in 123 6 was simi lar in pro po rt io ns, wit h 70- 100 ,00 0 'Tu rks' and o the r au xilia ries an d 50,000 Mo ngols.

Engineers
Mong ol engineers were largely d rawn fro m Arab, Khwa rizmi an o r Chi nese auxilia ries and priso ne rs.
Ch inese e ngineers wer e first emplo yed in 12 11 and appeared in la rge numbers by late 1213, wh ile as
many as 10,000 are re puted to have acco mpa nied t he a rm y wbich invad ed Khwariz mia in 12 19.
Th ey were e mplo ye d to build siege equ ipm e nt as and whe n req uired ; a t t he siege of Nishap ur in I 22 1
t he Mo ngols' engineers a re re puted to have const ruc ted as many as 3,000 Ballist ae, 300 ca ta pults, 700
na ptha-th rc wing e ngines an d 4 ,000 siege-ladde rs. In add itio n light en gines might be disma ntled and
carr ied by ca me ls, ya ks a nd o xe n o n a ca mpa ign.

1,000 eng ineers fro m Asia Mino r e mploy ed by If ulagu in 1253 a re reco rded to have bee n me n specia lly
t raine d in the use of napt ha a nd grenades. T here is t he possibilit y too th at the Mo ngols ma y have even
used gun po wde r, so me so urces sugges ting t he use of wha t may have bee n a crude mo rtar in 123 2, used
to disc harge a ' t hund er bom b', an iron vessel filled wit h gunpow der , while Fra nkish chro nicle rs spea k of
th e Mo ngol ar tiller y barra ge at t he Batt le of Moh i in 1241 as being acco mpan ied by ' t hunderous noise
a nd flashes o f fire.' Late r, in the invasions of Ja pan in 1274 a nd 1281 , ' Fire-ba rrels' are reco rded, and in
o ne oft-re pro d uced illust ratio n fro m th e fam o us Mo ngo l Invasio n Scro ll o f 1293 what ca n on ly be
desc ribed as so me kind of explodin g bo mb is q uite clea rly dep ic ted. Perha ps th e ' Fire-ba rrels' were
primitive ca nno n, pe rha ps not , but it is wor t h no ting t ha t Ch inese so urces ce rtainly recor d t he inventio n
in 1259 of ' Fire-la nces', wh ich were bam boo t ubes from which clu sters of pellets co uld be fire d by
gun po wde r 10 a range of so me 250 ya rds.
Tot al s tre ngth
When t hey werl: first crea ted in t he early -l J t h cen t ury th ere were 95 Mingha ns, t heo re tically giving
95 ,000 me n, th o ugh o f th e co mma nde rs on ly 90 na mes are listed , a nd one of t hese is kno wn to have
bee n dea d at t his date so t hat t here may have act ually bee n less t ha n 90 Minghans a t full st rengt h.
Th e IIkha nid vizier an d histo rian Rasch id ai-Din, who wro te c. 1306, recor ds t hat o n th e dea th of
Gengh is Kha n in 122 7 t he a rm y co mprised 129 ,000 men ; t his co nsisted o f t he J ungha r (Army o f t he
Left Wing, or East ) o f 62 ,00 0, th e Baraunghar ( Army of t he Right Wing, o r w est } of 38,000 , th e Kho l
(Ar my o f t he Ce ntre, th e Imperial Ordus ) o f 1,000 picke d men , 4 ,000 gua rds eac h for princ es l uchi,
Jagat ai, and Ogoda i (to serve as t he nucl ei o f t heir o wn multi-racia l armies) , a nd 16,000 guard s for
o t her members of th e Imper ial famrly. A varian t co py o f t he same so urce gives a to ta l of 230 ,000 , with
J ungha r of 52,000, Bara unghar o f 4 7,00 0 , Khot of 10 1,000 , Imperial Gua rd of 1.000,4 ,000 each fo r
the 3 princes, an d 17,000 guards for t he rem ainder of the fa mily . Bot h se ts o f figu res ar e slightly
suspect - wher e, for insta nce, is t he Keshik, unless o ne is to ta ke t he Khol in the form er and the Imperial
Gu ard in t he la tte r as being mista kes fo r IO,OOO?
Even so, o nly th e Mo ngols t hem selves are acco un ted for by t hese figures. Raschid al-Din also reco rds
t hat in time of war th e ~I on gol s co uld mu ster as ma ny as 1,400 ,000 men , whi le Khan Ogod a i (1 229-1241 )

35

is claimed 10 have mainta ined 5 ar mies tot allin g 1,500 ,000 me n, and if they are to be take n serio usly
such figu res must repr esent levies of vast numbers of subjec t peo ples an d aux ilia ries, in which case
co nte mpo rary re marks a bo ut th e 'legio ns o f th e Mo ngols, who e xceede d locusts and a nts in numbe r'
wou ld see m to be justifie d!
IL KHANID PE RS IA
T he Mo ngol ar mies of the Il khana te of Persia (w hich was esta blished in 1256 ) we re a t first main ta ined
by t rea su res loo ted from t he preceding adm inistra tion ; by nom adic grazi ng o n the available pas tu re
lan ds; an d by fo rced levies in cash and so me ti mes me n fro m t he existing po pul ace. Ho wever , un der
Ilkha n Gha zan ( 1296- 1304 ) and t he vizie r Raschid al-D in it became ap par ent that it was imprac tic al, if
no t imposs ible, to mai ntai n t he a rmy in t his way a ny lo nger. Th erefore a syste m co mparable to th e
ea rlier iq ta' was esta blished, ofte n even reta ining t he name iqta' but tec hnically no w ca lled Suyurghal
o r T uyul dependi ng on whe t he r t he gran t was heredita ry o r fo r t he holde r' s lifet ime o nly; the so ldie rs
had to suppo rt t he mselves from th ese gra nts. It has been plausibly suggeste d that the ter m lqt a' su rvived
in use for th e smalle r bene fices held by the ind igenous T urkish a nd Persia n peo ples, whi le th e Mo ngol
ter ms we re a pp lied to th ose lands held by Mo ngol soldiers.
Ho wever, e xce pt fo r a n inc rease in t he nu mber of Mon gol t roo ps pr esen t, milita ry or ganisa tion d id not
change d rastically fro m t ha t whic h th e Seljuks had o riginally impos ed , and Pe rsians, T urks an d
Tu rco rnans co ntinued to pla y an importan t militar y role . Additio nal elem ents of the ar my were supplied
by Kur ds, Geo rgians a nd Arm enians amo ngst o t hers. Cilicia n Ar men ia a nd t he Frank ish pri ncipality of
Antioch bo t h paid t ribute to , a nd were ers twhile a llies of, the Mo ngols fro m 1246.
One intere sting co ntinuat ion of Selju k pract ice whi ch deser ves men tion was t he e mp loy me nt of Frankish
mer ce nari es. T he mid- 13th cent ury t raveller Simon de Sai nt-Que nti n record s th at th e Mo ngols were so
impressed by the fighting spirit of t ho se Fra nks t hey enco unte red du rin g their co nq uests that t hey
forbad e t he pri nces and kings of vassal states to em ploy th em th e reaft e r, th o ugh t hey e mployed small
numbers th e msel ves - fo r exa mple Ilkha n Arghu n had at least 900 in his employ in 1290, a nd a
co mpa ny of Fra nkish crossbo wrnen was presen t a t the I1 kha nid siege of He ra t in 130 7.
As with o t he r Mo ngo l sta tes, hug e arm ies arc claimed for t he llkha na te. In 1299 G ha zan is supposed to
have mu ste red 100,000 men fo r a ca mpa ign aga inst Ma mluk Sy ria, an d this represe nted only half his
availabl e fo rces , while xtarco Polo repo rt s th at in 126 1 Hulagu was ab le to raise 300,000 .
T he Ilkha na te itself lasted o nly unt il 1354 , th ou gh its po wer de clin ed d rastica lly aft er t he deat h of the
last legiti ma te Ilkha n in 133 5.
TACTICAL METH ODS
FRANKS AN D MOSLEMS
St rate gy
For t he Fra nks, stra tegy largely involved defe nding t heir conq uests, by t he building a nd hold ing o f
for tresses a nd, in time o f war, the posi tio ning of f ield a rm ies where th ey co uld pro tect th e large st
a mo unt of agr icult ural lan d a nd th e mos t to wns, for t resses a nd ro ads, t he ir primary fu nction be ing to
inte rfe re with any Moslem a tt em pt to tak e a Fra nkish fo r t ress. But at t he sa me time t hese a rmies were
usually o nly c rea ted by d rawing fro m th e garr iso ns o f t he loca l fort resses (usually near ly th eir tot al
str engt h - ju st 2 sick me n we re lef t in Faba when its Templar garri so n rod e to des tr uctio n at Cresson
in 11 8 7 ), so th e defeat of a field ar my co uld mean th e almos t inevita ble loss of several castles.
It was the ref o re preferable to de fea t t he ene my by stra tegy ra t her t han ba il ie, as in Count Roger of
Antioch's ca mpa ign of 1115, Baldwin IV's ca mpaign of 1 182, an d th e bailli G uy de Lusigna n's Jezreel
ca mp a ign of 1183 ; G uy , no w king, was a t tem pti ng to pursue t his sa me pol icy in 118 7 before he
succ umbe d to t he ill-ad vice of Ger ard de Ridefor l and led his ar my to des tr uctio n at Haltin. ( Ha tlin
is in fac t a classic exa mp le of th e da ngers of d rawing o n fort ress garri son s to mak e up a field army.
Most of t he kingd om's castles a nd wa lled towns had bee n denud ed of th e ir defenders fo r t he ca mp aign,
a nd t he dest ruc tion o f th e Frank ish ar my resulted in most of th e kingdom falling int o Mosle m ha nds
with in the ne xt 2 mont hs.)

36

Saracen stra tegy was therefore obvious - 10 defea t the Fra n kish field a rmy, the n red uce the ir thi nly
de fended cas t les and fort ified to wns. T he disadvantages, ho wever, were t hat b ring ing the F ra nk s 10
battle a nd red ucing their fo rls cou ld be l ime-co nsumi ng, and if Mosle m ar mies had o ne major sho rtco mi ng tr was t heir inab ility to re main in the field fo r pro lo nged perio ds. They tended to dis pe rse o f
Iheir o w n a cco rd if d isaff ect ed (as wa s o ft e n the case ) o r u nable to ac hieve military succe ss, pa rticu lar ly
at t he o nse t o f wint er, the a pp roach o f cold , wet weather usually re sult ing in t he dispersal o f Mosle m
ar mies. T he F ra nks, th er ef or e, had to tr y a nd o u tlast t he Moslem s in t he field, th us fo rest alling a ny
cha nce o f milita ry success an d by their ve ry p resen ce hast en ing t he d ispersa l o f th e Mosle m army.
Tactics
Tho ugh t he tact ics of the Fra nks in a se t-piece battle in O ut reme r were similar to t hose e m ployed in
Europe a nd desc ribed in ' A rmies of Feud a l Europ e' , c hma xing in the del ivery of t he knigh ts' decisive
dose-order c harge, th e ir ' fa mous charge' t ha t co uld ' make a ho le t h ro ugh the wa lls o f Ha hylo n' , such
tact ics co uld only he emplo yed successfully against an enemy w ho wo uld sta nd and take its full imp ac t.
And a las, in t his the majo ri t y o f Moslem ar mies o f this era , being largely o f T ur kish c o m posit io n, did
not o blige. Neve rth el ess unde r favo u ra ble ci rcumstances F ran kish kn igh ts co uld ma noe u vre the ene my
into a sit uat ion in wh ich it was impossib le tp evad e t he cha rge ( as a t Arsouf in I l l) I I, and o n occas io n
eve n th e T ur ks mig h t decide o f t heir own a ccord to stand u p to it, desp it e t he fac t th a t man for ma n
t hey were no ma tch fo r the F ran ks in d ose co m ba t.
Usuall y , ho wever, t he Tur ks pre ferred to ma ke t he best possible use o f t hei r principal advantages o ver
t he Fra nks - t heir a rche ry and t he ir mo bilit y. Ho rse-a rchers, o f c o urse, were t he backbone o f all T ur kish
a rmies. in Syria just as mu ch a s in Cen t ral Asia. an d t he F ra n kish c h ro nicles of t his e ra ar e full o f
refere nces to the effect s of t hei r llrche rY,t heir sho wer s o f a rrow s which fe ll 'J S t hou gh ra in was Ialfin g
f ro m t he sky.' ' Whe n t he first ra nk had q uite em pt ied th ei r q uivers a nd shot all their arro ws,' wri tes
Willia m of T yre o f till.' Ba tt fe of Dor ylae u m ( 1097 ). ' the second , in whi c h t here we re stil l mo re ho rsemen .
ca me on an d began to sho o t mOH' de nsel y t han one co uld belie ve. T he T ur kish sq uad ro ns a t o nce fl u ng
the mselves up o n o ur a rm y, and loos cd such a q ua n ti ty o f arro ws Iha t yo u wo uld have though t ha il
was fall ing from t he air ; hard ly ha d t he firs t cloud o f the m fa llen , de scri bing an ar c, th an it was
fo llo wed b y a second, no less de nse.' Suc h a high ra te o f fire co uld he mai n tain ed , in fa ct, t hat Amb ro ise
repo rted o f King Ric hard 's adva nce to Arso uf in II I) I t hat t here was no t as mu ch as 4 feet o f groun d
to be found t ha t was entirely Ircc o f spen t arr ow s," On e of th e Fra n kish deau a t Ager Sang uinus in
1 1 19 had as many J S 40 arro ws in him, lh n al-Qala nisi repo rt ing o f t he sam e ba tt le t ha t t he re wer e
'dead ho rses b rist ling like hedge hogs with the arr ow s st ic king o u t o f t he m,' an d more t ha n a ce n tu ry
late r a t El Ma nsu rah J o inville t ho ugh t himself an d his hor se fo r tun a te to have been wo un d ed by
arro ws only 5 an d 15 l imes res pectively .
At t he same time, however, t he effect iveness o f Tur kish arc hery sho uld no t I'll' o veresti mate d: duri ng
t he w ho le 4 \1:z mo n th siege o f T yre in I II 1 th e Fr anks lost o nly 1 .000 men acco rd ing 10 l bn al-Qalanisi,
despite t he fact tha t he repo r ts the Moslem ga rrison (w hich was. ad mitted ly, far fr o m e xc lusively
T ur kish in co m po sitio n ) to have disc harged 20. 0 00 arro ws in o ne day's fighti ng alone! A nd it s hould
also he bo rne in mind t hat T u rk ish a rro ws were rela tivel y ligh t a nd co uld stri ke - a nd per haps pe netra te ar rnnurv even sim ple q uilted arm o ur , with o ut ac t ually wound ing the wea re r: at Arso uf, fo r e xa m ple,
F ra nk ish infa n t ry a re recorded by Be ha cd-Din mar c hing along uncon cernedly with up to 10 arr o ws
st uck in th e ir armo ur, thou gh the ca use fo r t his was ofte n tha t t he arro ws wer e to o ligh t and shot a t
too great a ra nge (several sou rces ref er to t he 'as to nishi ng' range fro m wh ich T u rks so met imes o pe ned
fire and later tests rep orted hy Sir Ralph Pay ne-Ge uwey reco rd T ur kish bo ws bein g able to fir e up 10
4110 ya rd s - t ho ugh a t anythi ng mu ch o ver 100 yar ds its penetrative value was mu ch red uced ). T he
so urces im ply th a t a t closer range th eir a rro ws became fa r more e ff ec ti ve, A nna Co m nena for instance
reco rd ing th a l th ey could pass d ea n th ro ugh I n u narmou red ma n.

To mainlain such .....ithen njl: rates or fire il was obviously nect's~r~' to ensure lhat sufficient ammunition Won
available, Each man carried at Ieasl one and often 2 01 3 quivers, each capable or containing up 1060 arrowsfothcr
arrows could he carried in the ho w case, sluffed into bou ts 01 hell, and 5<1 on. litlle informat ion i' available rep rd in ~
replenishing empty quivers on the ball lelidd . but al ll alt in Saladm 3ppalent l>' had 70 camels b den .....ith arrows,
as well as 400 loads of spare ammunitton for them.

J7

l nevitahly such arc hery was particular ly effective against un ar moured ho rses. a nd th e T ur ks were well
aware o f the importa nt ro le o f ho rses in Fr an kish tacti cs ( wri ti ng of Ha t tin , Abu Sham ah o bse rved how
th e Frank ish knig ht 'so lon g as his horse is safe and so un d, ca nno t he felle d ... but as soo n as the
ho rse is killed t he knig ht is t hrow n down a nd ca ptu red' ). Imad ad-Din reco rds t he heavy toll th e T ur kish
arro ws too k o f t he Pra nks' horse s t hat day, hardly any of the tho usand s tha t were present bei ng left
alive.

It wa s fo r th is reason . jo prot ect t he knights' horses until th e mo men t of th e charge, t hat Fra nkish
infant ry usually pre ceded t he cavalr y, defending th e knight s ' like a watt' as Be ha puts it ; lmad too USl' S
a simila r expression , de scr ibing Fra nk ish infan t ry as 'a wall of a rms'. At Jaffa in 1191 Rich ard fo r med
up his infa ntry wit h spearrnen in th e first ra nk, shie lds to t he fronl and spear-butts braced agai nst t he
gro und , wi th :2 cross bo w-a rmed men behind eac h of th em (on e loading, one firing ), a veri ta ble 'wa ll o f
arm s' indeed. o ne wit h wh ich o n th at occa sion the Turks re fused to dose. Loui s IX' s infa nt r y
employed mu ch t he same fo r ma tion whi lst hol di ng t he beac hhead at Da miella in 1249 , hut in hot h
sit uat ions Ihe Franks wen: und en iably on th e defensive. Mor e usually t he y seem 10 have fo r med up in
line in rela tively d ose or de r pro ba bly several ra nks deep, th ose ar med with bow s and crossbo ws
( co nstit uting a large percentage o f Fran kish infan t ry) usually to the fo re so tha t t hey co uld return
the fire of the T urks, who soo n learnt a hea lth y respect for the c rossbo w in particular ; indee d , t he
presen ce of c rossbo w-a rmed infan t ry in Fran kish arm ies may have been t he pr incipal reason why T ur kish
horse-arc her s often o pe ned fire at suc h lo ng range t hat th eir ar row s hall litt le rea l hop e of pe netr at ing
armo ur.
Willia m of T yre, in his acco unt of th e Bat tle of Mar; es-Safa r in 1126, in fac t c redi ts Fran kish infa ntr y,
presuma bly arch ers, with t he sa me tact ic as the Tu rk s in t hat t he y ' tur ned their attentio n to wo un d ing
t he hor ses of t heir adve rsaries and th us rendered t he ride rs easy victi ms to th e Ch rist ians (Le . th e
knights) who were foll o wing: In t he same acco unt he also gives a good descr ipt ion of th e rol e of
infant ry in close co mba t, relating ho w ' t hey ins ta ntly des patch ed wit h t he swo rd any wounded o r
falle n infi del whom th ey chanced to find a nd thu s preve nted all possibility of esca pe. T hey lift ed up
t hose (o f th eir o wn cava lry) who had been thro wn do wn and resto red the m to t he fray . T he y sent
t he wo unded back to the baggage train to rece ive ca re.' (At th e sa me ba il ie we also have one of th e few
refe ren ces to Tu rk ish infan t ry in action , Fulcher of Chartr es des cribing Dam ascen e infant ry tr ained
' to spring up a rmed he hind t he ho rseme n, who when th e e nemy drew nea r desce nded an d fought on
foo t ; fo r so th ey hop ed to d isorder th e Fra nks hy attac king t hem with infant ry o n t he o ne side and
cava lry o n the o t her .' )
But in addi tion to th e ir a rc her y t h... T urk s had a seco nd major tactic al adv ant age over the Fr ank s in th e ir
mobility . which ena bled th e m to evad e t he Fra nkish c ha rge an d successfully employ hit-and-ru n
skir mishing tactics. But ab o ve all it e nabled them to att ack the Franks on th e ma rch, sho we ring th eir
co lumns wit h arrows, sud de nly closing and as sudde nly falling bac k, an d har assing in every way the
a rmy's adv ance . At tack ed thus the Fr anks had no rea l o ption but to press resol utely o n, relying on t heir
solid it y of army to det er t he T urks, kee ping toget he r so closely t hat ' if an apple had bee n th rown a mongst
the m , it wo uld no t have fallen to th e ground with out ilto uching a man o r a horse.' T he infan t ry
ma rched o n the o utside of t he co lumn o r o n th e Ilank nearest to th e e nem y, th ose in th e rear (aga inst
which most a t tack s were d irect ed ) of te n havi ng to ma rch backwards in o rder to bea t o ff the re peated
T urk ish at tack s, the ca va lr y confo rming th eir ow n pace to th at of th e infan try "tha t the rank s might
no t be bro ken a nd th e enemy given a cha nce to break in upo n t he formation '. Often , in fact , the infant ry
eve n carried their o wn dead on ca mels and pack-ho rses as t hey ma rched , so as to co ncealt he nu mbe r
o f casualt ies from t he ene my.
As ment ion ed, t he T urk s co ncentrat ed o n th e rea rguard whe n atta ck ing a Fran kish co lumn, in t he hop e
that it would lie slowed do wn sufficie ntly to ca use a gap be tween it and the ma in body , which co uld
th e n he ex ploi ted (as ha ppened at Mo unt Cadm os in 1148 and nearly happened at Halt in in 11 8 7 ).
Heavy att acks were also often ma de on t he vangua rd in the hope t hat t he whole co lumn might t hus be
hatr ed. Often they wo uld a lso ma ke sho r t, co nt rolled c ha rges in th e ho pe tha t, in the wo rds of Abu
Shama h. jhe Fra nk s wou ld he 'ca rr ied awa y b)' blind f ury' an d ' wo uld attac k us and in this way wo uld
give us t he o ppo rt unit y to d ivide and bre ak their mass.' Con ce nt rate d ar chery co uld likewise goad
Fra nk ish knights into a n imp e tuous co untera tt ac k, as it did at Arsou f in Il q I. T he Fran ks, ho wever ,
learnt in t ur n to tr y an d co nt ro l the ir coun tera t tac ks, t he kn ight s chargi ng ou t onl y to dr ive t he e nemy

38

awa y to a safe d istance if he ca me too clos e, befor e ra llyi ng an d faUing bac k to the mai n co lumn Lth ...
a ut hor of t he It inera rium like ns th is to bea ti ng off a ny 'wh ich , though yo u may d rive it off, will re t ur n
dir ect ly yo u cease yo ur ef for ts' ). 0 ,,10 o f De uil, a par ticip ant in Lou is VII's cr usade , gives a good
de scri ption of t he o rgan isa tio n of a Fr an kish co lumn o n th e march which includes a ll t hese poi nt s:
'Becau se t he T ur ks were q uick to flee o ur me n were co mma nded to e nd ure. un til they rece ived an o rde r,
th e a t tacks of t heir ene mies; and to wit hdraw for thwit h when recalled . . When th ey had lea rned th is,
t he y we re also ta ught t he o rde r of march so th a t a person in fro nt wou ld no t ru sh to t he rea r a nd th e
guards o n t he Ilanks wo uld no t fall into disorde r. Mo reo ver t hose who m nat ure o r fo rtu ne had made
foo t-so ld iers ... were d ra wn up at th e rear in o rd er to o ppose with t heir bo ws the ene my 's arrow s.'
In fac t severe pe nalties awaite d a ny man wh o bro ke ra nks. Exa mp les of battles fo ught on th e mu ch
incl ude Il ab ( I I 19) , Mo unt Cadmos ( 1148), Il att in (1 18 7) a nd Arso uf (I 19 1).
Because of th eir military prowess th e co nti nge nts of t he Milita ry O rders usually held the dangerou s
statio ns of vangu ard a nd reargu a rd o n t he ma rch , bei ng t he best disc iplined t roo ps availa ble to th e Franks;
Iacq ues de Vitr y rela tes how t hey fo ught ' no t rashly or diso rderl y but wisely and wit h all ca uno n '", be ing
th e first to a t tac k a nd t he last to ret reat . T hey were no t a llowed to turn their backs and nee, nor to
re tr eat wit hout orders.' One car t ula ry o f t he 13t h cent u ry ac tu ally sta tes t hat it was c usto mary fo r t he
Ord e rs to ho ld th e vangua rd an d rearguar d positio ns, and certain ly th e prac tice was com mon enough
fo r t he Ma mluk Sult an Haiha rs to march o ut o n on e occasion with ca pt ured Hospit alle r a nd Te mplar
banners in th e va n in o rder to foo l t he Fr anks. Exa m ples of t he practice to be foun d in co nte mpo rary
so urces include Te mplars holding the van a t Mou nt Cad mos a nd, with t he Hospitallers, th e rea r at
lIa t tin ; Hospitallers t he fear a nd Te mplars the van at Arsou f a nd in Galilee in 1204 ; a nd Ilosp ita llers
t he van a t Carou bher in 1266 . T his c usto m may a lso be imp lied in de Vit r y's wo rds about t he bre t hre n
'being t he first to attack and the last to re t reat .'
Th e other principal use to which t he T urks put the ir mo bilit y was in feigning flight , still a characte-ristic
Turkish tact ic. T he feigned n ight co uld assume- o ne o f 3 different forms, e it he r a steady re t rea t lasting
seve ra l days, desig ned to weary th e enemy an d dr a w him away fro m his bases; as bai t for a pre-arra nged
a mbush : or as deliberat e provocat ion in t he hope t hat t he e nemy wou ld t hro w ca utio n to t he- wind and
c harge in pursuit, t hus disrupting his formatio n. Exa mples of th e fe igned flight in prac tice inclu d...
lIarr an (1104 ), Senna bra (1113), Ha rim (1 164 ), al-Babein (J 167) and Ga l a (123 9 ). T he Fra nks too
seem to ha ve occasionally e mploye d th is ruse, Ta ncred a pp arently feig ning nigh t a t Artah in I 105, while
Wi1Iia m o f T yre describes in de tail how Baldwin 11 successfully e mployed th is tact ic agains t t he Fa timids
at Ascalon in 1125 in co njunctio n wit h a co ncealed amb ush, de spa tc hing a deco y body o f tightar med ho rse men to lure t he Moslems in to his t rap.
These 'light-ar med horsemen' may have bee n Turco poles, so me ti mes used in a light cavalry role by t he
Fra nks. At least, th ey see m to have o ften preceded t he knights; at Sarmi n in I ll S, fo r e xam ple, and at
Ager Sangui nu s in 11 19 , we find t hem in a dva nce of th e knight s, on the for mer occasion at least
fighting as ho rse-arc he rs, bUI in bo t h insta nces the y app ear to have been pu shed o nto t he knights beh ind
th em . Even th e Livre au Ro i seems to imply that t hey were custo ma rily placed in fro nt o f th e knight s,
sta ting tha t the Con st able's t roo p held th e first place in battle af ter th e Tur copoles. An o t her occ asio n
on wh ich t hey are recorded being em plo yed as hors e-arc he rs in a skirmishing role ta kes place duri ng t he
T hird Crusade, when King Ric hard 'se nt his arch ers forward in th e van with th e T urco po les a nd
crossbo wme n, to sk irmi sh with the T ur ks and strive to press t hem till he co uld arrive.' Und oubtedly
the re arc o t her unreco rded occasions too o n whic h th e" T urco poles fo ught as ho rse-archers, bu t t his
aspect should no t be overe mphasised ; t he infreq uenc y wit h wh ic h it does occ ur in the so urces tends to
suggest t ha t th ey were no t par ticular ly effec tive in t his role (thou gh he doe s not reco rd how they
fo ught, WiJlia m of T yre writes of the Tu rco polc s at al-Ba be in in 1167 th at they were 'fo r the most
pa rt , useless' - pro ba bly as a result of Fran kish misuse rath er t ha n milita ry inco mpe te nce ). It is q uite
proba ble th at instead they of te n fo ught a long side the Fra nkish knight s a nd sergeants. They are also
occ asio na lly recor ded in a reco nnaissa nce role (as, fo r ex ample, in th e Rule of t he O rder of t he Te mple ).
In fact in reality knij:h ts of the ." ilitary Orders could be just as w ilful and headstrong as their secular counterparts,
if nol mo re so: .....Itness, for example, the actions of the Templars at Marj ' Ayyun (1179), Cresscn (1187) and El
~I ansu lah (1250), and of the ltospitaJle rs at Arsc ur. But, it should be noted, in all but the last of these instances the)'
....ere foUo.....in/l lhe orders of their Grand Masters, .....hile the Hospitallers at An ouf .....ere following the example of
their Marshal.

J9

T ho ugh so far o nly T ur kish tac tics have: been de scribed , it sho uld nol be assu med tha t all Mosle m armies
fo ughl in the same way , u~ing hcrse-arcbers. skir mishing tact ics a nd t he fe igned flight . Th e Arabs o f
Faumid Egyp l e mplo yed none of t hese, t hough small num bers of allied or mercena ry T ur kish ho rsearchers Vtry oc casio nally a ppear in t hei r armies (as at Ra mla in II OS). Instead th ey fo ught with swor d.
mace and couched la nce ver y mu ch like the Fra nks. Usamah (him"Cl( a Syrian rather Iha n Egypt ian
Ara bl descrihing in detail how t he lance sho uld be held to bes t effect in th e ch arge, held by the rider
'as tightly as possible with his hand and und er his arm , close 10 his side. and (h e] should let his ho rse
run an d d fect t he required thrust : T heir a rchers were infanlry ra the r t han horsemen , su pplied ma inly
by Suda nese ghulams; like t he arch ers o f the Franks these usu ally pre ceded the cava hy in battle.
Earlier sou rces record that th ey wer e e x pert marksmen .
Ibn Kha ld un sla les Ihal the Fa urruds e mploy ed ~ princ ipal formations in ba t tle, th ese be ing t he Pe rsian
la ct ic o f aJv ancin g in line in o rga nised divisio ns, and the Bedo uln o r Ber ber ta ct ic o f altackinil in sma ll,
d isorp nised gro ups. a nd he observes t hat rhe Persia n method was the more sur e o f vict o ry in be ing
we lt-o rganise d an d 'a s impregnab le as a co ntinuo us s tone wall o r a st ro ngly const ruc ted fort: As
alrea dy me ntioned , archers form ed t he first rank , with spea rme n in th e second and ca valry in th e th ird,
elue units usuall)' form ing th e ce ntre, wh ere th e arm y' s mai n standards flew ; th e den sit y of th e
formatio n de pe nded on th e st rength of th e ene my . Sometimes numeric al superiority permuted an o utfla nk ing mo veme nt, a nd Bedo um s are o fte n e ncoun te red in this role .
For a se t-piece ba t tle the Ayy uhid s an d ~la m l u ks used iI very sim ila r for mat io n, bUI usuall y with out t he
inf antr y, Th ey d rew up in J div isions, co nsisti ng of ce nt re , left and right, still with the e lite units and
sta ndards in the cen t re ( usually th e al-H a bq a and ror Ro yal \la mluks, with the amirs' co ntingents o n the
flank s). The ~l a rn l u k s in add iti on plac ed auxiliari es o n th e extreme wings, usually Bedo uins o n one
wing a nd T urc o ma ns o n t he o t he r, t n baute it was not un common fo r on e wing o r bo t h to give way.
vict o rs and vanqu ished dashing from the field in pur suit o r rout an d leaving th e ce ntre to resolve th e
ba tt le (lhis occ urred at Ac re in I 1IN a nd at 1I0 ms in I ~81. for exa mple} ,
Skirm ishC' rs usually preced el1 Ihe ma in bed )' o f ca va lry. either T urco ma ns o r th e hes t marksmen. Imad
dCS4:Tl hinl!- how a t Hat tin Saladi n 'picked o ut the adva nce guard o f archers' from each compan y. while a t
Arso uf th e Frankish sou rces record Iighl ca valr y 'co ming down at us in fu ll c harge and hurling da rts a nd
arrows as fast JS t h~'y co uld ' whil e th e ' well-ord ered phal anxes of the Turks with e nsigns fi xed o n th eir
lances' were d rawn up beyond Ihem. Infa nt r y si ill sometimes preceded the cavalry, but und er the
~I a m l u k s th ey were e xt remc ly unco mm on e xce pt in s ieges a nd the ~la ml u ks themselves rarely . if ever .
Iough t o n foo l. ( As ea rly as 11'1~ Ihe tnneranu m records t he following alleged de bate be t ween some of
SalaJi n's maml uks and Kurd ish soldiers: 'T he Kurds said. " Yo u mam luk s will have to go on root to
sie ze t he king a nd his peopl e, while we keep wat ch o n hor sebac k 10 cut off th eir nigh t towar ds Ihe
ca mp." BUI the mamluk s a nswered . " It is rathe r yo ur bu siness to go o n foot . fo r we are no ble r than yo u.
We arc co nte nt with Ihat kind o f warfa re ..... hic h rightl y be long s 10 U5. Th is foo t service is your co nce rn. " ' )
HI E BYZAN TIN ES
' When Emperor ~l ,,"uel l o ok over the Impe ria l of fice , he beca me co nce rned as 10 how the Rom a ns ( Le.
th ... Byu nlines) mig hl impro ve their arma ment for th e fut ure, It had previously bee n cus to mary for
th e m to be a rml'd wit h rou nd shield s and fo r t he most pa rt 10 ca rry qu ive rs a nd de cide ba t tles by
bo ws.' Such a re l he wor ds of t he c hronicle r C tnn amus in t he 12t h ce nt ury. Indeed t he bo w had a lway s
hcc n, a ndeve n af h' r Manud 's refor ms wou ld co ntinue to be, a pri nci pal rect or in Byza ntine tac tics ,
bo th in t he ha nds o f native troops a nd - mor e es pecially - in (he hands of t hei r Asiat ic mercenari es.
Byzant ine appr...cia tion o f th e bo w as a major weapon .lOlled hac k many centu ries, eve n as far back as
rh... days o f t he Ro man Emp ire, an d co nsta nt co nfl ic t with armies comprised c hiefly o f swa r ms of light
ho rse-archers o ve r th e following cen turies had repe a tedly served to confirm its Impor tance in warf are.
Ho rse-a rc hers in pa rticular t here fo re played an imp o rta nl role in Byza nt ine tact ics no w as ea rlier. a nd
t hrou ghou t the co urse o f t he C rusaJ C' era lar ge co nt mge nts o f horse -archers appear in every Byza nt ine
army that is recor ded, pr incipally supplied by auxiliaries o f T ur kish extracuon " (Uzes. Seljuks

Sur prisin~l)' such Turkish ilu\ ilurirs were usuaUy t'\ uemely relbble - lM Pechc: nep al Manzikt rl. (or eumple,
remained loyal tven in ad~uily , and "'e often enroenter ('uman, in Byzanline SL'rvK-e fiP1l in~ aJainu "barbarian'
('uma n\. S ndleu 10 say, however, dC'wnion'lare somelimes recorded.

'0

Pec he negs, Bulga rs, H ungaria ns, C u muns, eve n Mo ngols, also Alan s and Geor gi:m s ) bu t also , u n ul t he
thir d quarter o f th e 12t h ce n tu ry. incl udin g nat ives.
T he ir ma in ro le o n t he ba ttleficld was a s skirmishc rs, in which ca paci t y we o fte n find Ihe m utilising
Iheir t rad it ional T urkish tact ics o f harassme nt , fei gned fligh t an d am b ush as de sc ribed o n page 38. And
like t he Turks, the Byza nti nes to o so o n ca me to ap p recia te the im po rt a nce of the ho rse in F rankis h
tac tics, co ncen l rat ing t he ir fi re o n t he k nights' mou nt s; the Ale xiad o f Anna Com ncna rec o rds ho w in
1083 Alex tus I ordered his troops {a ppa re n tly cava lry , h UI possib ly foo l-so ldiers ) ' to dr ive har d o n t he
hee ls o f ( t he Fra nk s) . , but nOI to figh t at close-q uar ter s; t hey were to shoot grea l num bers o f a rro ws
fro m a di stan ce and a t t he horses rathe r t han t he riders. Ca tc hi ng u p wit h th e Kd ts (i .e,lhe Fr an ks),
t her ef o re, t he y ra ined d own a rrows on t heir mo u n ts an d t h us co m ple tel y upset t he ride rs.' Even in t he
13th c en t ury, a t Pelago nia, t he Byza nti nes' Tu rk ish a ux iliaries we re o rder ed to shoo t do wn t he F rankish
horses, a con tem po ra ry recor d ing how t hey 'slaugh te red t hei r steeds a nd won t he ba tt le' !
Again st T u rkish armies suc h tact ics inevita bly met wit h less success, t he Tur ks in t u rn freq ue n tly
co nce n t ra t ing th eir o w n fire o n t he horses o f th e ir Byzantine ad versa ries; Niccphoros Breyen nius, in his
Co m men ta rii, d esc rib es ho w a t Ma nzike rt in 10 71 o ne o f Al p Arslan 's co m ma nders 'orde red his men 10
surr o u nd t he Byzan tines and d isch arge a ra in o f a rro ws agai nst th em from all sid es. T he Byzan t ines,
see ing t heir ho rses st ruc k by a rro ws, we re fo rced to pursue th e T u rks . .. bu t th ey suffered heavily
when t he y fe ll inlo a m bushes a nd Iraps.' And o f an earlier campaign All a liates reco rds ho w Pec hc neg
hor se-ar c hers ' pa nic ked th e ho rses o f th eir adv ersaries b y th e wounds t ha t t hey inflic ted and ...
fo rced th e Byzan t ines 10 flee igno mi nio usly.' It was in t he ho pe o f red ucing th e effect s o f suc h tac tic s
tha t Alc xius evolved a new form at io n, whic h is u nsuccessfu lly desc ribed in th e Ale xiad as hav ing ' th e
ra n ks so orga nised t hat th e T u rks wo uld have to shoo t f rom th e ir right a t t he Roman left, wh ich was
protec ted by t he shield; the Ro mans, o n th e cont rary, would shoo t left -ha nded at t he T urkish e vp osed
righ t"; perh aps a line an gled away fro m t he Tur kish fo rm ati o n is inte nd ed, bu t it is u nfo rtunately
im possible to be sure.
Ano t her form a tion ad o pted in th e face o f a T ur kish arm y was the close-o rde r colu mn alrea d y desc ri bed
as used by th e Fra nks, a nd in fac t it was pro bably th e Em pero r Alex ius wh o f irst ta ught t he F ra nks
o f th is tac tic, as ea rly as 109 6 ( a t least , A nna tells us t ha t he tol d t he m 'h ow to d raw up a ba ttle-line,
ho w 10 lay a m b ushes' a nd ' no t to pu rsue far wh en t he enem y ra n away in flig hl' ). T he Ate xtad has
left us with a go o d descripti o n of such a co lumn, as em ployed in the Philo me lio n campaign o f 1 1 16,
de scribi ng ho w t he Byza ntincs ' ma rc hed in a d isci plined way, keeping in ste p 10 t he sound of the
flut e ... In fac t th e scrricd ra nks of cl ose-lo cked sh ields and ma rc hing men gave the imp ression o f
im mov a ble mo u ntains; an d wh en th ey cha nged di rec tio n th e who le bo dy mo ved like o ne huge beas t,
a nima ted a nd d irect ed b y o ne single mind ... T he ret u rn jo u rne y was ma de slo wly and at a n a n t' s
pace, so to s pea k, with t he ca ptives, wo men and chil dre n, an d all t he booty in th e centre o f t he column.'
(11 is also in te rest ing to no te th a t the T ur ks' reac tio n to t his fo rmat io n was Ihe sa me a s if it had been a
F ra nkish co lu m n, co ncen t ra ti ng the ir a tt ack s o n the rea rgua rd a nd vang uard an d skirmis hi ng alo ng t he
flan ks.]
Ho weve r, t he ty pical Byza n tine battle a rray rema ined a se ries o f succ essive lines, so me ti mes as many as
4 bu t more usuall y 2 or per ha ps 3. Th e first line was freq ue ntly co mp rised o f t he weake r o r least relia ble
co n tingen ts, presu ma bly in the ho pe th at th ey would successfully diso rgan ise t he enemy whi le at the
sa me time abso r bing the im pact o f his initia l charge (partic ula rly im po rta nt when figh ti ng F ra nk s,
w hose first c harge was recognised by th e Byza nti ncs as po te n t ially 'i rresis ti ble' ). T he seco nd line had the
task o f rei nfo rci ng t he first if necessar y a nd o f fru st ra ti ng e nem y att e mp ts a t o u t fla nking, t hereby
pro tec t ing t he first line 's rear. Skirrnishcrs ( Le. ho rse-a rc hers! usuall y preceded t he a rm y and /or wer e
positio ned o n t he flank s (d e tac h men ts so me times being co nceale d fa r o u t o n o ne or e th e r fla n k, as
at Ka lau ra in 10 78 ), b u t t hey ca n also be fo u nd fo rming t he seco nd, th ird or even t he fo ur t h line ; at
Durazzo in 108 1, fo r instan ce. we f ind t he v ardar lo ts ta regiment of T ur ksl for min g t he seco nd line,
be hind th e Varangia ns, th e co m ma nde r o f t he latt er being inst ruc ted ' to o pen his ra n ks q uic kly fo r
them ( by moving to left a nd righ t) w henever t hey wan ted to c harge o u t a gainsl th e Ke us: an d to clos e
ran ks again and ma rch in close orde r whe n t hey had with d rawn .' Skirmishe-s o pe ra tin g in ad va nce of t he
main arm y generally wit hdr ew t hus wh en t hr ea tened ,tho ugh usually th ey to ok ref uge behind la nce-armed
ca valry rather th an infa n try; al ternatively they so me t imes scatt ered to lef t and right in tb e fa ce o f a n
e nem y c harge , e nci rcl ing his fla n ks in the process. T he lance rs t hems el ves ad vance d in close o rder,

41

appa ren fly c ha rging wit h t he lan ce co uc he d ( th ou gh it was see mi ngly on ly un der the Empero r N an uet
th at By za n ti ne ca valry fir st 'excelled t he meute of Fr en ch m en and It a lia ns' in t his fo rm o f co m bat not that this stopped a 13th ce nt u ry F rank desc ri bi ng a sing le Fr ankish kn ighl as worth :W Byzant ines").
O th erwise fo rma tio ns a nd ta ct ics a p pea r to h ave d iffered litt le fro m t ho se desc ribed in 'Arm ies o f
t he (l ar k Ages' . l he role of th e infa ntry hav ing changed only in beco ming per haps even m or e
seconda ry .
T H E MO l'O GO LS
T he ta c tic s o f the Mo ngol s (or 'Tartars' as mediaeval Fr an kish authors ca lled the m) wen' sim ila r to t hos e
o f th e l u rLs, havi ng Ihe ir origin in the same steppe tr ad it io ns. Like the T ur ks th ey relied primarily o n
Ihe ir mohiht) and the u se o f the bow, many so urces tesl ify ing 10 their sk ill in archery - Fr e denck 11
des..'ribed th em ;u ' mc o m pa rabl e archers', w hi le Ma rco Po lo 5.1ys Iha l th ey wer e ' the best tha t ar e k nown
10 the world.'

,h with Ihe T u rks , their mobility dem onstrated itself bes t in t he feigned flight . ' Whe n they are pursued
and take to night' say s Po lo , ' t h ey fight as well and as effecti vely.u when they a re face 10 face wi th t he
en emy , Whe n they are fleeing at to p speed, they twist ro u nd with their bows a nd sh oot their .UTOW! so
effectiv<ly that they k ill t he ene m y' s ho rses and th eir riders too, ( And) When the enemy th inks th at he
ha s routed ..nd crushed th em, th en he is los l " , (fo r) as soon as t he T artars decide that they ha ve killed
en ough o f the pursuing horses and ho rsemen they wheel round and a t ta ck .' Th e Arm e n ian hi st or ian
Hair ho n, who wr ote c , 1307, like wise cau t io ns t ha t 'it is very dangerous to give chase. fo r as t he y flee
they sh oot back o ver t heir heads and d o much e xec u t io n u pon their pursuerl.' T he fligh t WOlS also used
as bait for an ambush.
T ht ) drew up o n the hattlefield with units of 100 (t.e . Jagu ns ) separat('d fro m ea ch o t her by inte rvals .
Each Unit dr ew up in S ranks in d ose o rde r, Ha ithon re co rd ing how they kep t 'very close ran ks. so t hat
yo u wou ld not take them for half their real numbers: In theory t he front 1 ranks wo re ar mour (a nd
were pr('sumably moun ted on armoured ho rses when ava ilable ) wh ile t he laner 3 wore no armo ur. The
ligh l cava lr)- of the rear 3 ran ks ad vanced th rough the intervals o ne ra nk at a time a nd poured a hail of
aITOWS and javelins in to t he e n emy while at the sa me t ime ei t he r one or both Mon gol flan ks would
commence an e nvelo pi ng manoeu vre. If t he ligh t ca valry wer e repu lsed th en the y wo u ld fall ba ck
tfiringallthe while} an d th e fourth ra nk , then the fiflh, would co me fo rwa rd in t u rn and carry o n wh ere
the o t he rs had le ft o ff ; bUI if they wer e successful in disorganising th e ...nem y then t h ey w ould
wuhd raw th ro ugh th e in tervals a nd m e heav y' cavalr)' of th e first 2 ra nks wo u ld lead a frontal a "-1ult ,
B)' t he tun e , wh ether t he sk ir m ishi ng t acti cs had been suc cessful or notv th e e nvelop me n t o f th e e ne my
fl an ks wa s u\;uall )' complete t oo . a nd a feig ned fligh t mi gh t be used to d ra w a n inc au t io us enem y
dee p...r wi thin t he encircli ng wings tCarpini p ro ba bl y ha d this in m ind wh en he wro te that t he ligh t
ca valry fi red o nl y 3 o r 4 rou nd s, an d th en fe igned fl ight if their ar ch ery was ineff ec ti ve. Po lo . however .
spea ks o f the arche rs e mpt )' in g t heir qui vers). Vic to ry was always foll owed up b y a tireless p ursui t.
T he ...nvelo pm en t mo veme n t was often co nce a led fr om th e e nem y b y h ills, dustclouds, da rk ness, e tc.
Ca rp in i reco rds t hal t h e nvelo pi ng tro o ps usuall y co m prised th e Mo ngo ls t hem selves, a u xiliar y t ro ops
gene rally Io rmin g a sc r n in ad vance of Ih e ce ntr... o f t heir ma in lin e o f ba t tle . Mall h ew Pa ris simi larl y
record s the au ",i1ia ti...s' ro le in battle , relating ho w th e Mo ngo ls co m pe lled t he m, ' red uc ed t o t he lo west
con d it io n o f slavl" rY. l o figh t in t he fore mo st ra n ks again s t h eir o wn ne ighbours.' Ho wever.T he mo re
relia ble of t h...m (princi pally th e Geo rgian s a nd Cilician Ar m ...nians] are o ft en to be fo u nd fo rm ing one o r
bo t h fla nks o f t he ma in body alo ngside th e Mo n go ls, As w ell a s th e scree n o f auxi liaries t he ma in body
wa s also pre cede d by Mo ngol skir mis he rs. ca lled m e Man gudai o r ' G od -be lo ni ng' (w h ic h says so me t hi ng
for thei r c hances o f su rviva l!).
Ver y O':C'asio nally so me Mo ngo ls might be fou nd fighti ng o n foot . usually if thei r hor ses we re in po or
co ndi tio n o r if th ey felt t hat circ u msranc...s or the na tur e o f th e aro und we re un suit a ble for mo unt ed
comba t. At Wadi al-Kha ain d ar [Salami ye t} in 1299 so me 10 ,000 Mo ngu ls stood be h ind their ho rses and
The c;arnaile w,ouJt!'''''hen 2 \I orijliol armies fought "" ilh each o ther u, inil these tae,in can be imagtned. S OIa.'
you can 'I('"(' an....,.-, ny mF like peltinF rain, for the sky ....as fuUof them,' "" riles Polo, ' and you could 'ICe hor'ICmen
and horSCI tumblinF dead upon the Jl Ollnd :

po u red volle ys o f arr o ws in to t he cha rging Mamlu ks, so t ha t whe n those w ho had rema ined moun ted
co u n te r-charged th e Mamlu k line o f bat tle wa s in co nside rable diso rde r. lI ait hon slates t hat t he Mo ngo ls
were slo w when o n fo ol.
In add it ion to t heir stand ard Asiat ic tactics the Mong o ls a lso had a for mida ble ar sena l of asso rted tric ks
an d de ceptions w hic h co uld best be classified as psy ch ologica l war far e. T hese incl ude d t ying bra nches
to th e tails o f t heir horses an d raising grea t clo uds o f d ust in t heir wake 10 d ecei ve t he ene my in to
Ihin king th at Mo ngo l r ein fo rcem en ts were arri vi ng, an d even mou nting t heir women - in addit ion 10
st uff ed d u mm ies - o n spa re ho rses 10 give t he im pression o f a huge reserve forc e, as Ihe y di d in Khwarizmia
in 122 1 ( t he Mo ngo ls custo ma rily maintaining a rese rve wheneve r possibl e) . Anothe r such st ra tagem was
10 put sto ries arou nd which deli bera tely infla ted th e ac tual Sill' o f th ei r a rmy ; fo r ex ample Mo ngke Kha n,
invad ing part o f t he Sung Em pire in 1258 , sp read rum o u rs tha t he led an a rmy o f 100, 000 me n, when in
ract he had o nly 40 ,0 00 . Leaving moun tain s o f sk ulls heaped her e and t he re in th e co urs e of th eir
co nq ues ts, as a warni ng to o t hers, also falls in to th e ' psyc holo gica l wa rfar e ' cat ego ry !
Franks against Mon gols
This is based o n the advice o f a shrewd o bserver, Fr ia r J ohn d e PIan o Ca rpi ni, to t he r ulers of the West ,
co n ta ined in a r epo r t wrilten a ft er a lo ng soj o ur n a mo ngst th e Mo ngo ls in the m id -13th cen t u ry .
T o sta rt with he st resses th e im po rtance of good quality arm s and equ ipm ent , pa rticula rly reco mm e nd ing
go o d sl ro ng bo ws a nd cross bo ws, which he says t he Mo ngols part ic ularl y fea r, Ihe arro ws fo r these to be
ma n ufact u red Mo ngo l-fashio n so that t hey are shar p enough to pie rce t heir st ro nges t a rm ou r. Il l' a lso
es pecia lly reco mm e nds long-handled a xes, plus lances wit h a ho ok below t hc head fo r d ragging t he
Mo ngo ls fro m their sa dd les, ' fo r the y fall o ff ver y eas ily,' b UI he ca uti o ns aga inst ignoring dismou n ted
Mo ngo ls since th ey shoo t as acc ura te ly a nd rapidl y o n fo o t as on horse back (wit ness Vo chan in 1272
a nd Sala miye t in 12( 9 ).
Armour sh o uld co nsist o f d o uble-ma il, which arr ow s fr om Mo ngo l bow s co uld no t casi ly pierce, plus a
he lmet an d an y o t he r ava ila ble ar mo ur. Where possible hor ses to o sho uld be pro tec ted ag ainst t he Mo ngo l
a rro ws. Una rmoured o r less-heav ily equipped men ar e adv ised 10 fo llo w t he Mongo l pr actice o f fo rm ing
th e hind ran ks a nd sh o uld sho o t o verhea d. But nowhere is Pia no Car pin i's respect of Mongo l militar y
skill more appa re n t t ha n in his recomm endati ons fo r o rga nisa tio n, wh at fo llows bein g no mo re th an
imi tation with uni ls o f 1,000 , 100 an d 10 'o rgan ised in th e sa me mann er as t he T ar tar ar m y.'
The battlefield need ed to be caref u lly c hose n, pre fera bly a level plai n w he re eve ry t hing was cle ar ly
visible o n all sides; if a site co uld be fo u nd whe re flanks or rea r co uld be pro tec ted by a forest o r s imila r
all t he bet te r, T he ta ct ics the n given are again emu lation o f t he Mo ngo ls. li e adv ises t ha t t he a rm y sho uld
d raw u p in several line s, positi o ned not to o far apar t, on ly th e firs t of w hic h should be sent for ward
to meet t he ap p ro aching Mo ngo ls. If the Mo ngo ls feigned ni ght th ey were on ly 10 be p ursued with
ca u tio n since an am b ush wo uld un d oub tedly have bee n pre par ed he fo re hand. An other rea so n fo r
ca u tio n wa s t he nee d to a voi d ti ring th e ho rses, since F ra nk ish arm ies d id no t main ta in th e la rge
numbe rs o f remo un ts availab le to the Mo ngo ls. T he sec o nd line shou ld meanw hile stand by to help the
first if needed .
Fo llo wing advice o n consta n t vigilance, mainte nance o f t he a rmy o ver a p rolonged peri o d, a nd th e
advantages o f a 'scorc hed ea r th ' po licy ( since Mo ngo l arm ies ex ist ed by foraging), Carpi ni' s last
reco m me nda t io n is tha t th e infid elity o f th e Mo ngo ls' au xilia ry 'a llies' should be ex plo ited, since 'if
the opportun ity sho uld a rise a nd t hey co uld co u n t o n o u r men no t to kill them , t hey wo uld figh t
aga inst the T artars .. . a nd wo uld d o the m greater harm even th an would t hose wh o are t he ir e ne mie s.'
MAJOR BATILES OF THE P ERI O D
MANZI KE RT 10 71
T ak ing ad van tage o f a Seiju k attack against Fat rrnid- held Damascu s an d Egyp t, th e Byzan t ine Em peror
Ro rnan us IV prepared an o ffe nsive against recen tly lost Byza n ti ne te rrito ries in th eir rear. He assernbled a
huge bu t ill-t rained an d ill-discipli ned army o f 200 -60 0, 00 0 men inclu d ing most of t he Western and a ll of
the Eastern Themata , Var a ngian Guards a nd the T agm a ta , as we ll as Russia ns, Uzcs. Khazars, Alans,

43

fiea rg i~ ns, Cu ma ns. Icc hcncgs, Bufgars. Crirnea n Got hs, Arm e nians a nd Franks (mainly Normans and
Germ an s}. Of t he tot al, however , th e largest perce nt age were e nglnccrs, se rva nts an d attendan ts for the
vast h a~ a g~',tra i n .

Alp Arslan , the SdJuk Sulta n, learning of t he Byza nt ine advan ce into Armenia as he was encamped
hero n.' Ale ppa , or dered a n im med ia te with drawa l from Sy ria. On reaching Mosul he received news from
Scljuk refugees that a de tac hmen t of Ro manus' a rm y, a large fo rce of Fr anki sh and Tu rki sh me rce na ries
und er Rou ssel de Ba illeul, was lay ing waste t he regio n round Manzik ert a nd Akh lat, and he now se t o ut
nort hwards to interce pt t hem , sendi ng So undaq th e Turk ahead with a fo rce of abou t 5,000 cavalry
to rein force Akhla t. Alp Arsla n him self was a t firs t acco mpanied by o nly his 4 ,000 perso nal marnluk s
since his sca t tered arm y had no t rea sscrnbtcd , bu t he issued o rders fo r tr oops 10 joi n him o n th e march
and in additio n hired so me 10,000 local Kurdish t ribesmen.
Ro ma nus. hy now fo re.....arned of th e Sult an's a pproach, despat ch ed 20 ,000 C uma n o r Ru ssian heavy
cavalry und er Josc ph T urchunio tes to assist Ro ussel' s Fra nk s a nd T ur ks approa ching Ak hlat, wh ile t he
rest of t he ar my to ok Ma nzikert, Soo n af ter, o n August 16 , Soundaq arrived o n th e sce ne a nd a fierce
ski rmis h e nsued be t ween th e Sefjuks an d 2 bodies o f Byzantine t roops und er Nlccphoros Brycnnius
and Basila kes: weigh t of numbers eventu ally for ced th e Se ljuks back but the Byzant mcs, incau tiou sly
pur suing th e m, suffered heav y losses wh en t hey rallied, Basilakes bein g ca ptured and Brye nnius
wounded . At abou t th e same time Ro ussel and Tarcha nio tes, also ha ving suf fered heavy losses, and
receiving news t hat Alp Arslan himself was no w close by, wit hd rew to Me ht ene.
O n hearing of t he de feat o f his for emost units Rom anu s ma rshalled the main ar my and mar ch ed o ut
for bat tle, bu t by th is time t he Sejjuk s had me lted away and we re no where to be seen. T he a rm y
th erefor e ret urned to ca mp an d a n an xious night was spent unde r th e wat chful eyes o f th e Seliuk s. who
had se t u p t heir o wn ca mp 3 milt's awa y,
Ro ma nus must have been aware by now th a t Alp Arsla n himself had a rrived with the main Seljuk army,
" ut he was pro bab ly eq ua lly aware tha t t his army was nu merica lly inferior to his own - th e lo west
to ta l gsven in the sau r~'es is 12,000 ; lbn al-At hir says 15,000, " UI t he higher figures o f 30-40, 000 see m
mo re proba ble. Howeve r, Rom an us' o wn a rmy was not as large as it had bee n at t he o utset o f the
campaign, and prob a bly now num bered o nly a bou t I00 ,000 men of whom man y were
non ....-om ba ta nts.
J"exI mo rn ing Alp Arslan made an offer of peace, wh ich was co ntem pt uo usly rejec ted - since it wou ld
be fi nan cially impossible fo r t he Empire to raise a similar a rmy again for so me time to co me Rom anu s
had little c hoice hut to for ce a decisive sol utio n t here and th en . In addit ion it was likel y that Alp
Arstan's pro posa l was onl y in ten ded as a del ay ing tact ic whi le mo re t roo ps co uld be gathered . T herefo re,
ignoring the adv ice o f his ~ e ncrats, Ro manus decided 10 co m mit the army to ba il ie o n August 19.
On t he day of bat t te th e Byzanunes form ed u p in their c ust o ma ry 2 lines, wit h T ugmara in t he cen t re
an d T hem ati c t roo ps and T urkish auxiliaries on bo t h flank s of t he first line, T he reserve line, co mprised
of Arc hontes. t he Hetacna and Ge rman an d Norman merce na ries, was put under t he comma nd of a
cert ain Andr o nik os Duc as, a ne phew o f t he previo us Em peror a nd th erefor e no friend o f Roma nus: thi s
fact or was go ing to prove decisive. Rcu ssel a nd Tarchaniotes. meanw hile, had no t re turned.
Th e Byza ntine ad va nce across the pla in o f Ma nztkcn towar ds Alp Ars lan's camp met with litt le
resistance e xce pt fo r skir mishes on th e e xt re me flanks, which lacked an)' kind o f securit y in the o pen.
T he hul k o f the Sdju k ar m)', however, stead ily withd rew be fo re them , dra wing them on un tilla te in the
da r t hey reached the Su lta n's ca mp-site, on ly to find it aba ndoned. Romanus, possibly fearin g a n
am bush, th erefor e reso lved to re tur n to his ow n undefen de d ca mp an d gave the o rder to re tire, tu rn ing
t he Imperial stand a rd to wa rds the rear. The or der, howev er, was misunde rstood and gaps appeared
betwee n centre a nd flank s as un its t urned thi s way an d t ha t in confusion . Simu ltaneou sly , And ro nikos
Ducas tre ac he rously pu t about a rumour th at Roma nu s had bee n kill ed an d, as c haos reign ed in t he
Byzantine ra nks, Alp Arslan c har ged do wn o n th em with 10 ,000 fres h Seljuk cavalry,
A ro ut e nsued, t he Byzunfines believing the mselves be t ray ed by e ithe r t hei r Arme nia n or T urkish
a ux iliari es (thou gh the latt e r in fact rema ined lo yal to t he e nd). T he Byza ntine right and lef t wings

were swept a way, while Andronikos, who migh t have st iU saved the day , calmly ma rc hed fro m the field
with the despera tely needed reserve line. On ly the centre unde r Rom a nus stood and foug ht o n, unt il
the Emperor wa s recognised a midst his Vara ngian Guards a nd cap tured by a Seljuk ma mluk. Af ter
suffering appa lling losses th e re mainder of the army t hen bro ke, pursu it of its sca ttered units
co ntinuing th ro ugh th e night
Th e subsequent Seljuk co nq uest o f the Anatolia n heartla nd o f the Empire had two imp ortant result s:
it led ultima tely to the found ation of a new Seljuk state , aptly called the Sultana te o f Rum - litera lly
the Sult a nate o f Ro man Lands; and , even more impo rtantly , it was responsible for the Cru sade move men t,
for in Weste rn Eu ropean eyes the Byzantin es had , in Sir Stev en Runcim a n's words, 'forfeited on the
ba ttlefield their tit le as protect ors of Christendom. Man zikert j ustifi ed the interven tion o f th e West.'
KALA URA 1078

In com mand of an Imperial army, the future Byza ntine Emperor Alexius I Comne nu s faced t he rebel
Dux o f Dyrr ac hium, Niceph oros Bryen nius, at Kala ura in T hrace.
Whe n Bryenn ius dr ew up his army he placed a de tachme nt o f Pecheneg light cavalry about a qua rte r
of a mile awa y o n his left fla nk with orders to attac k Alexius' for ces in the rea r and gene rally harrass
th em while the main a rmy advanced shield to shield. Alex ius like wise threw out a de tached flank unit,
con cealing it in ravines on his left with o rders to fall on the rebel rear as soon as Bryenniu s had
adva nced pa st their po siti on. Th e bulk o f his ar my , which was inferior to tha t of Brye nniu s, co nsis ted
o f the newly-raise d Immor tals a nd Chom atcnoi and a few Frankish and Seljuk mer cena ries.
His attack on th e re bel rear a nd righ t flank met with on ly initial success and was soo n re pulsed , while
in th e cen tre the Frankish mercenarie s dese rted to Brye nnius a nd the Immortals began to give way.
Almost simulta neo usly the Seljuks and Choma tenoi on Alexius' righ t flank were rou ted by the Pec he neg
detachm ent. Fortuna tely, however, Alexius himself ma naged to capture Bryenniu s' spa re ho rse,
ma naging to rally ma ny o f his tro op s by spreading a rumo ur that Bryennius himself had bee n tak en .
Even so, the bat tle was still very much in Bryenni us' favo ur - despite th e fact that the Pec he negs,
having satisfied themselves with loot in part a t least from Brye nn ius' own camp, had now lost interest
in th e fighting and were headi ng for home.
At this poin t Alexius was joined by a fresh body of Seljuk rein forcements, and wit h a det achm en t of
these an d a ra llied po rti on o f his own army he co un ter-att ac ked, the n feigned fligh t a nd drew the
overconfide nt re bels bac k to where two ot her bodie s o f Selju ks had bee n placed in a mbu sh. Disorganised
in pursu it and a tta ck ed fro m bo th sides the re bel ar my was routed , Bryennius himself being ca ptured
by the Selju ks.
D URAZZO 1081

A Byza ntine army of 70,000 men under the Em pero r Alex ius I atte mp ted 10 relieve the co asta l city of
Oyrra ch ium (Ourazzo), un der siege by a n l talo -Norman army of 15- 18,000 men , includ ing Italia ns,
Saracen s, Greeks and Balka n Slavs, unde r Rob er t Guiscar d an d his so n Boh emo nd of Taran to. Th e
Byzantine for ce incl ude d household troo ps, some Frankish me rcenaries, Thessalia n cavalry , Serbs
und er King Co nsta ntine Bodin, Macedon ian Slavs, Vardari ot s and Vara ngians. Alexius divided his army
in tw o, half to stan d before the Norman camp and half 10 tak e a rout e thro ugh the co astal marshes
and attac k th em from th e rear.
Th e Norma ns, seei ng only the half to their fron t , aba ndoned Ihe ir ca mp a nd form ed up for battle, their
right flank pro tec ted by the sea and th eir left by high ground . Atextus then arranged his forces in 3 lines,
with the Varangia n Gu ard a nd o the r Varang ian units (som e of the m English) forming the vanguard, the
Vardariot ho rse-archers behind th em , and then the main bod y under Alexius.
The first Norma n attack was lau nc hed by Italian cavalry unde r Amaury of Bad . These were re pulsed by
the Varangia ns, wh o in their e nthusiasm the n marc hed to o far from the main bo dy and were cut o ff by
Bo he mond's left wing wh eeling against them. His cro ssbowme n a nd knig ht s, the latter 800 stro ng, all
but wiped the m ou t, many of the survivors being burnt in the small church of St Michael wh ere they had
taken refuge.

45

The main Norm an body th en charged an d smas he d the Byzantin e line. In the centre the Vardariots
broke an d fled a nd the Serbs deser ted witho ut joining ba ttle. Th e re mainde r of th e Byza ntines were
then pu t to flight and their ca mp capt ured. Wounded an d alo ne, Alexiu s only just escaped the clos e
Nor man pu rsuit. A sortie from the cit y was also rep ulsed.
As f... w as 30 of the 1.300 Norman knights were killed , tho ugh Amau ry' s Italia n division suffer ed
co nsidera ble losses. The Byzant ines lost 5-6.000 , mo st ly vara ngians. Dyrrac hium surre ndered to Ro bert
4 months later , in Fe bruary 1082 , aft er a 3-da y stree t fight follo wing th e adm ission o f the Nor mans into
the city by a Ve netian traitor.
LEV UNIUM 1091
A combined force of Byzan tines under Ale xius I and 40,000 Cu mans un der Tugor khan a nd Bo nya k
faced a superior Pecheneg army .
Despite distrust be twe e n the allies, the Pec hencgs we re ro uted by th e Cuman an d Byza nti ne ca valry
and forced bac k agains t th eir own wagon laager which effec tively bloc ked their line o f retreat . Unable
to escap e, ma ny were massacred toge th er with th eir wom en and childre n wit hin th e laager. Large
nu m bers of prisone rs wer e ta ken, but these were slaughte red almost to a man during the night by
the ir Byzant ine gua rds thro ugh fear th at eithe r they might break loose or th at the Cuman s might
release t he m. The Cuma ns, likewise distru sting th e Byzan tin es, took to their heels under co ver o f
dark ncss.
DORYLAEUM 109 7
After the ca pt ure o f Nicaea d urin g the First Crusade the Fr anks divided their forces into 2 columns,
the firs t o f which was attacked soo n aft er by a supe rior Seljuk force allegedly 150-350,000 stro ng un der
Sultan Kith Arslan I. includ ing Caooadoc lan and Da nishm a nid co nti ngents unde r th eir em irs.
The Fran kish co mma nde r, Prince Bohem ond o f Taranto, at first ordered his knight s to di smo unt and
assist the foo t-soldiers an d non-comba ta nts in pitc hing ca mp, bu t before the task was co mpleted it
proved necessary fo r the knigh ts to remount and ride o ut again st the Turk s, leaving the infan try to
complete the prepara tion of the ca mp-site. How ever , the arche ry a nd mo bility of th e Turks, a tta c king
from all sides, soon forced the Fra nk ish cavalry to fall bac k beneath a hail of arrows. u ntil knigh ts.
cam p, foot -soldiers and pilgrims beca me o ne co nfuse d, ta ngled mass in wh ich so me kn ight s we re killed
by the spears of th eir own infa ntry . But in fact crowding together thus actu ally saved them , for in suc h
a tight ly pac ked fo rma tion the Seljuk s fo un d it impossible to de stro y the m a nd co uld o nly a tt ac k
ind ecislvcly.
Eve nt ually, af te r abou t 3 hou rs o f fight ing, as Bohemond was beginn ing to despair o f his situation, the
seco nd crusader col umn unde r Cou nt Ra ym ond de Saint-G illes be gan to a rrive on the field, surprisi ng
Kihj Au lan wh o had been under the imp ression that he had surro unded the en tire Fran kish a rmy. As
the Seljuk s hesitat ed and faltered in their a tta ck a furt her de tach ment fro m the relief division, under
the Pa pal Legate Adhe ma r le Puy, a ppea red in their rear, an d at this they panicked a nd fled , a ba ndoning
their own cam p to the Fra nks.
The crusa ders had suffered a bou t 4 ,000 casualties. a nd the Turks alleged ly as many as 30.000. The
losses of the forme r wen' somewhat highe r in horses tha n in men, most of wh om were amongst the footso ldie rs and non-co mb a ta nts.
ANTl OCH 1098
T he crusaders un der Prince Bohe mo nd, having just ca pt ured Antioch but being num erically unable to
defe nd the walls, deci de d to marc h o ut into the o pen to face 12-28,000 (o r accordi ng to som e sources
150-400. 000 ) Seljuks a nd Ara bs, including 28 senio r Turkish ami rs. unde r Kerbogha o f Mosul, who had
arr ived too late 10 relieve the Seljuk garrison ( 10,000 of whom had bee n massacred by the crusaders
after the fall o f th e city).
The Fran ks left th e city by a single gate in a co lum n of 4 divisions, eac h of infa ntry and cavalry ( the
latter pe rhaps tot alling only 1,0 50 men I, th e fou rt h co mprised mostly of dis moun ted knigh ts acti ng as
a rese rve under Boherno nd himsel f; ot her sources record the Fra nks to have been organised in to be tween
6 an d 13 division s. Their plan was to secu re th eir lef t fla nk on high ground abou t 2 miles fro m the city

46

wa lls before advancing against the T urks, who were massed on t heir right fla nk. Kerbogha, watchi ng
them deploy , see ms to have delibera tely allowed their whole army to eme rge fro m Ant ioch rather than
laun ch a pre ma tu re attac k, presum abl y to e nsure tha t his victory over the m would be as co mp lete as
possi ble. How ever, he did despatch one body o f 1,500 or 15,000 Turks to c ut ac ross the head of th e
Frankish co lu mn and get be hind their line o f battle before the leading divisio n succe eded in secu ring
t he a rmy' s flan k; th ese did co nside ra ble da mage before, see ing the withdr awal o f the main Seljuk ar my
in the face o f an attac k in echelon by the Frankish divisions, a nd suffer ing a t the hand s of a det achmen t
from th e Frankish reserve, they bro ke a nd fled .
A shar p melee fo llowed the adva nce of th e Frankish divisio ns, with heavy losses being sust aine d by bo th
sides, until the Turks, suf fering as the y were fro m disse nsio n a mo ngst th eir co mmande rs ( who rese nted
Ker bogha), d isillus ioned by the desertion of a la rge co ntingent of Turcoman au xiliaries, a nd find ing
th em selves un a ble to o u tfla nk their adversaries, bega n a re trea t wh ich s teadily de teriora ted into a ro ut.
The Frankish pur suit was only slightly hindered whe n the Seljuks fired th e dr y grass to co ver their
with dra wal, the crusad er hors es a ppa rently sta mping out the fla mes as th ey adva nced. Th ey pursue d
th e routed Turks as far as the Iron Bridge acro ss the River Oro ntes. slayi ng grea t numb ers o f them, a nd
in addition ma ny more Turks were lat er killed off by local Arme nia ns a nd Syrian Christi a ns. Kerbogha
himself esca ped to Mosul, his po wer and repu tation ruined.
A so rtie by the re mna nts of the Selju k garriso n of Antioch , still holed up in the cit adel, was co ntai ned
by an infan tr y holding forc e of 200 me n un der Cou nt Ray mo nd de Saint- GiIles. Seeing th e def eat of
Kerbogha, the co m ma nder of the garriso n surre ndered the citadel to Boh em ond after the ba ttle.
ASCALON 1099
A Fa timid co unteratt ac k by 20 ,000 infan tr y and cavalry un der the vizier al-A fdal, incl udi ng Syrian
T ur kish auxiliaries, was defea ted by I ,20().S,000 Fran kish cavalry a nd 9 15, 000 infantry under
God frey de Bo uillon. T he Fr an ks' 9 divisions appear to have bee n fo rmed up in line, with Raym on d de
Saint-Gilles o n th e right flank , Ro bc r t of Fla nders, Ro bert of Nor ma nd y a nd Tancred in th e cent re a nd
God fre y o n the left ; their infantr y a rchers were sta tioned in the fro nt rank where t hey e ngaged the
Fatimids' co ntingent o f 3,0 00 Sud an ese arc hers.
The ba tt le was of ver y brief d ura tio n, the Egypt ia ns having bee n cau ght com pletely unprepa red. An
att empt by Bedo uin cavalry to enc ircle the Fra nks' left fla nk was bea te n bac k an d t he Franks
launc hed their charge int o the bulk of the Egyp tian army, closi ng wit h them so fast tha t the Sud a nese
arche rs succ eeded in getting off o nly one volle y before bei ng drive n back o nto their cavalry, who
fled almost immed ia tely.
A fair num ber of Egyptians ma naged to reach the safety of Ascalon , o thers run ning int o the sea a nd
swim ming out to their flee t mo ored offshore. In fact th e reg ular cavalry esca ped virt ually in tact ,
tho ugh th e infa ntry a nd th e mili tia levies a nd o the r irreg ulars lost some 10,000 men killed, dro wne d or
crus hed in the ro ut.
The Fra nks captu red the Fa timi d camp, including the sta nd ard and perso nal te nt o f al-Af-tal, The y
ga thered all the booty the y co uld man age and bu rnt what they co uld no t carr y.
FIRST BATTLE OF RAMLA 110 1
A Fati mid ar my of allegedly 11,000 cavalry and 2 1,000 infan try under Sa' ad ad-Daulah , ma rching on
Jeru salem from Ascalon, was intercepted at Raml a by a Fra nk ish force o f 260 knigh ts and 90 0 infan try
under King Baldwi n . The Fra nks drew up in 5 o r 6 divisio ns, possibly in echelon, with Baldw in
co mma ndi ng a reserve. The Fati mid line o ut fla nked th e m o n bo th wings.
The e nsui ng batt le was a co nfused affair. T he first 2 Frank ish cavalry division s to ma ke co ntac t (against
the Fatim id left ) wer e repulsed and alm ost a nnihilated by the Mosle ms, but Baldw tn' s reserve th en
cha rged in and restor ed the line, Baldwin himsel f possibly killing Sa' ad ad-Daulah a t t his po int. The
Fa timid centre bro ke soon af ter. A bo dy of 500 cavalry on their lef t wing, ho wever, had ou tflanked
Baldwin's line and fallen on the Fra nkish infa nt ry asse mbled to the rear, bad ly mau ling th em befo re
moving on against Jaffa. (These were de fea ted by Baldwin the ne xt day as they retu rned from their sor tie]

47

Desp ite th e co nfusion it was the Fatim id ar my whic h fled the field afte r on ly an hour 's co mbat, and a
prom ising Frank ish pursuit was on ly en ded by nigh tfall. Th e Moslems lost allegedly 5,00 0 men , the
Fr ank s 70-80 kn ight s (probably the 2 rou ted divi sion s) and 'a much larger number of foot -soldi ers.'
RAML A AN D J AFF A 110 2
When new s of a relat ively small Fatimid raiding force of 700- 1,000 men a pp roaching Ram la was received
by Bald win in Jerusale m he gathered 200 knight s an d set o ut to a ttack the m, his force incl ud ing a
num ber of the leaders of th e Crusade of 110 1 such as Stephe n of Blois, Ste phen o f Burgund y a nd Con rad ,
th e Constab le o f the Emperor li e m y IV. However, Baldw in had bee n misinform ed of th e stre ngth o f
th e Fat imid ar my wh ich , tho ugh it is impro bable that it comprised the 20 ,000 Ara b cavalry a nd 10,000
Sudanese infant ry th at contemporaries cla im, was vastly superior to his o wn for ce. Even when he lea rnt
of th is Baldwi n pers isted in his attack , an d in th e batt le whic h fo llowed his small army, with no
inf ant ry support , was surro unded a nd virt ually wiped o ut. Baldwin himself and 5 co mpan io ns, keeping
clo se toget her, a ttemp ted to hac k t heir wa y ou t but o nly one ma n actually escaped with the king, A
few others so ugh t ref uge in Ramla but were smoked out afte r 2 day s an d in a fierce figh t most of these
were killed , incl uding Ste phen o f Blots an d Stephe n o f Burgun dy. Comad was amo ngst those tak en
ca ptive.
Escap ing to Jaff a, Baldw in was joi ned by reinfo rceme nts of 170 kn ight s a nd mount ed sergeants from
Jerusalem and Ga lilee plus a large for ce of Eng lish an d Ge rma n pilgrims. Shor tly afterw ards he mar c hed
o ut agai nst the Fa timids for a seco nd time , but now with a co nsidera bly la rger arm y. The Fa limi ds
again e nci rcled the Franks, falli ng on th e infa ntr y each time the kn ights c harged and th ere by ob liging th e
cavalry to fall bac k to defend th em . However, th e infa nt ry held together a nd th eir showers of arrows
coupled with the knights' rep eated c harges e ventually brok e the Mosle ms.
Th e Fran ks were too few in number to mou nt a pursuit , but they ca ptured the Fatimids' camp and their
herd s of asses and ca mels. Th e Moslem s los t abo ut 3, 000 me n.
HAR RAN 1104
To dis trac t a Turkish att ack against Edessa by Suq man ihn-Ortoq of Mardin and Ja kar mish of Mosul, the
ar mies of Ede ssa and Anrioc h, un de r Co unt Baldwin 11 of Le Bo urg and Prince Bohemond, investe d t he
Moslem ci ty of lI arra n. However, before they could occ upy th e town the Tur kish a rmy ( having
aba nd oned its brier siege of Edessa ] arrived on the sce ne, di viding into two bodies o f which one
revic tualled th e city while the other advan ced to OCCUp)' th e bes ieging a rmy , drawing it away from the
city by a feigned flight.
The Franks, 3,0 00 cavalry an d more tha n 7,000 infan try incl uding many Arme nia ns, drew up with
Baldw in on th e left and Bohe mo nd co ncea led behind a hill about a mile dista nt o n th e fight , the plan
being for th e Edessans to tin: th e Tu rks, a nd pOSl;ibly even to feign fligh t an d draw th em in to an ambush.
Unfor t unat ely the Tu rks had a very similar plan an d when the y feigned an attac k against the Frankish
left an d turn ed in flight th e Ede ssans thre w cau tion and th eir plan to th e win d a nd cha rged off in
pursuit.
Once they were ac ross the River Balikh the main Tur kish a rmy (some 10.000 fresh cavalry) e merged
from a mbu sh, the Ede ssans breaki ng in rout at the first onse t. Mean while Bohe mond and the Antloch e nes
had adva nced from hiding and repulsed the Tu rks o pposing the m, but they were too late to save the
Edcssa ns, instead quitting the field in pani c a nd bei ng overtaken an d ro ut ed in turn ,
Fran kish casua ltie s were very heavy, po ssibly as man y as th e 10 12,000 men claimed by Ibn al Athir
and ot her Moslem sources (t hese figures pro ba bly incl udi ng non-comba tan ts) . Man)' Fra nks drow ned
a tt em pti ng to recross th e Balikh , a large number o f horses were also lost , and cer tainly very few of th e
Franks ac tu ally escaped to Edessa. In addition Count Baldw in was take n cap tive by Jak arm ish's men ,
and o ther Chri stian leade rs were ca ptu red by Suq man .
THI RD BATTL E O F RAMLA 110 S
A Fa timid army , making yet an o th er atte mpt to reconquer Palest ine, this tim e und er al-Afda l's son
Se na al-Mulk, again found itself opposed at Ram la by King Baldwi n with an army of 500 kni ghts, an
unkn ow n number o r mo unted sergeant s, a nd no more than 2,000 infantry . The Fat imids num bered

48

5- 15,000 Arab cavalry and Suda nese infant ry, plu s a continge nt of 1,000-1 ,300 bo w-armed Turkish
cavalry from Da mascus.
The batt le took place near th e Pat imid ca mp a bout 4 miles from Ramta. T he Damascene ho rse-arc hers
led th e Fat imid a ttack , sho wering th e Fr ank s' 5 d ivision s with arro ws before wheeling a nd falling on
thei r flank , But Baldwin, co mmanding th e reserve, succ essfully re pulsed th e Tu rks then adva nced
to the suppo rt of the o ther divisions.
T hough they put up a stiff resistance for so me time the Fat imid army, wea ken ed by the de pa rt ure of
its left win g o n a raid agains t Haifa, at length brok e and fled , th e so urces recor d ing ho w the Sudanese
infantry, una ble to outrun the Fran kish pursuit, 'w e re slaughtered in the field s'. They lost 1,200 -4,000
me n, both cavalry a nd inf antry, and their ca mp was ca ptured. Th e Fr ank s cla ime d 10 have lost o nly
60 men. th ou gh Mosle m sources say losses on bo th sides were a bou t equal.
SENNA BRA I l l ]
Drawn in pursuit of a fo raging party o f 500 T urk s, a Fran kish army of 2,000 infan try and an unknow n
nu mber of caval ry under King Baldwin was a mbu shed by 2-7.000 mo re Turks und er To ght ek in an d
Mawd ud , a tabe g of Mosul, a nd severely defea ted. Th e ba ttle was spo ntaneous, neith er side having
time to draw up in a ny for mal array, a nd han d-to-han d comba t bega n wit hout an y preliminary
skirmishing. The Fra nks were bro ke n in th e Ihird Moslem c ha rge.
The Fra nks losl 30 knights and 1,200 infan try (Ibn al-Qalan isi says 2,000 men ) and th o ugh Baldwin
himself esca ped he lost his sta ndard in th e ro ut . The Frankish ca mp and baggage were also ca ptured.
It was o nly th e arriv al of th e troop s of Antioch a nd T ripoli tha t enabled th e king 10 ex tricate the
remnant s of his army. Th e Tur ks appear to have losl about 40 0 men .
SARMI N (T ELL DANITII) 111 5
A Seljuk a rmy und er Sultan Bursuq o f Hamadan was surprised by a Fra nk ish army unde r Roger o f
Antioch wh ilst ma king ca mp in hilly woo ded country. A large pari of Bursuq's fo rce was awa y
foraging, While othe rs were sca tte red in preparing Ihe ca mp site.
Th e Frank s e me rged from a mb ush a nd all ac ked in echelon in 3 divisio ns, lhe lef t flank lea ding. This
division ro uted Ihe main body o f Seljuks, which had wit hdraw n to a hill be hind th eir camp, while the
centre seized Ihe ca mp itse lf. T he Fra nkish right was a tt ac ked by a single bod y of 300 Turks unde r
th e amir of Sinjar who dro ve the screen of Tu rco pole light cavalry back o nto the kn ights and caused
some co nfusio n hefore be ing su rro unde d by the Frankish reserve a nd all bUI wiped oUI.
Bursuq ma naged 10 rally just a few hu ndred men. but af ter a desperate fight he fled th e field .
AGER SANG UINUS (THE FI ELD OF BLOOD ) 1119
Roger of Anli och , with out awaiti ng th e reinfo rce men ts he had requested from Baldwin 11 a nd Co unt
Po ns o f Tripoli. set o ut again st llghazi of Mardin with a for ce of 70 0 knight s a nd 3-4,000 infa ntry ,
which includ ed Tu rcc pole s. Arm enian s a nd na tive Syria n infant ry Hb n al-Qalanisi report s th at the
Ant iochen es totalled 20 ,000 men! ). Encamp ing wit hout due cautio n he was trap ped in a valley wit h
stee p. Thic kly wood ed sides by Ilghazi's num erically superior ar my, wh ich descend ed by hidd en pat hs
an d had surrou nde d the Frankish camp by dawn . The T urks, includi ng ma ny Kur ds but la rgely
co mprised of Turcoma ns, numbered a t least 7,000 men. so me sou rces claiming 40 -60 ,000 .
Roger told off o ne division 10 guard his rear the n drew up his rema ining forces in 4 or 5 division s,
each of cavalry and infan lry. On the right 2 or 3 o f th ese had some succ ess before th e Frank ish line
was disorgan ised by th e division of Ro be rt de St LO, on th e left, brea king in rout an d carrying a way
part of Roger's o wn d ivision with it. In th e ensui ng co nfusion, mad e wor se by a dust storm blowing
int o the faces of the Fra nk s, th e Tur ks successfu lly closed in rou nd th e Fr ank ish flank s and rea r
cutt ing off all escape, a nd a massacre ensued. The bailie was over inside a n ho ur.
100 knigh ts ma naged to escape before the e ncircle me nt wa s co mple te , and a few of the reargua rd under
Renaud Mazoir also go t awa y ( Ihou gh the latt er - exce pt for Renaud - were ca ptured and ex ecuted

49

only a fe w ho urs la ter ), bu t o f the re maind er only 70 knigh ts and 500 infan try were take n alive. Most
were tortu red to deat h in t he s tree ts an d ga rde ns of Alepp o t hough 40 o f t he richer knigh ts a pp ea r to
have bee n spared fo r ranso m. Usarnah reco rds tha t less than 20 men ever returned safely to Ant ic ch. T he
sa me figure o f 20 is also reported in an other so u rce as the to ta l n u m ber o f Turkish casu a lties.
HAB 11 19

A Fran kish co lu m n o f 70 0 k nigh ts and some 23 ,00 0 infa n try u nde r King Bald win 11 a nd Co un t Po ns
o f T ripo li was att acke d o n t he ma rc h by a llegedly 20. 00 0 T ur ks und er Ilghaz i o f Mard in a nd Toghte ki n
o f Damascus, who succee ded in separa ti ng a nd ro u ting t he 3 cavalry di visio ns o f t he va ngua rd and t hen
atta cki ng t he infa n tr y in t he main co lu m n, inflic ting heavy losses.
On the left flan k the Ant io c hcne kn ights unde r Ro bert o f Zer d a na succeeded in routing t he Damascen es
and pursued them from the fiel d, failing to retur n, bu t on th e right t he Tripolitanians wer e d riven
bac k o n to t he main body. Baldw in manage d to ra lly his reserve a nd by rein for ci ng the wea ke st points
in th e colu mn a nd de livering a series of co nt ro lled charges with his fresh t roo ps he forced so me o f t he
Turks to flee a nd t he rest to wit hd ra w in good o rder.
The engagemen t was ind ecisive, bot h side s cla iming a vic to ry . Th e F ran ks had lost 100 knights a nd 700
infa n try o n the field of ba ttl e plus a n add itiona l unknow n nu m ber o f An tioch ene knights, these bei ng
def ea te d as t hey ret u rned tJy t he re ti ring T u rks; Ilgha zi execu ted 30 knights he had ca pt ured, includ ing
Ro bert o f Zerdana. and the se wen' fa irl y ce rtainly all Anrio chencs. T he T u rks, o n Ihe o t her hand , are sai d
by Fra nki sh authoritie s 10 have lost 1-4, 0 00 d ea d, plu s add it ional losses in wo u nde d an d priso ners.
ESKI ZAGRA 1121
Aft er th eir defeat at Levunium in 10<) I the Peche negs re mained qu iet un til 1 121 , w hen they again
crosse d the Dan ube int o Byzan tine te rrit ory, T he Emp eror J o hn 11 Co m nenus manage d to hold the
passes against t hem t hrough the win ter and in the spr ing of 111 2 he invited a large num ber of Pec hen eg
chiefta ins to va rious cu tes as gues ts. When t hese a rrived t he y were arrested , a nd a Byza nt ine a rm y
u nd er J o h n himself, cont ai ning large numbers o f Flemi sh and Fre nch mer cenar y knigh ts and 540
Varangian Gua rdsmen . imm edia te ly mar ch ed against th e remainde r o f t he m, en campe d in a vast
wagon laa ger into which th ey wit hd rew af te r initia l Byzan t ine successes.
The Peche negs co uld still m uster a co nside ra ble farce, o u tn u m bering the Varangian con tinge n t by
perha ps 60 to I , T hey for med up befo re their laage r a nd rep ulsed fir st t he Byzantine u nits a nd then
lhe Flemish and French mercenaries. Aft er t his the Vara ngia ns a tta cked. It see ms t hat th is tim e, when
the Pechenegs tried to part the ir wagon s - presumably to let t he ca valry o u t ( see sec t io n o n Asiatic
tactics in ' A rmiesof th e Dar k Ages' ) - t hey could not be moved . and becaus e o f t his o r for so me o t her
rea so n t he Peche ne gs see m to have pan icked a nd fled, many be ing killed and th eir co m ma nde r being
ca p t ured in t he pur suit . [ Possibly Ihis was a feigned fligh t which go t out o f ha nd , since t he Pec heneg
co m man der was a half-blind o ld man who may have had d ifficulty co n t ro lli ng such a man o euvr e
t hrough his su bo rd inates, all bu t 6 o f whom had fle d when th e wagons were found to be s tuck.)
T he wag on-laager was the n sto r med a nd breached b y t he Va ra ngians and the rallied mercenary a nd
By zantine uni ts. a nd t he Pech e negs were slaught ered en masse. T his bat tle seems to have virt ua lly
e x ter mina ted th e Pech e negs. t he survivors being sell led as milit ary co lo nists in Byzantine la nds ;
t her eaf ter t he Cu ma ns a nne xed their terr ito ry. T he Byzan ti nes henceforw a rd cele bra ted the vict ory
a nnu ally as ' Peche neg Day ' u ntil at least the end of t he 121h ce nt ur y.

IBEl IN ( Y IBNE H) 11 23
Encouraged by th e captu re' o f King Baldw in 11 by Balak o f Kha nzit , a n army of 16 ,0 00 Fatimids invade d
t he Kingdo m o f Jer usale m. T hey we re in te rce pted at Ibe lin by a F rank ish a rmy of 7 8 .0 00 men und er
t he Con stable, Eus tace Ga mie r, and - despite th e ir nu merical su perio rit y - t hey broke and fled alm ost
before t he F ra n kish c harge had eve n made co n tac t , abandoning the ir ca m p to t he Fran ks.

67 ,000 Fatimids were apparen tly killed, p resu ma bly most ly d u ring t he Fra nkish pursuit , and the cam p
yielded up 40 0 camel s, 50 0 asses , 3 ' very ric h ban ners' which Fulcher of Cha rtres d escri bes as 'S tandarz',
and muc h o t her loo t besides.

'0

' AZAZ 1125


Invad ing t he Principa lit y o f An l ioch a t th e head o f a co nfed eracy of nor t hern Syrian amirs, Il-Bursuq i
of Mosul laid siege to th e Fran kish fortress of Zer dan a. Hea ring, ho wever, of t he ap proac h of a re lief
force o f 1,100 cava lry a nd 2,000 infantry under King Ba td win 11 he raised the siege an d re tired
no r t hward s tow ard s 'A zaz whe re Baldwin's fo rce caught up wit h him. T he Fra nk s d rew up in I J
divisions, each of cava lry an d infan try.
Rely ing o n t heir super ior nu mbe rs ( possibly tota lling 15,000 ho rsemen ) th e Syrians seem to have
volu ntarily closed for hand-to-ha nd co m ba t early in t he ba ttl e. But t he sup e riority of t he Fra nks'
a rmo ur and ph ysiq ue told heavily against th em and a fter a protrac ted a nd blood y mele e t he T urks
we re sca tt e red in roul , the Fra nks collec ting a n imm e nse a mo unt of booty from t he ba lll efie ld.
Frankish sou rces claim t ha t t he Turks los t 2,000 men includi ng 15 a mirs, but t hat t he ir own casualties
a mo unted 10 o nly 20-24 men . In additi on bo t h sides lost large numbers of horses.

MARJ ESSAFAR 1126


Marching again st Damascus a Frankis h arm y unde r Ba ld win 11 was co nfr o nted by t he Damascenes
und er t he Atabeg Toghtek in a bou t 20 mil es fro m the ci ty. T he Dumascen es incl ude d 2,000 T urcom a ns
and per hap s 1,000 'askuris as we ll as 'an imm e nse num be r' of infan try . T he Fran ks d rew up in 12
divisio ns o f cavalry and in fan t ry .
At first t he T urcom a ns put the Franks to flight , th e horse-a rchers tak ing a heavy to ll and Togh tekin's
'asker ts even pushi ng t hro ugh to the ro yal camp . But aft er bei ng pursued fo r 4 miles th e Fran ks
ralli ed a nd as evening drew in launc hed a co nce rted attack , t he F ra nkish arc he rs sho o ting dow n ma ny
of t he Damascen e ho rses and Bald win's k nigh ts rid ing do wn thei r disor gani sed cava lry, who pan icke d
when Toghte kin was unhorsed . The victoriou s Franks went on to pu rsue t he rou ted Mosle ms to wit hin
sight o f Damascus, t he Damasce ne infa nt ry bein g c ut to pieces in t he pu rsuit. T he Mosle ms lost a t least
2,000 men.
The Fran ks clai me d to have lost o nly 24 knights an d 80 infa ntry t he mselves, t ho ugh t hey also reco rd
th at the infan t ry suffered badly in t he initia l rout. Certa inly the Frankish casua lt ies were heavy enough
to ob lige Bald win to a ba ndo n his projec ted a tta c k o n Damascu s. Instead t he a rm y gat hered a
co nsidera ble a mo unt of boo t y from the battlefie ld an d wit hd rew to Jerusale m.

MOUNT CADMOS 1148


Ea rly in 1148 d urin g t he Second Cru sade a Fre nch army unde r King Lou is VII was am bushed on
Mo unt Cadmos by th e Seljuks. Th e vangu ard (comprised largel y of royal merce naries and a co ntingen t
of Tem plars], disregarding its inst ru ct io ns to halt and e nca mp be fore th e mou nta in, o utst ripped th e
res t of the ar my so t hat a wide gap o pe ned up bet wee n t he m. Th e main bo dy, losi ng sight of th e
vanguard, piled up in co nfusion a t th e foo t of the mo unt ai n as its fo re most units hesi ta ted , upon wh ich
th e Seljuk s - who had bee n lyin g in a mb ush a wa iting just such a n o ppo rt unit y - fell upon t he infa nt ry
and baggage in th e middle of their co lumn.
Lo uis a nd t he 40 kn ight s of t he rearguard , hearing t he sounds of ba ttle, adva nced ra pidly to t he sce ne
of th e a mb us h, while a messen ger was des pa tc hed to ret rieve t he vangua rd. T he latt er, how ever, was
o bst ruc ted in try ing to re turn by large numbe rs of no n-com ba tan ts in ro ut fro m t he ma in body.
T he c harge of Louis an d the rearguard succeeded in dist ract ing th e Seljuks' a t tention from t he rema inder
of t he non- co mb atan ts, hu t in th e co nfused me lee wh ich fo llo wed a ll 40 knig ht s were cu t down and
Loui s. him self unhor sed, was fo rced 10 fight his wa y to safe ty alo ne a nd on foo l.
lt was o nly the oncom ing of night t hat brought an e nd to t he Scljuk a ttac k, upo n which Lo uis a nd the
survivors ra llied o n th e baggage t rain. He was at last re inforced by th e un comm itt ed va ngua rd, bUI
da r kness preven ted th e mounting of a co unter -attack.

FONS MUR AT US 1149


Learn ing of t he siege of t he fo rt ress of Ina b by t he co mb ined ar mies of Alcp po a nd Dam asc us, 6,000

"

stro ng und er Nur ed-Din and Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, Raymon d of Anti och se t ou t with a relief force. But
he had failed to await a full mus te r a nd although acco mpan ied by a few Assassin allies his to tal for ce
numbered on ly 4 ,000 cavalry and 1,000 infantry.
Misinfor med of t he stre ngt h of th e Frank ish fo rce, Nur ed-Din re tired on its ap proach. Raymond then
weake ned his a rmy by putt ing reinfor ceme nt s into Ina b, a nd Nur ed-Din, wa tchin g his movements
fro m a dista nce. now became awar e of th e inf erior stre ngth o f Ihe Fr anks. Therefore when Raym ond
e ncamped in a hollow in o pe n co untry near to the Spring of Murad the Tu rks surro unded his camp
overn ight.
Raym o nd realised his plight in the morn ing a nd led a cha rge against the enci rcling Tur ks, but this was
defea ted by the incline of the slo pe a nd the wind blow ing dust in th eir eyes fro m the sum mit. Th ey
were su bseq uen tly virt ually wiped c u t . Shirkuh hi mself slew Ray mo nd , and Nur ed -Di n se nt his silverdecora ted skull as a trop hy to th e Abbasid Caliph a t Baghdad .
H A RIM (UAREN C) 1164
On hea ring tha t Nur ed- Din had la yed siege to th e Ant ioche ne fort ress o f Hanm a Fra nkish relief force
set o ut un der Bo he mond III of Ant ioc h, Ray m ond III o f Tripoli a nd Joscelyn III ( tit ular Co unt of
Edessaj. In add ition it incl uded Byzantine tr oops und e r Constantine Colo man, th e Byzan tin e Dux of
Cilicia , a n Armenia n co ntingent under T horo s 11 , a ba nd of Fr ench crusaders unde r Hugh de Lusignan,
and a continge nt of Te mp lars a nd /or Hospitallers. Altoget he r the army totalled 13.000 cava lry an d
infa ntry . Boh emon d's own contingent including 60 0 kn igh ts.

Nur ed- Din , particularl y ala rmed by the prese nce of Byzantin e troo ps in the ap proaching army,
decided to raise the siege ra ther tha n risk a battle. but prepared a contingenc y pla n to des tro y the
Fra nk s sho uld they purs ue him - which, ignoring the advice o f Th oros a nd o the rs, Bohemond was
foolish e nough to do. As the Frankish ca valry ch ased after th e reti ring ar my Nur's [eft wing rallied and
turned bac k to fall o n th e un protecte d infantry, so tha t whe n the disorganised cavalry were in turn
a tta cked the y no longe r ha d infantry support. Nur' s cavalr y then trapp ed them in ' a co nfined and
swa mpy place' and broke them in the first c ha rge.
A la rge number o f Fra nks we re killed ( Incl udin g all the milit ary bre thre n) an d most o f the re mainder
were for ced to surre nde r. uhe prisone rs includ ing all the leaders e xcept T horos, wh o had pursued with
mor e caution th a n his allies and succeed ed in escap ing with his own co ntingent.
T HE D A Y OF AL BABEIN 11 6 7

Dur ing the Syria n invasion of Egy pt the Franks under King Amalric I. fighting in this instance as allies
of t he Fa ti mid Egy ptia ns, managed to cross the Nile des pite the pro ximity of Syrian fo rces under
Asad ad-Din Shir ku h, and as a result the Syr ians. d iscovering th e crossing too lat e to o ppos e it, wit hdrew
into Uppe r Egypt. Amalric pursued them as far as al-Babein, 'Th e Two Ga tes' on th e edge of th e de sert
10 miles south of Minya, whe re Sh irkuh decided to give ba tt le.
Shir kuh's plan was to co nvince the Fran ks that his main strength was in the ce ntre, a nd to th is e nd he

placed his baggage in t he cen tre o f the line but co vered it with on ly a small for ce of cavalry u nder
Salad in. Shirkuh himself co mma nded the right wing, co mprised of elite cavalry, intending 10 fall on the
Frankish rea r whe n the y c harged his centre. whe re Sala din was to feign [light to dra w them awa y from
the field. His forces numbered 9 ,000 heavy cavalry, 3,000 ho rse-arc hers and 10-1 1.000 Arabs who app ear
to have bee n infantry. ( Moslem sources recor d only 1-2,000 horse men .)
To face the m Am al ric, w ho se forces had been de pleted by de tachmen ts during the pur suit, co uld
muster 374 Frank ish knight s, a n unkno wn number o f se rgea nts a nd T u rcopo les, a nd a la rge continge nt
o f unrelia ble Egyptians; Bar lIe hraeus recor ds that his army tot alled 10,000 men . For the att ac k he
placed his knights in the vanguard and the Egyp tia n co ntingents in t he rear.

Since none of their own fronticl5 bo rdered on those of the f rankish sla tes the Abbasjds were passive th rou ghout
the Crusad es; though Caliph Muqlali ( 1135-1160 ) is alleged to have sent an army of 20.000 men to fl#l t against
the Franks 1 know of no evidence of its seeing actio n.

52

The ba ttle wen t entirel y acco rd ing to plan. When Am alric c ha rged Saladin t ur ned in n ight , and as the
F ra nks fo llo wed in pu rs uit Sh ir ku h fell on t h e Egy ptia ns. Whcn Ama lric ma naged to rally his scattere d
kni ghts and re t urn to th e main part of th e fie ld he fo u nd tha t t h e majo rit y o f the Turco po les and
Fa limid s had been routed , b u t altho ugh th e Fr an ks had to abandon the ir baggage tr ain th ey managed
to ra lly a co nsidera ble nu m be r o f men and , fo rming a colu m n, re ti red fr om the fiel d in good o rder.
T he y had , ho we ver, los t 100 k nigh ts and an un doubtedly larger n u mbe r of Egypt ia ns and other s, and
st rat egic ally it was a Sy rian vic tory even tho ugh t he Sy rians themselves are sa id to have los t 1,5 00 me n.
T he Mos le ms ca lled the ba ttle ' T he Da y' o r ' T he Even t ' of a l-Babe in.
Soon a fte r, h earin g of a n at ta c k o n Fran k ish Sy ria by Nur ed -Din , t he F r:mk s wi th dre w fro m Egypt.
MYR IO KEPH ALO N 1 17 6
In a n a ttemp t to c rus h t he Seljuks o f Ru m, th e Byzan t ine Emperor Ma n uel I ga th e red a h uge b u t largely
merce na ry ar my , co n t ain ing in pa rti cular co nsid erab le numbers of VIe s a nd F ran ks , a nd marc hed on th ei r
cap it al lco niu m, in tendi ng t o captu re bo th th e ci t y and the su lta n, Kilij An lan 11.
T he ir march was o rde rly but slow , th e la rge nu m ber o f non-combatan ts att ending t he baggage t ra in
d ic tat ing th e ar my 's speed. In a dd iti o n th ey were dogged by bands o f 5- 10,0 0 0 T u rco mans, wh o
Kilij Arslan ha d instruc te d t o ad o p t a sco rc hed earth p o licy as th ey withdrew before the Byzam ines.
On reach in g th e abandon ed fo rt ress of Myrio kephalo n an e mb assy was receiv ed fr om the sult a n
propo sing peace, whi ch Manuel co n te m p tuo usly refused - probab ly for th e same rea so ns as Ro m anus
had ref used Alp A rstan's o ffe r before Man liker t a ce ntu ry ea rlier. Kilij Arsla n then o ccupied the
T zibrit ze Pass, a t the head of whi ch My rio kep ha lon sto o d.
Nex t day , igno ring the advice o f his officers, Manu el led his ar my in to t he pa ~", where th e Se ljuks a t least 50,000 s tro ng - could ap parently be dearly see n in th eir po siti o ns o n t he mo u n ta in slopes.
T he y gave way before th e Byza n t ine va ngua rd and allo wed th e b ulk of t he army to en te r th e narro w
d efile unmolested , wh ere th e By zan tin es were pa cked so d os e that th ey co uld scarcely m ove . As soon
as th e long co nvo y o f Byzanti n e baggage carts was hal fwa y in t o the pass th e Sefjuk s cha rged do wn
fr om both sides.
T he wago ns, ha rr assed hy Seljuk inf a n try ( who ha d se t so me o f th em o n Iire }, wer e una bit: to t urn in
t he na rr o w pass a nd co mp let ely b lo cke d t he roa d , full y p reve n ting any ret rea t by the bu lk of t he a rm y,
and the Tu rks ctos... d in on t he d iso rgams ed Byzanrincs. A co n fus ing ba t tle en sued in wh ich a fi er ce
sa ndstorm bli nded th e co m ba tan ts so t hat both sid es killed many o f th e ir o w n men , but as th e sto r m
su bsid ed t o wa rds even ing it became appa re n t th at although t h e Byzant ine vanguard had succ ess fu lly
forced its wa y to th ... o th er en d o f the pass it was t he Se ljuk s who had th e ad van tage .
O n th ... p lain befo re th e pass Ma nu cl ma naged to ra lly wi t h many o f his se nio r officers, and her e th e
ma in part o f t he surviving By za ntine a rm y e ncamped fo r the n ight , in suc h a preca rious sit ua t io n tha t
Manuel even co ns ide red aba nd o nin g th e army and seerc t1y slip pi ng a wa y. Ho we ver. Seljuk cas ua lti es had
been heavy to o, a nd de sp it e th e severe tosse s o f th e Byzan tin es Kilij A rsla n now se n t an e nvo y o ffering
pea ce in e xc hange fo r a n ugree men t by Ma nu e l to dism ant le t h e ron re sses of Dorylaeum and Sublaeum
a nd a payme n t t o t he su lt an o f horses, r ich cl oth and 20 0 ,000 go ld and silver picces, term s wh ic h
Man uel now willing ly acce p ted . It was o n ly o n t he wit hd raw al o f th e Byzan t in ... vangua rd from t he far
end o f th e T xibr it z... Pass t ha t it becam e ap parent to t he m ju st ho w heavy T ur kish cas ualties m ust
have h e e n - the hea ds and genit als o f th e co rpses lit te rmg t he pa ss ha ll c vc n been mut ila te d or rem oved
by th e Sclju ks o ve rnig h t so th a! it was impo ssible to d isti nguish Mosle m fro m Christ ia n o r therefore
ca lcu late K jlij Arsla n's losses.
Despit e the pea ce treaty t he Hyzan tin cs we re ha rrasscd as they wit hdrew by T urco ma n mbcsm e n, ov er
wh o m t he su lt an ha d littlc o r no contro l, and no t u nt ilt he y reac hed Chonac di d t he pursu it end. Saf e
within his own t e rr it o r y, Manue l refused to d isma nt le th e fort ifica t io ns of Do rylacu m. an d Kilij Arsla n
f elt o b liged to re taliate by de spat ching a ror c e o f 24 ,000 cava lry to ra id the Maea nd e r valle y. T hese
did co nside rable dam age an d sac ke d several to w ns befo re Man uel's for ces cau gh t an d d estr oyed t hem
at t he c ro ssin gs o f Hy...lion a nd Leimmoche ir.
T her e wer e furthc r sp o radi c s kir mis hes a nd co u n te r-a t tac ks again st T urco ma n raid crs be tween Phr ygia an d
Bith ymu w h ich we re ett her mo re o r less successfu l, bu t t he ca m pa ign o f 117 6 wa s really at a n ... nd . It left

53

bo t h Byza n tine Ana to lia and the Empire's military resources serio usly weak e ned .
MONTG ISA RD 11 77
While inva ding Frankish Syria an Egyptian a rm y under Sala d in was su rp rised and defea ted by t he Franks
u nd er Baldwin IV .
Af ter blo ckad ing Baldw in in Ascalon th e Egyptians, o rigina lly o ve r 26,000 stro ng according to WilJiam
o f T yr e (8,000 To assin a nd 18,00 0 Qaraghulams, all cavalr y, plus infantry mo unted on ca me ls a nd
m ules ), had sca tt ered to lo ot and pillage , co nf ide n t th a t t here wer e no fur ther e ne m y for ce s be t wee n
them an d J erusale m. But Baldwi n succ ee ded in ga t heri ng 375-50 0 knigh ts (in cl ud ing 80 Templars from
Gala) an d so mew ha t und er 3,000 infa n try and, evad ing t he sma ll Egypt ian holding for ce, su r prised
Salad in's mai n arm y as it was negotia ting a ravine near th e fortre ss o f Mo nt gisard .
Man y o f th e Egypt ian un its we re fo raging, o the rs were enca m ped, a nd t he Fra nkish att ack caugh t t he
main body a lmost co m pletely by su rp rise. They had ti me o nly to draw u p a ve ry lo ose ba t tle arra Y,their
un its milling abo ut in to ta l d iso rder and eve n a ll e m ptin g to revise their fo r ma tio n in t he face o f the
F rank ish c harge. I nevitably un de r such circumst an ces so me units bro ke and fled even before the Franks
made co n tac t with t hem , and t hose units which s tood wer e p ractically annihilat ed . Saladi n's o wn escape
was co vered by his personal guard of 1,000 ma mluks.
So co mp le te was th e F ran kish vict ory th at the Egypt ians a bandoned their booty , baggage and priso ners .
In ad d itio n to th eir heavy losses in th e ba ttle t he Egyptian s suf fe red fu rt her cas ualties as a result o f
Bedouin harra ssmen t dur ing t heir wit hdrawa l.
Frankish losses were also high, t he Master o f th e Hospit al record ing 1, 10 0 d ead and at least 7 50 wo u nd ed .
MARJ' AY YUNI 179
On rece iving news th at Salad in had invaded th e dis t ric t o f Banyas and Sidon a Frankish army u nder King
Baldw in IV a nd Co u nt Raym ond o f Tripo li se t o u t t o in te rce pt him. Reaching high ground o verloo king
the Ma r; ' Ay y u n they co uld see th e ten ts o f Sa lad in's main e nca m pmen t a t Ban yas in the dist ance an d
resolve d to de scend to t he plain wit hout furthe r del ayc th ough suc h was th ei r haste th at ma ny of thei r
i nfa n tr y, alread y e xh aus ted b y the lo ng ma rch , were u na ble t o kee p u p as t he army hu rried d ow n th e
stee p slo pe.
O nce o n t he plain t her e was a d elay o f 'severa l" hou rs (i n which most o f the infa nt ry were presumab ly
a ble to ca tch up) before Salad in's a dvance guard o f skir mishers, retu rning from ra ids fu rt he r to t he
west, were in tercep ted a nd defea te d, losing ma n y dea d. Enco uraged by their success ma ny of the
Frank ish cavalry c ha rged o ff in p urs uit u nder t he Mast er o f t he T emple and Coun t Ray mo nd , only to
be con fron ted by Sa ladin and t he ma in body o f the Mo sle m ar m y, o n w hich t he fle eing ski r mishers
now ra llied. Th e Fr ank s had no t ime to reform in orderly array be fo re t he Moslems wer e o n t he m,
but th ou gh diso rganised th ey manage d to ho ld o u t fo r a while bef ore Salad in's su perio r num ber s
o verw helmed and b ro ke the m, d riving t hem bac k in ro ut u pon Baldw in' s main body where the
infa n try were st ill co llect ing boo t y and rest ing af ter the initia l defea t o f the skir mishers.
Man y mo re F ra n ks we re kill ed or ca p t ured in t he p ursuit, though so me incl ud ing t he king himself
ma naged to esc a pe to the fort ress o f Beaufo rt. O th ers, wh o hid o vernigh t amo ngst th e rock s an d caves,
were h u n ted down an d ta ken priso ne r t he next mo rn ing. Th e Maste r o f th e T em ple, who was blamed
fo r the disas ter, was am on gst those tak e n ca p tive.
C R ESSON 118 7
Following a raid o n a Mo slem caravan d uring a period o f truce by Rey na ld de Chatillo n, Lord o f Kerak ,
Salad in resolved to invade the Kingd o m of Jerusalem.
In p re paration for th is Kuk bu ri of lI arra n and 2 o t her a mirs were despa tc hed to mak e a reconnaissance
in fo rce (6-7, 00 0 st ro ng) into Palest ine. As a result o f o pen enm ity bet ween King G uy and Co un t
Ra y mond o f Tri poli , per mission to cro ss his Ga lilean possessions was gra n ted by t he Co u n t on co nd itio n
t hat t he Moslem s wo uld cro ss and ret urn in a single da y a nd sho uld not pillage.

54

Pro bab ly Kukbur i's reco nnaissa nce would have passed withou t inci den t but for t he fact tha t the Masters
of t he Hospital an d Temple, sent by King Gu y to pa tch up a reco nc ilia tion with Ra ymo nd , learn t o f it
e n route to Ti berias. The Tem plar Master , Ger ard de Ridef o rt, immedia tely summo ned his Marsha l and
80 mo re bre t hre n (f rom t he T'e mplar garr isons of Qaq un a nd Faba) and mu st ered in total a fo rce o f 140
knights a nd 3-400 infan try with wh ich he a nd Roger des Mo ulins, Master of the Hospital, set o ut
to int erce pt the Moslem s.
Th e y ca ught u p wit h Kuk buri a t t he Spr ing o f Cresso n ( the S pring of Saffunya acco rdi ng to Moslem
so urces ) as his me n were wat ering their horses dur ing t he ret urn jo urney , a nd though numbe rs we re
utt erly against th em Gerard de Ridefo rt go aded th e knights into cha rging, wit ho ut eve n waiting fo r
th eirinfant ry to catch up. Inevitably they were all but massac red . Roger des Mo ulins and t he
Marshal of t he Temple we re a mo ngst t hose killed , though Ge rard hi mself ma naged to escape with 2
o ther bre thren. Of the rest, 40 sec ular knights were ca pt ured a nd the ot her 97 Te mplurs a nd
Hospitalle rs all killed.
r HE HOR NS OF HATTl N 1187
As a result of t he disaster at Cresson Raymo nd of T ripo li fell obliged to put aside his qua rrel with King
Guy in t he face of the co mmo n enemy and peace was made be tween th em. The Fra nkish forces th en
muste red at Acre to dispute Salad in's forth com ing invasio n. Various so urces record this muster as
between 20, 000 a nd 60 ,000 me n (see page 0 0), th e most co nvincing figure s, fo r t roop-type proportion s
rather t han fo r quan tities, being th ose of t he Historia Regni Hierosoly mit anl , where th e fo llowi ng
bre akdow n is given : 1,000 knights, 1,200 mercenary kni ght s an d 7,000 mercenary inf ant ry, 4 ,000
Tu rco poles, and 25,000 infa nt ry. No mo unted sergea nts a re mention ed , though th ey are possibly
meant by t he mo unted I'oulains record ed in th e an onymous Libellu s de Expugna tion c Terra e Sen c tae:
the sa me so urce records 'innume rable T urco poles', but however many t her e may have been the y
ap pear to have had no effec t o n t he subse que nt fighting. By co mpariso n Salad in's arm y co n tained
12,0 00 mamluks from Egypt , Dama scu s, Aleppo, Mosul , Mardin and elsewh ere, in add ition to a large
num ber of volunteers. J udging fro m cont empora ry acco unts part isan to both sides t he Mosle m arm y
was clearly th e larger, o ne so urce recordi ng as man y as 8 0, 000 men , an o ther t he im possib le figu re of
700, 0001 The lo west total reco rded in Fra nk ish sou rces is 25,00 0.
On Ju ly I Saladin enca mped at Kafa r Seb t, 6 miles sout h-west o f Co unt Raymo nd' s for tress of
T iberias, a position whch co mmanded th e ma in road to bot h T iberias and Senn a bra. Half his army
remained there while the o ther half attacked a nd sacked t he town a nd environs of Ti bcrtas the ne xt day ;
th e fortress itself, however, held o ut under t he command of Raym on d's wife, th e Co untess Esch iva,
who sen t an urgent a ppea l for aid 10 King Guy .
The message probab ly reach ed the king at Saffu riya, where his army had now encamped , the same
evening. Ra ymo nd, wh ose cas tle and wife we re those t hrea tened, wisely ad vised against going to t he
re lief o f Ti berias; he poi nted ou t that th eir own position at Saffuriya was a goo d one, amply provided
as it was with wa ter and pastu rage, an d should not be abando ned al a ny cost , particularly when their
presence alone co uld severe ly rest rict Saladin's mo vements. But Guy foolishly took co ntr ary advi ce
from the Master of t he Tem ple, Ge rard de Ridefo rt (who probab ly still seethed abou t his defea t at Crcsson,
for wh ich he undoub tedly held Raymo nd solely respo nsible) , and on the morning of Ju ly 3 t he Frank s
broke ca mp a t Saff unya and pre pared for thei r advance across the waterless Plain of To ran. T he y
abandoned t he Senna bra road in favo ur of a more no rtherly route, pro ba bly in part at least because
of the threa t of the Moslem pos ui o ns on Kafar Sebt an d also because it wouldlead t he m to the
springs of the Wad i Ham rna n.
Salad in, probably forew arned of their c ha nged route by deserters o r by traitors wit hin Raymo nd' s
con tingen t, now sh ifted his positio n from Kafar Sebt to the hills of Hut tin, which commanded the
nor therly road the Franks were now ta king. There he was joined by the majority of the troo ps who had
been besieging Tiberias, a sma ll forc e having been detached to co ntinue with Ihe siege, while skirrmshers
co mme nced 10 harrass t he Fr ankish colu mn.
All morning the Franks marched on , co ns tantly under at tack by th e Mosle m skir mishers . Ra ym on d's
vangua rd lost many knigh ts, an d so hard-pressed was the rearguard of Templars, Ifospitallers and
Turc opoles th at it had been dangero usly slowed down and ran the serio us risk of being sep arated

55

entirely fro m t he cen tre of t he column, co mmanded by King G uy . Being mad e a ware of t his danger by
messe ngers f rom Ge rard de Riddor t a nd Balla n d'I helin , Guy ordered t he a rmy to halt and en ca mp (o r
th e night , even t hou gh the y had cove red ba rely 5 miles a nd it was s till early afte rnoo n. Raymo nd, who
a ppears to have bee n the only sa ne commander in t he whole Frankish host, urged that it was imperativ e
th ey should push o n and reach a nearby sp ring , bu t with t he rearguard de moralised a nd t he in fa ntry
e xhaus ted his advice was poi ntless ; he is alleged to have th e n prophesied, 'T he war is o ver; we are dead
men; the kingdom is finished !' By now the Moslems had also blocke d the pass to t his spring, ho wever,
and t hou gh t here was clearly so me heavy figh ting nea r th e village o f Marcscal ha atte mpt s to dis lodge
the Moslems see m to have bee n unsuccessfu l. Left with no ot her o ption, Ray mond ad vised t he king to
encam p at Marcscallia itself , with o nly half th e dista nce to Tibcrias co vered a nd Sa ladi n still holding t he
wells.
During the night Saladin 's army close d in. Whe n morning ca me th e Frank s made o ne final at te mpt to
rea ch t he spring near lIa tt in but aga in fo und thei r way blo cked by the Mosle ms; ba ttl e was joined at
abou t q o'clock, t he main Mosle m army advanci ng towa rds them with the ce ntre held back an d th e
wings t hrown for wa rd , preceding t heir charge with a clo ud of arrows.
T he Frankish infa ntry, ex hausted a nd des perate fo r wa ter , failed to hol d formatio n and refused to sta nd;
they mad e a disconce rted dr ive to wards the Sea o f Gatilee, whic h t hey co ul9 see below the m, but finding
the ir pa th blo c ked th ey herd ed o nto a low hill , pr obably o ne o f th e pair kno wn as the Horn s of Ha t tin,
and despi te ent reaties fro m King Gu y wou ld no t jo in the ba tt le, pleading t hat t heir t hirst preven ted
the m. T hey too k no fur the r pa rt in t he battle until the Moslems fe ll o n t he m an d killed man y, ta king
t he rest prisone r.
T he rea r a nd ma in ba ttles, un supp o rted by th eir infa ntr y, we re now ha rd-pressed, parti cular ly the
Military Orders and t he T urco pole s. apparently still in the rearguard posi tion ; Ruym o nd a nd th e
vangua rd o f abou t 200 knights, mea nwhile, had bee n separa ted from th e bulk o f t he ar my whe n called
upo n by G uy to de liver th e first c harge a t about noon, when Taq i ad-Din had o pen ed his ra nks to avoid
th e impa c t and so let them t hro ugh, th ou gh inflic ting heavy casua lties o n th em as th ey passed [ Raymond
himself receiving 3 wo und s and one of his so ns being ca ptured). Seeing ho w hop eless t he sit ua tion
was and t ha t he co uld not get ba ck to t he ar my , Raymo nd rode from th e field and withdrew to Tyre.
It was pro bahl y a t t his stage t ha t Prince Re ynald o f Sido n a nd Balian d' Jbetin escap ed from t he reargua rd, as Jid a small numbe r of Tem plar s.
It was also at a bou t thi s stage, afte r the escape o f Raym o nd , tha t the Moslem s too k advan tage o f a wind

at t hei r hacks to fire the dry scrub. T he smo ke , blown to wards the e xhausted Frankish knigh ts, must
have to rt ure d t hroa ts t ha t had no t touched wat er fo r 24 hou rs o r mor e, and poss ibly even cho ked so me
to deat h. T he re ma ining knights t hen fell back to wards on e o f t he Ho rns of Hatt in, t he Mosle ms
revolving ro und t he m ' as a globe turns o n its axi s.' But the Moslem attac ks were repeatedly repulsed ,
des pite the death of the Bisho p of Acre and the ca ptur e o f th e Tr ue Cross by T uqi ad-Din himself,
and t he knig hts rnude a nu m be r of co unt er-a t tac ks wh ich came wit hin an ace of success. T he ir numbers
steadil y d windled , ho wever , and t he last 150 re tired to the summil of the hill, whe re King G uy's red
te nt had bee n se t up.
T he Moslem attacks pe rsisted un til finally the king' s tent was overthrow n, o n whic h th e tast fe w knights,
e xha usted, dismounted and th rew t he mselves on t he gro und . T he Moslems immediate ly surro unded
t he m and too k t he m ca ptive, toget her with the king, his brother the Co nstable Amal ric, Re ynald de
Chaullo n, Guard de Ridefo rl ,l oscclyn de Co ur tenay , Hum phrey de To ro n and ma ny others .
T he exte nt of t he disaster is well pu t ove r hy Ion al-Athir, wh o wrot e 'When one saw ho w ma ny wer e
de ad o ne co uld not believe that t her e were a ny pr isoners; and when o ne sa w the priso ners o ne co uld no t
believe t h3t t here wer e any dea d.' Beha ed-Din clai ms th a t 30 ,000 we re capt ured in all, and a furt her
30.000 killed . Ano th er so urce record s t hat 1,000 kn ight s were killed o r captu red ; the pri sone rs we re
pro bahly 311 secular knights, since the 200-260 Tem pla rs and Hospitalle rs ta ken alive ( Bar He bracus
reco rds on ly 80 1 were execu ted . Ge rard was spared, bu t Rcynald de Chautlon was ex ecuted fo r his
crimes, possi bly by Saladin's o wn hand.
T he nex t da y Tiberi as surr e ndered , realising th a t no he lp would no w be co ming, Countess Eschiva

56

being allo wed to de par t wit h hon o ur by Saladin.


T HE GREAT BATT LE OF ACR E t 189
Cramped by Ihe dose pro ximit y of Saladin's field ar my whi lst besieging Acre, King Gu y was
encouraged by th e arr ival o f rei nfo rceme nts 10 la unch an attac k against th e Moslem ca mp. T he Franks
d rew up in 4 divisio ns, each of cavalry an d infa nt ry with arche rs and c ross bo wme n to t he fo re. IIis left
Ilank rested o n the sea, his right o n the Rive r Bclus.
Whe n the Fr ankish cavalry cha rged bo t h t he Moslem Ilanks gave way, t he right wing u nder Taqi ad-Din
possibly fe igning ni ght to d raw th e Templars of th e Frankish left fro m t he field in pursuit. Salad in
rei nfor ced his own left fro m t he cent re which , t hu s weak ened , subseq ue ntl y bro ke when t he Fran kish
cen t re cha rged. So me Franks pushed o n right up to t he Moslem camp bef o re Saladi n, reaching high
groun d and succ essfully rallyi ng th e cent re a nd left, launched a co unter-a tt ack. T he Franks, by now
dispe rsed in sea rc h of plu nder, bro ke in pa nic an d we re dri ven ba ck to t heir o wn ca mp with hea vy losses.
Gu y lost 7- 10, 000 men, 4,100 of whom fe ll on th e right flank , incl uding many Templar bre t hren :
Gera rd de Rldefort, Master o f the Temple, was again capt ured and th is time Sa ladi n had him e xecu ted.
Moslem losses to talled 1,500 includ ing 150 Ro yal Mamluks and 2 se nior am irs. In addi tion the Diyar
Be kr contingen t, which had fo rme d part o f Taqi 's righ t wing a nd Iled du ring t he initia l rout , failed
to re tu rn after the ba t tle, only ne xt bei ng hea rd fro m wh en t hey had reached Galile e!
T he magnit ude of t he Fran kish defeat might have bee n greater if Gu y had no t had the fo resight to
anti ci pate a so r tie agai nst his ow n ca mp by t he garrison of Acre a nd told o H a holding fo rce to conta in it.
ACRE 1190
Hearin g t ha t Saladi n' s right Flank , co mman ded by his neph ew Taqi ad-Din, had bee n weake ned by the
despa tc h of seve ra l detac hments 10 wat c h t he ap pr oac h of the remna nts of Freder ick Bar ba rossa's
Ger ma n cr usade , a large numbe r of Fr ankish so ldiers decided to march ou t from thei r e ntrenchme nts
ro un d Acre and fall unexpected ly o n the Mosle m a rm y, a gainst the will o f t heir leaders.
T he y caught the Moslcms co mpletely unawares, and by t he time t he la tt er had armed and mo unted th e
Fra nk s had alread y smashed t hro ugh the wea kened right wing and penetra ted as fa r as the camp. T he y
then bega n to loot and pillage and became d iso rganised so t hat Taqi, rallying t hos e of his troo ps that
were nearest , successf ully la unched a co unter-a tt ac k. T he Fra nk s stoo d at first but wer e rou te d when
a fresh divisio n, t he Mosul 'ask a r, follow ed by Saladin with most o f t he Mosle m ce ntre, jo ined t he
battle. As in th e grea t bat tle o f t he previo us year they were then c hase d bac k to t heir o wn ca mp.
The ba ttle lasted little mor e than a co uple of hou rs, by t he end of whic h t he Fra nks had lost some
4,000 men. Mosle m so urces cla im that t he Fr anks lost 7-8,000 , t he mselves losing o nly 10 , bo th figures
obviou sly high ly impro ba ble. Fe w pr iso ners were take n a nd most of t hcm we re e xecuted.
ARSOU f J 191
Marching alo ng the coast road towa rds Arso uf dur ing t he T hird Crusade, a n ar my of crusaders and
Sy rian Franks unde r King Richard I of England wa s attacked by a la rge Moslem fo rce unde r Saladin,
possibly ou t numbe ring the Fra nks by 3 : I.
Ant ici pat ing t he attack , Richard had ta ken me ticul o us care in arra nging his line of march that mo rning,
o rganising the arm y in 5 ba ttalions co mprised in all of 12 divisio ns of knights, flan ked on t he lan dwa rd
side by a lightly-pac ke\1 wall of infan t ry and on t he sea ward side by t he baggage train a nd mo re
infant ry . T he vanguard was held by Tcmpla rs an d t he rearguard by Hcspitallers and 'c ho ice knight s
divided into sq uadrons, its membe rs ... so close togeth e r t ha t an a pple co uld no t be t hro wn to the
gro und wit ho ut to uc hing the men o r the ir ho rses.'
Saladi n had been harrassing t he Frankish column fo r several days bu t had failed to disrupt its
for ma tio n or dr aw t he knights away from the pro tectio n of t he mai n co lumn. Now, at a po int where
t he Fo rest of Arso uf ca me do wn to wit hin 3 miles of the coast, he launche d an all-cut attack o n the
Ifospitallers o f the reargua rd.

"

For some time t he Fra nk s st ruggled on under a co nsta nt ha il of arr ow s, with pre ssur e steadily increasing
o n the hard -pre ssed rearguard until th e Hospitall ers, t wice having been refused per mission to co untera t tac k, finall y diso beyed and charged o ut against t he Moslem s, ju st bef ore Ric hard gave a gene ral o rde r
to do so , th eir premature cha rge giving man y of t he Moslem s a chance to fall back a nd avoid the full
impa ct of th e Fr ank ish c ha rge wh ich might ha ve o t her wise smashed t he m. Fo r a few minutes t he
reargua rd was thr ow n int o co nf usio n as t he Moslems rall ied unt il Richard bro ught up reinfo rcement s
fro m t he cent re an d d rove t hem back , Moslem co un te r-a ttac ks o n bo th the Ho spit aller s and t he
Nor ma ns a nd English guarding th e ro yal s tandard like wise bei ng re pulsed. Th e knight s the n rallied on
t he standard a nd ref o rmed t heir ranks. and th e ar my co ntinued its mar ch to Arso uL
Moslem casua lties amounted to 7,000 de ad, including 3 2 emirs. whil e t he Franks' losses were under
700, incl udin g o nly o ne nobl em an o f distinc tion . Ho wever , th e a ppa re nt vict ory was indecisi ve;
the Moslems attacked again la ter t he sa me day as the Frank s were pitc hing the ir tents outside Arsouf,
hut t hey were agai n re pu lsed and driven back to th e for est.
JAFF A 1 192
King Rich ard , co mmanding a small fo rce of o nly 2,000 infantry , incl uding 400 cro ssbo wme n but for
t he most part I'isa n an d Oe noese sailors (Beha ed -Din says t hat th ere were o nly 300-1 ,000 infant ry in
all} , and 55-80 knigh ts of whom o nly 9-17 (including th e king) were mo un te d, d rew up an infa nt ry
phalan x in 2 line s, t he first o f spe ar me n a nd t he seco nd of a rchers an d c rossbo wme n. The spear me n
se t th eir shie lds before the m to fo rm a wall be hind which the arch e rs co uld she lte r, and fixed th eir
spear hulls in the grou nd so tha t t he head s were levelled agains t the che s ts of a ny horse that dared to
a pp roach . Befo re t he whole Force a ro ugh barr icade of tent -pe gs had been set up to diso rganise the
e nemy cha rge.

T he Mosle m arm y under Salad in , co mprised o f Kur ds and ma mluks, was relu c tant to dose with th is
fo r ma tio n hut att e mpt ed to c harge against it in 7 successive waves, th e ir attac ks lasting until midafternoon when, after a single co nce rted voll ey by the crossbowmen , th ey were dri ven away by a gener al
advance of t he spcar me n, led hy Richa rd himself with his few mou nted knig hts, leaving 700 men a nd
1,500 horses <lead . Rich ard lost on ly 2 men in additio n to a number of wounded .
An a ttempt by th e Moslems to seize Ja ffa in t he rear of t he Franks was foiled by Richa rd' s tim ely
re t urn with J small nu mh er of kn ight s. Th e town was t hen re-garr iso ned by him with th e Pisan and
Gen c cse sailors who had abandon ed th e defences wh en the Moslem s a tta ck ed ,
ADRIANOPLE 120 5
Whilst besieging Ad ria no ple the Roma nian Frank s under the Latin Emperor Bald win I and Doge Da ndo lo
we re at tac ked by a Bulgaria n army unde r Joanmtsu. inc lud ing Greek s as well as 14,000 Cum a n
a uxiha rie s.

Having learn t from bitter e xperie nce t ha t it wa s ina dvisable 10 pu rsue ret reating Cu mans the Fra nks
deci de d to assum e a defensive fo r ma tion and [c t t he Bulgarian s attac k rath e r t ha n th em selves ta ke the
offensive. Ho we ver, whe n the Curnans har -assed t he ir cam p the morning after t hey had made these
plans t he Fr ank s forsoo k their ca ut io n and pu rsued the m piecem eal. upon which th e Cum ans t urned
and routed them . ca ptu ring Baldw in in t he process.
Th e rout wa s ha lted by a H'lid force tha t had been left to co ntinue! Ihe siege of Ad riano ple , and when
the Bulgarian pu rsuit saw thi s seco nd arm y t hey halt ed. T he t wo sides faced each o ther th us unt il
nightfal l, th e Cuman s persiste ntl y harr assing th e Fran ks wit h arro w-ure all th at time. The Fr anks
fina lly withdrew und er cove r of da rkn ess, having 10 51 120-300 knight s and a large num be r o f sergeants
und infan tr y. aband oning t heir ca mp to t he Bulgarians. Baldw in died or was m urdered in ca ptivity.
ANTlOC H INP ISID IA 12 11
Acco mpanied by Fra nk ish mer cen aries supp lied by t he Latin Emp eror Henry as wen as Phr ygja n t roo ps
under the <le posed Byzant ine Emp ero r Alex ius III and his neph ew Manuel Mavro zom es. th e Selj uks
under Sulta n Kai Khosro u I of Rum ma rche d against Empero r Theod or e I of Nrcaea. I n th e summer
t hey too k Allaleia, then advanced towards x tcaea and la id siege to Ant ioc h-in-Pisidia.

58

The 2,000-stro ng Nicaean army , also incl udi ng a co n ti ngen t o f Fr an kish merce nar ies (800 me n, c hie fly
Ita lian s ), co nfro n ted them near t he city. The who le Nicaea n ar my ca rr ied crosses o n t he ir shields in
imit ati on o f th e ar my o f Co nstantine t he Grea t a t th e Battl e of Milvian Brid ge in 3 12.
In th e ens uing ba ttl e the Italians fo rming the Nicaean vanguard were overw helm ed by the Se lju ks and
pra c tica lly wipe d o u t. Kai Khosrou then led a n a tt ac k against T heodore himse lf and personally unhorsed
him, the Emperor o nly sa ving himself b y hack ing a t t he for elegs o f the Sult an 's mare. b ringing do wn
both ho rse and rider upo n whi ch Kai Khosrou was insta n tly dec a pita ted by a Nicaean so ldie r. Yet the
ba t tle appea rs to have bee n inde cisive, authoritie s vario us ly claiming the rout o f the Nicaeans a nd t he
Se ljuks, t ho ugh it see ms mo re p roba ble th a t it was t he leade rless T u r ks wh o b ro ke and fled. Ce rta in ly
Alexi us and Man ue l Mavro zom es were ca pt ured d uri ng the pu rsuit. At the sa me time , however,
Theod o re's losses ca n o nly be descri bed as cri p pling.
DAMI ETTA 121 9
As a result o f d issens ion in Ihe F rank ish ca m p du ring th e siege o f Dumictta, t he leade rs o f the Fifth
Cr usad e acquiesced to the de ma nds of t heir army and marc hed o u t against the e nca m p me nt o f th e
enci rcl ing Mosle m field -army .
Th e Mosle ms, dra wing u p, feigned ni gh t with their ce n tre and dre w th e ine xperienced an d foo lhardy
Frankish infa n try in pursuit. At the same t ime Bedo uin auxilia ries fe ll o n the Frank ish ca mp-fo llo we rs,
o bliging t he King, J o hn de Brien ne, to fall bac k to their d efence , and whe n the Ro ma n infa n tr y o f Ca rd ina l
Pelagius sa w t his t hey t hought t ha t t he kn igh ts wer e runn ing away a nd them selve s tu rned a nd fled . T he
pa nic sp read a nd the entire a rmy br o ke in rout , o nly a rear gua rd acti on by King J oh n. t he Military Ord ers
and so me Fren ch and Englis h kn ight s p reve n ti ng a major d isas ter .
The F ranks appea r to ha ve lost 20 0-400 knigh ts (i ncl udi ng 3 3-50 T e mpters. 3 2 Hospit alle rs an d 30
T eu ton ic Kn ight s) and 1-2,00 0 , or pos sibly as man y as 5 ,000, infa n try ,
BAHR ASHMUN 122 1
Advancing from Damle ua towards Cairo un de r King J o hn a nd t he infam ous Card inal Pe lagius, a
Fran kish ar my numbering 1,200-5 ,00 0 kn ight s, 4,000 archers {inclu d ing 2,50 0 mer ce naries.
possibly all T urc o poles], mo un ted sergea n ts and 20-40 ,000 inf an t ry was pinne d d ow n by Egypua n and
Syria n forces unde r Sulta n al-Kam il and al-Ash raf of t he Ja zira . Th e Moslem ar m y included so me
7-40, 0 00 c avalry.
After being blockaded wit hin t he ir fo r tified encam pme nt fo r a mon th, t he ir lines of co m m u nica tio n
c u t by an Egyp tia n flee t o n the Nile in th eir rear, the Fra nk s finall y resol ved to fall bac k o n Darmcna .
T he y set o u t at nigh t, hu t th e Teu tonic Knigh ts were st upi d en ou gh to advert ise the fac t by se tt ing
fire to th e aba ndo ned te n ts. To im ped e thei r wit hd rawa l, the Mosl em s o pe ned sluic e ga tes al o ng t he
bank s o f the Nile and b y morni ng, as t he Fr ank s flounde red t hro ugh t he wat e rlo gged fields a nd d itc hes,
the Moslem s had in terce pted a nd su rro un de d the m. T he Fra nk s ma naged to ho ld o u t for a da y,
repu lsing th e mamluks and Su da nese infan try se n t against t he m (a nd inflicting a bou t 1,00 0 cas ual t ies
on the la lter ), b u t fur t her ret rea t was imp ossible. T he a rmy su rre ndered o n modera te te r ms 3 day s
late r.
AKH LAT (E RZ INJAN ) 1230
While e xpa nding in to the Selj u k d o main s o f R um , Jal al ad -Din, Sha h o f Khwar iz mia, besiege d and
ca ptu red Akhlat from a l-Ashraf Musa of Damascu s, bro th e r o f th e A yyubid Su lta n o f Egypt. This was
a poli tically un wise move since it pro m pted an alliance be t wee n th e previo usly im placable ad versar ies
al-Ashraf and Sultan Kai Kobad o f Ru m against the Khwarizmian s.
Ja lal ad-Din a dva nce d 10 Khart pert in t he hope o f catching a nd defea ting the allies individua lly , bu t
fa lling ill he was unable to p re ven t the junc tu re of th eir fo rces at Sivas. AI-Ashraf led 5,000 elite
ca valry , and Kai Ko bad 20 ,000 incl uding nap tha- th ro wers and c rossbow-a rmed infa n tr y.
In th e meantime Ja lal' s fo rces had bee n reduced by de tac hme n ts and he was conseq ue ntly soundly
defeated a t Erzin jan, from where he with d rew to Akh Jat and th en to Azer baijan . T he Seliu k-Syrian
allies did no t pursue. Instead they mad e pea ce with Jalal, ap pre cia ting Khw ar iz mia's value as a b uffe r

59

sta le be t wee n t hem and t he Mo ngo ls.


CASAl lMBE RT t 232
T his battle to o k p lace du r jng a ci vil war be tween the Im perialis t factio n o f Fredenc k 11 , u nde r t he
Imperial Lega te Rich ar d Ftlangicri, andthe Ihe lin party of Jean d'Ibe ltn , th e 'O ld lord of Beir u t' ,
sup po rt ed hy King He nry I of Cyp rus.
Encam ped a t Casa llrnbcrt w ith only a very small fo rce , King Henr y, accom pa nied by A nseau d e Brie
and t he O ld lord 's so ns Bald win, Hugh a nd G uy and neph ew Jea n (a ut hor o f t he ' Assises"), was defea ted
hy t he Lombards (i.e. th e Im pe rialists). Whe n dar kn ess fell th e lom b ard s had se t sail from T yr e wit h
1 1 ga lkys an d su rprise d t he lbe uns. Enca mp ed badl y (Jean d' lhe lin 's sen t ries, fo r e xam ple , had been
po sted o n th e wron g side o f t he ca m p) th e kin g's par t y were cau gh t to ta lly un prepared ( t he
chro nicler Ph ilip of No vara spea ks o f 'so me on foot, ot hers o n ho rse w itho ut sad dles, so me a rm ed
wit h ha u be rks and o the rwise na ke d , ot hers wh olly u nar me d' ), h u t t hey mana ged t o ho ld the ca m p
until daylig h t ; K ing lI e nr y himse lf was mo un ted 'alm o st e n t irely naked ' on a horse by h is bod yguard
and esc ap ed to Ac re w ith a small re t inue .
AI d aw n Lom bar d rein forcemen ts were land ed fro m the T y rea n ga lley s an d t he Ibelin ca m p wa s fin ally
ta ke n, the Lom ba rd s cap turi ng 24 lbe lin k nig hts, nearly every horse le ft in t he cam p, an d m o st of t he
arms a nd equipme nt sto red th er e, T he su rviving Ibe lins ra llied o n a nea r by hi ll, w here a re lief fo rce from
Acr e u nde r t he O ld lord foun d them soo n af t er. Th e Lcm bards, seeing th e relief for ce a p pro aching,
trans ferred as m uc h loot as possible to t he sh ips an d bega n a precipit a te with drawa l to T y re b y lan d a nd
sea , arch ers an d crossbo w me n ho ld in g o ff t hose l bc lins who tr ied to fall o n t he rea rgu ard of th e ir
lundb ound fo rce as it wit hd re w t h rough the Pass o f Poulain .
AGRID I 1232
Fo llo wing up his success a t Casal lmber t 6 wee ks ear lier , F ila ngier i had in vad ed Cyprus w ith t he
in le nt ion of co mplet ely reduc ing t he island, w hich was a lready larg el y in t he ha nds o f t he Im pe rialist

Iacuo n.
In te ndi ng to re lieve t he besieged fo rt ress of Dieu d ' Amou r, besieged b y Filangieri, t he Old lord of
Beirut left 50-60 d ism ou n te d sergean ts 10 h o ld th e villa ge o f Agridi t hen p roceeded along a narro w pass
tow ar ds t he fort in 4 d ivision s , in the hope th at th e Lo m bar d s wou ld co m e down a nd jo in ba it le.
His vanguar d was co m m and ed by his so ns Hugh and Balian w it h Anseau de Bne ; t he second d ivisio n b)'
Ha ld win ; t he t h ird \ly J o hn o f Caesa rea : an d th e fourt h by Kin g !Ie nry a nd the O ld lord h im self wit h
his o t her sons an d neph ew J ean. Th eir fo rce wa s sho rt of hor ses a nd prob a bly in a ll t ot alled only abou t
~30 ho rsem en , as o ppose d to ah o u t ~,O OO Im per ia list cava lr y vt he la tt er includi ng Cyp riote Turco pole s
ar ul T ripo lita nia n a nd Cilkian merce na ries.
The Lo m ba rd s, seei ng thi s infer io r force, desce nded fro m t heir st ro ng po sition h igh er u p t he pass a nd
atta c ked in 3 di visio ns, with Fil a ngieri comma ndi ng t he rearguar d . T h e im pet us o f t he Lc m bard
van gu ard 's c ha rge ca rried it 'clear beyo nd ' t he lbeli ns, u pon wh ich it fle d t he field . The sec o nd
div ision , however , fough t a fier ce hat tle wit h t he fir st 2 Ibe lin d ivisio ns until Co u n t Berar d , its
co m ma nde r, was u n ho rse d by Anseau de Brie an d k illed hy t he Ihe lin in fant r y w ho had c ome up from
Agrid i, as wer e m an )' o t he r Lo m bard ho rsemen. Mo re t ha n 6 0 o f th e ir kn ight s we re kill ed , a nd 4 0
more ca p t ured, wh ile of t he l be lins only o ne kn igh t was killed , and he in error by an Ihe lin
infant ry man.
Pita nglcri. mean wh ile, wit h t he bu lk o f th e 1,0 00 Im pe rialist cava lry , ha d been prevent ed from co m ing
to Co u nt Berar d's aid hy Ba lian d ' lb e lin wh o , w ith a han d ful o f kn igh ts ( 5 , o f whom o ne was th e
ch ro nicl er I' h ilip o f Nov a ru). had di str act ed a nd di sor gan ised his division hy co nsta nt harassm ent in
the con fined space o f th e pass un t il t he Im per ial l egat e was forced 10 0 ee .
T he Lo m bar ds' van gu a rd d ivisio n, whic h had faile d t o re tu rn t o the bat lie , was la ter tra ppe d in a fos-se'
bef o re Ga stna a nd it s com mand er a nd abou t 10 0 mo re k nights were ca p tu red t here. D ieu d ' A mou r
was me an wh ile relie ved .

60

DARB SAQ 123 7


Whilsl besieg ing the Mosle m fort ress o f Durbsaq a F ran kish army un de r Willia m de Mont ferrat , t he
Te m plar Prece pto r of An tio ch , was sur prised and defea ted by a Mosle m relie f fo rce desp a tched fro m
Ale ppo . Willia m had be en warne d o f t he ene m y' s ap pro ach by Ch rislia n pr isoners in Darb saq but had
fa iled 10 ac t o n t he info rma tio n, as a result o f w hic h his army was c u t to pieces and he him sel f kille d .
Mo re tha n 10 0 o t her T empla r brethren died as we ll as 30 0 cross bo w men in th e ir em plo y a nd a
n um be r of sec ula r kn igh ts. The Moslem s the mse lves a llegedl y (bu t highly im p ro bably) lost 3, 0 00 men .
GAZ A 1239
A det ac hm en t fro m King T iba ld o f Navar re's crusade se t o u t to a t tac k an Egypti a n fo rce in the
vici nit y of Gaza repo r ted 10 nu mb er o nly ab o ut 1,00 0 men . T he F ran kish fo rce pro ba bly n um ber ed
so me thing be twee n 1,500 and 2,0 00 me n. includ ing 50 0 ca valr y, u nder Co unt Henr y o f Bar.
Unfor t unately, ho wever, lhe Egy pt ia ns were co nside ra bly su perior in nu m bers a nd t heir slingcrs and
cross bo wme n enci rcled t he F rank ish a rm y a s it paused for a mea l am o ngst the sand hills an d du nes
nea r Ga za. At lengt h re alising th ei r mistake se veral of t he nat ive Sy ria n F ra n ks withd rew, bu t Co u n t
lI enr y refu sed to ab and o n his infan tr y in the face o f t he enemy.
T he e nsuing batt le was shor t a nd bloo d y. T he F ran kish cr c ssbowm en at first see med likely to succeed
in dr iving Ihe Egyp tian missile-men fr om the d u nes but ra n out o f crossbo w bolt s. Th e kn igh ts th e n
charge d in to a na rro w valley be t wee n t wo du nes wher e t hey co uld she lt er fro m t he devastating barra ge
the Egy pt ia ns we re layi ng do wn, sca t terin g the infan t ry who a tte m pte d to hold it against t he m.
Almost sim u lta neo usly, how ever, t he Egy pti an cavalry arr ived and , fe igning n igh t, dre w the knigh ts
back in to t he o pe n wher e, un a ble to ma noeuvre th ei r heavily la de n mo un ts in the d eep sand, t hey
wer e pick ed o ff by t he Egy ptia n a rc hers a nd cu t to pieces by t he cavalry.
The so u rces di ff er regard ing t he number o f cas ualt ies, bu t it wo uld see m th a t 1,0 0 0- 1,8 0 0 men wer e
kille d a nd a t least 80 kn igh ts and 25 0 o t he rs ca ptu red; a no t her re po rt gives I co un t, I S k nigh ts and
50 0 o the rs taken ca ptive. Co u n t Henr y was amo ngst the slain. Th e mai n bo d y o f King T ibald 's ar m y
su bseq uen tl y wit hd rew to Acre.
KUZA DAG H 124 3
Invad ing th e R umi prov ince of Armenia , a Mo ngo l fo rce u nder Baich u, including G eo rgia n and
Arme nia n au xiliaries, a tt acked Erze ru m and razed it to th e ground a ft er a brief siege. T hey t hen
wit hd rew to win ter o n t he plain o f Mugha n, b u t in resp onse to belliger ent th reats from t he Selj u k
sul tan o f Ru m, Ka i Khosro u 11 , t hey ma rched o u t again, this ti me to wards t he Se lju k posit io ns in th e
pass o f Kuza dagh nea r Er zinja n.
Baic hu , wary o f t he large n u mb ers o f au xiliaries in his a rm y, d isba nd ed a nu m ber o f Geo rgia n and
A rmen ian units as u nt rust wo rt hy and dist rib u ted t he res t amo ngst his Mo ngo l troo ps to p reve n t
dese rtion o r t reac hery. O n t he day of battle his co m ma nd is re ported to have bee n 10-30 ,0 0 0 st rong,
proba bly his o wn To u man o f 10 ,000 and 20, 0 00 au xiliar ies. Kai Kbosro u's ar my was cl ea rly la rge r, some
so u rces cla iming 10 0 -160 ,00 0 men. It incl ude d Bcd o uins, G eo rgians, Sy rians fro m Alepp o , 2, 0 00 or
mo re Frankish me rce naries {chie fly Cy prio tes) and prob ably a co n t ingen t o f T ra pez u nt ine Byzan t ine s.
T he batt le itself was indeci sive. The mai n part o f Baic hu's Arme nian and Geo rgian aux ilia rie s de fea ted
the Selju k's right fl ank , whe re a nu m ber o f amirs wer e killed, t ho ugh the Selju k left succ essf ully dro ve
back t he Mo ngo ls. Nigh tf all e nded hostil it ies a nd both sides e nca mped on the field , bu t dur ing the night
t he Selju k fo rces eva po rated, a nd when Baic hu lau nc hed a sudden a ttac k agains t t he Selju k ca m p a t
first ligh t th e nex t mo rning it was fo u nd to be deserted. It seems t ha t Ka i Khosrou , d u bio us of t he
loyal t y of man y of his amirs ( who wished to surr en de r ), had slip ped away t h rough fear of tre ache ry,
and his ar m y see ms to have fo llo wed su it; alte rn ativ e ly it may ha ve bee n his army which slipped a way
fi rst !
O n disc overing t he Se lju ks' ni gh t th e Mo ngo ls susp ec ted t ha t it was a ruse inten ded to d raw the m in to an
am bush. T he ir p u rsuit was t herefore del ayed by a fu ll day, bu t eve n the n ma ny Selju ks we re o ver ta ken
a nd kille d. Kai Khosrou himse lf esca ped to An kara. Thereaft er t he Sulta n of R um beca me a vassal of
the Mon go ls, paying an an nualtrib ute o f 12 millio n Hy per per es, 5,000 shee p, 500 camels and 50 0
piece s o f silk.

61

l. A FO R BIE (GA lA) 124 4


Allied to al-Man sur o f lI o ms and a n-Nasir o f Kera k, a F rank ish arm y u nd er Ph ilip d e Mo n t for t an d
Co u nt Waite r de Brien ne o f J aff a ma rc hed against as-Satin Ay yu b, Su lt an o f Egypt. In add it ion to 6, 0 00
Fra nks , incl udi ng in fa n try , Cypnote k nig h ts, co n t inge nts from th e Military O rders (Hospital, Te mp le,
Teut o n ic Kn ights and St Lazarus) a nd T urco po te ca vah y, th eir com bi ned ar my in clu d ed 4 -5 ,000 or m o re
Syria n an d Bedou in cava lry.

A t la Fo r bie , ne ar Gaza, an Egypt ia n army und e r th e ami r Ba ibars co nsistin g o f 5,0 00 e lite tro op s an d
10 ,00 0 me rc ena ry Kh wa rizm ian ca valry oppo sed the m. Al-M ansur adv ised Ihat th e allied arm y should
fo rt ify th eir cam p an d ac t on th e d ef ensive sinc e th e Khwari zmi ans were u n ha pp y allack ing st ro ng
po siti o ns and wou ld pro ba bl y de ser t, th er e by forci ng t he wit hdra wa l o f th e remainde r o f t he in fer ior
Egyp tia n fo rc e. Co u nt Waile r, how ever , insist ed th at t hey sho uld adv ance and e ngage t he Egyptia ns
im media tely, an d un fortuna tel y h is co u nse l preva iled .
Confron ted b y t he Kh wariz mia ns, m o st o f th e Sy rian s of th e allied cen tr e took to nigh t w hen
co u n te r-a tt ac ke d; only th e 2,OOO-slro ng Ho ms con t in ge n t did no t flee o u t righ t, fightin g th e ir wa y o ff
t he fiel d in go od o rde r despit e suffering per h aps as m an y as 1,720 casua lt ies, The d epart ur e of the
Syr ia ns, foll ow ed post-h ast e by t he Bed ou ins po sted on the lef t flan k, lef t th e ir Fra nki sh allies o n th e
righ t ho pelessly o u t nu mbered . T h ese the Khwar izmi an s no w at tacked in flan k w hile t he Egyptian s
pressed in o n the ir front (alt em a uvel y t he Egy ptjans m ay ha ve fled , leaving th e Khw arizmi a ns to e nci rcl e
th e Fra n ks).
After se vera l hou rs o f ha rd figh ti ng Ihe Fr ank s were routed . Emo ul say s that bare ly a q u ar ter o f t he
arm y escaped , bu t t h ey m ay have lo st as ma ny as 5,00 0 d ead . 325 Ho spita ller s, 3 12 T empla rs a nd perha ps
297 T euto ni c Kn igh ts wer e kill ed , o n ly 12-65 (5 -26 110spita llers, 4-3 6 T ern pla rs a nd 3 T eutonic Kn igh ts )
ma na ging to esca pe, t he Mast e r of the T e m p le bei ng a mo ngst th e dea d . T h e Lazar co nti ngen t
( p ossibl y abo ut 40 me n, ce. r tainly no mo re) an d th e Cvpnore co n tingen t o f 30 0 me n were wiped o u t.
In a dd iti on the Egyptia ns t ook 80 0 pr iso ner s, in cl ud ing Co u n t Waiter and th e Mast er o f th e Ho spital
( bo t h of wh om d ied in ca pti vit y ) and perh aps 100 o t he r bre t hre n o f t he Milit ary Ord ers, Not without
reaso n has th is ba t t le bee n descr ibed as 'a secon d Ha lti n' !
El. MANSU RA H 1250
Aft er ca p tu ring Damictta du ring th e Sevent h Crusade, an arm y o f 2040, 000 cr usa ders un de r Kin g
Lou is IX o f F ra nce mar ch ed o n Ca iro . Alt h ou gh la rgel y F renc h in co m posit io n, incl ud ing 1,800-2,500
knights and 5 ,000 ar ch ers, t he a rmy als o incl uded 400 Achaia n k nights, 200 English kn ight s un der Earl
WiIliam o f Sa lisbu ry , and a bout 700 -1,0 0 0 Ho spitalfe r, Te m pla r, Cy p no te and Sy ria n F rank ish knight s.

T he ir a d va nce was held up for nea tl y 2 mo n t hs by t he Egyptian s' d efe nce of a ca na l j us t north o f El
MJ nsurah , t he Ba hr as-Saghir , hu t eve ntu all y a local Co pt revea led a fo rd to t he m 4 m iles 10 the ea st nea r
the village o f Sala m un . T wo days la te r the ca valr y of the Fra nk ish a rm y crossed t he ca nal by th is fo rd ,
t he p la n be ing for the m t o th en rid e bac k a long the ca n al to co ver t he c ross ing o f t he infant ry o ver a
makesh ift woo d en bridg e . Ho wever t he vanguard u nde r Lo u is' bro the r Ro ber t d ' Ar to is, com p rise d o f so me
some 1,50 0 k n igh ts in clu din g 2QO T cm plars. fa ile d 10 fo llo w t hese instr uc t io ns an d once acro ss ro de
st ra igh t for t he Egy p tia n ca m p. Th e Mo slem s were caugh t co m ple tely by su rprise an d d rive n fro m t hei r
ca m p and in to El Ma nsu ra h with heav y losses, t heir co m ma nder Fakr ad-Din bei ng killed in t he
co nfusio n. Hut de sp it e thi s ini t ial succ ess when th e F ranks fo llow ed the nee ing Egyptia ns in to th e
to w n t hey we re routed hy 2 r namluk regime n ts co m man ded by th e em ir Baibars, th e Bahr iy yah an d
Ja md ariy ya h, a nd shot do wn b y a rch ers po sit ioned o n th e ro o ft ops, pe rhap s as ma ny as 1,000-1,500
Fra n kish ho rse me n being killed inclu di ng Ro ber t, th e Ea rl o f Salisbury, mo st o f t he 200 En glishm e n
an d 28 5 Temp ters.
T he ma in bo dy o f Frank ish cavalry under " jns Lo u is, wi th t he ele men t of sur p rise no w lo st, ma naged
to secure a brid ge head o n ly af ter a ha rd Iigh r, th e Egyptian s o n ly being finall y d riven ba c k w he n the
crossbo w-a rmed Fr ank ish in fantry beg a n to cross b)' t heir hast ily co m ple ted ca use wa y to war ds
nigh t fa ll, By thi s time at least a third of t he kn ights were dea d an d m an y more we re wit h o u t hor ses, a nd
alth o ugh t hey su ccee ded in ho lding t he bri dge hea d against a fie rce n ight-a ttack the Fra nk s no longer
had th e st rengt h 10 ad vance furt he r. .3 da ys la t er a nother Egyptia n attack was re pu lsed afte r heavy
fight in g in w h ich m e con ti ngen ts o f t he Militar y O rd ers wer e al most an ni hila te d,

62

Aft er ano ther 8 weeks, with disease ram pant throu ghout th e Frankish camp, the prese nce o f an
Egyp tia n flo tilla o n the ca nal in thei r rear pre vent ed furt her supp lies ge tt ing t hrough fro m Damietta and
finally for ced Loui s to withdraw . Racked by disease and hunger th e Franks we re surro un ded a nd
dest ro yed as the y withd rew after a running ba ttle wit h t he Egyp tians. When t hey rinall y surren dered
th e sick and weak (p erhaps to talli ng 7,00 0 ) wer e massac red by their ca ptors. Of t he o the r 20,000 or so
survivors Loui s event ually ma naged to negoti ate th e re lease o f 12,000 by t he surre nde r of Dami ett a
and the payment of a hu ge ranso m of o ne mill ion go ld beaa nts.
Although Lou is remain ed active in Ou tremer for a furthe r 4 years his arm y never again e xcee ded a bo ut
1,400 men a nd the disaster o f El Ma nsurah effect ively ended the Se ven th Crusade.
PELAGO NIA 12 59
In 125 9 N lchac l 11 o f Epirus for med an allia nce with Achaia and Sicily against the Nicaea n Empire,
prin cipall y to disp ute Nicaea's possessio ns in t he Balkans. Agai nst t his array a Nicaea n army was mu stere d
under t he Emperor 's half-brothe r Jo hn Palae olo gus, co mprised o f 1,500 Hungarians, 300 Germ ans, 600,
1,000 o r 5,000 Se r bs, 500-1 ,500 T ur ks, 4,000 Cum ans and Ala ns an d an unkno wn number of Bulgars
(a ll these con tingents being cavalr y), as well as Stavs a nd Anat olian Greeks, probably to talling in all
20-25,000 men . Jo hn 's princi pal relia nce was placed in t he va riou s co nt ingents of horse-archers, who
prior to th e ba tt le persistently har rassed the Epirotes and th eir allie s and pe rm itted them no rest day
o r night.
Th e Eplrotes t hemse lves numbered so me 8,000 cava lry and 18,000 infa ntry. Of the ir allies t he Ac haians,
unde r Prince William Villehardou in, must e red a n equ al number of cavalry an d 12,000 inf an t ry , an d the
Sicilians 400 first-class heavy cava lry, pro bably o n barded horses, an d perhaps 2,60 0 Sarace n archers
( this woul d explain th e discrepa ncy in the figur es of 400 and 3,000 Sicilian s quo ted by Akrop olit es and
Pac hyrneres res pec tively ]. T he Ephotes a lso incl uded an unk no wn nu mber o f Vlachs under Michael's
so n John. T he to tal all ied fo rces th e refo re mu ste red in e xcess of 50, 000 men .
Ito weve r, t heir adva ntage in nu mb ers was negat ed by distrust and dissension a mongst the vario us
co ntinge nts - William, fo r inst a nce, was almost certainly ac ting entirely in his o wn int erest s and , with
his be t ter q ualit y troo ps, proba bly intended to impose his will o n Michael after the de fea t of t he
Nicaea ns. Michae l certainly suspected the loya lty of the Ach aians and d uring t he night before t he
ba il ie larg e numbers of Epirotes slipped awa y. Th at sa me night a sq uabble with t he haug hty Acha ians
alie na ted th e Vlac hs, and th is led to their lead er, Jo hn , secretl y se ndi ng messenge rs to the Nicacan
cam p as a result of which it was agreed that he and his troo ps wou ld withdraw from the line a t th e
co mme nce me nt of battle.
So o n th e mo rn ing of the batt le the Achaians seem to have fou nd the mse lves ldt to face the x tcaeans
alon e, since d uring the nigh t Michaelll himse lf ap pea rs to have dese rte d, th e re main de r of his fo rce
presumably foll owing suit at first ligh t. ( It is possible that he did in fac t re main, but was inac tive during
the batt le beca use part of his son's agreement with t he xicaee ns was tha t Mich ael and the Ep irotes
sho uld not be a t tac ked.I
Prince William at first co nside red e xecuting a hast y with d raw al, but failed to do so. Instead t he Fr ank s
drew up in fo rmation and charged. The Nicaea n co unter-att ac k was spear hea ded by t he ir 300 German
merce naries, who were delibe ratel y sac rificed to abso r b t he imp ac t of t he initial Fra nkish cha rge.
Beco ming inex trica bly mixed with th e Acha ian cavalry th ey began to suffer heavy losses, desp ite a
simulta neous attack in William's rear by the Vlach s. John Palaeologus t hen o rde red his T ur kish, Cum an
and Hungaria n ho rse-arc hers to fire int o the whole e nta ngled mass o f cavalry, wit h co mplete disregard
fo r the lives of the Germa n mercenaries th erein. T heir volleys were direc ted principally at th e Frank s'
unarmou red ho rses, so th at the Ach aian (a nd German') knight s fe ll in large numbers beneath t his ba rrage
as t heir hor ses wer e mow ed down. Th e rem ainder th e n bro ke and fled.
Few act ually escaped . Th e batt lefield was lit te red wit h th e co rpses o f ' t ho usa nds' o f Fr ank s, and th ose
who lived we re mostly ca pt ured by t he Nicaeans' Tu rki sh light cavalry. T he 400 Sicilia n cavalry who,
o ne suspec ts, probab ly declined to get involved in the one -side d ba ttle since they appear to ha ve
suffered no losses, surre nde red to o ne of the Nicaean gene rals. Prin ce WilIia m himself was taken captive

63

while hiding in a haysta ck, and 30 of his no bles were also captured. In fact t he nob ility o f Achaia were
prac ticall y a nn ihila te d in t his on e battle.
'A IN J AL UT 1260
An Ilkha nid ar my of 10.000 cavalry under Kitb ugha, ch iefly Mo ngol-offlcere d Tu rks but inclu ding
Georgia n an d Cilician Armenian tr oo ps, was defeat ed by a superio r fo rce of a bout 12 ,000 Ma mluks
which incl ude d Khw a rtzrnia ns a nd Bed oum a uxilia ries supplied by the Ay yu bids of Ker ak .
Th e Mam luks se nt forward an adv ance guard o f Egyptian t roo ps specially chos en fo r t heir un relia bilit y
and poor mo rale ; t hese were command ed by the a mir Baibars, no w co mmande r-in-<: hief of t he Ma mlu k
army. As anticipate d, t hey bro ke and ran in t he face o f t he Mo ngols' arrow sto rm an d first cha rge,
drawing Kit bu gha on int o a pre-planned a mb ush in t he hills wh ere the bulk of th e Mamluk a r my unde r
Sultan QulU Z await ed t hem , filling the valley from side to side. T hese with stood t he Mo ngol c ha rge
and success fully e nvelo ped t heir fla nks. Th e flee ing Egypt ia ns o f t he first line no w also rallied and
returned to t he fra y.
Des pite t heir inferior it y in nu mbers t he Mo ngols nea rly succe eded in brea king t hro ugh, the ba tt le
remaining in th e balan ce until midd a y whe n th ey were ro ut ed in a fina l co unter-a t tac k. T hey rallied
once ne ar Betsan, hut broke aft er ano t her fierce figh t. Th ose t ha t co uld fled , but th ey suffered severe
losses in t he pursuit, which too k th e Mamluks 300 mi les to t he very banks of th e Euphrat es. Kit bu gha
himse lf was ei t her killed in battle o r cap tu red af ter his horse had been sho t un de r him a nd pro mp tly
e xec ute d, his head being used for an imp ro mptu game of polo !
No t lo ng after t his victo ry Baibars had Q utuz murdered a nd himse lf procl a ime d Sultan,
J AULAN 1261
A large Templar for ce under the Marsha l, com prising most of t he kingdo m's breth ren (th e co ntingen t
of th e ma in co nvent being joined by t he garr isons of Safed , Beaufor t an d Cha tea u Pelerin], plus lay
knights und er Jean d' lbe lin and the Ma rshal of t he Kingdom , mou nted a raid against a large Twco man
e nca mpmen t near Tiberias. Th e T urcom a ns, ho wever, go t wind of t heir ad vance a nd so un dly re pulsed
t hem , pres umab ly in a n ambush. In ad ditio n to t hose killed 16 Te mplars were capt ured , plus Jean
d' Jbelin an d several o t her counts and lay kni ghts. t he Templars in ad ditio n losing ' all the ir ha rness' ; t he
prison e rs we re ransom ed f or 20,0 00 be za nts. The Temp lar Marshal was blam ed for the de fea t and
tempo rarily lost his ha hil and was removed fro m o ffice.
MAKRY PLAG I 1264
A Byz antine ar my, inclu ding Tzako nes, Sta vs and T urk ish cavalr y, was defeated while ca mpaig ning again st
t he Ach ala n Frank s.
Th e Byzant ines' 6,00 0 Turkish a ux iliaries, disgruntle d beca use t he ir pa y was 6 mo nt hs in arrears, decided
to offer t heir ser vices to t he Franks, who readily acce pted . The Fran ks the n a dvanced to wa rds Kalamata,
but o n th e rising crest of t he pass of Makr y plagi t he ir va nguard was amb ushed by the Byzantine for ces.
T he Fra nk s we re t wice repu lsed as fresh Byzanti ne uni ts successi vely eme rged from a mbush, bu t o n t heir
third atte mpt t hey successfully sto r med the ridge when t he Tu rkish a ux iliaries si mult aneo usly appeared
in the rear of th e Byzan tines a nd rou te d them . Seei ng th is t hese Byzantine units still concealed in hiding
panicked a nd ab andon ed t heir position s.
T he Byza ntine co mma nders, t he G rand Do mestic Phill's and Makre nos, we re ca ptured toge t her wit h 35 4
no bles an d o fficers and 5,030 o the r rank s. Philes died in cap tivity, while Ma kren os was blinde d by t he
Byzantin es afte r his release, fo llowi ng acc usations o f collaboration with t he Fra nks.
CAROU BLl ER 1266
Follow ing Mamluk raid s thro ugh Gali lee, King Hugh II1 o f Cy prus ( regent of Je rusa le m) lau nched a
counter-raid to wards Tib enas, muste ring t he co ntingents of t he Military O rders a nd t he merce nary
Fren ch regimen t fro m Acre. Ho we ve r the vangua rd, including t he Hospitalle rs, becom ing careless and
getting se par a ted fro m Ihe ma in a rmy in search of loo t, was amb ushed by t he garrison o f Safed. 4 5
brethren were killed in the battle, while many of t hese who escaped we re massac red in a nigh t a t tac k
on thei r cam p by loc al Bedoui ns.

64

ALBISTAN 127 7
To th wart a p rojected inva sio n of Syria by the Ilkhan ids, Baibars entere d t he Jilia n and in terce pted th e
IIkha nid arm y, which was co m prise d o f the Mon gol garr ison of R um , II di visio ns un d er T u k uz (each
of 1,0 0 0 or mo re men , includ ing 3,000 Georgia ns) a nd p roba bly a similar nu mbe r o f Ru mi T ur ks under
t he Pervana ( Kee per o f t he Seals ) Suleima n. T he IIkha n Abaq a had, in fact , been fore warne d of t he
Mam lu k a tt ack by King Leo III of Ciltcla , b u t th e Pervana - who was ha tc hing an am bitio us plot of
his own - de liber ate ly suppressed th e inform a tio n a nd lulled the Mo ngo ls into a false sense of sec uri ty,
so th at when the Ma mlu k army ap pea red it ca ugh t the Mo ngols un pre pared.
T he 2 armies met at Al bist an. T he ad van tage was wit h Bai ba rs from t he ou tset since his ar my n u mber ed
in excess of 3 0,00 0 me n, but t he Mo ngo ls gained some headwa y bef o re the Mam luk s p ut t hem to
flight ; proba bly the terra in wa s no l su it a ble fo r t he Mon go ls' mode o f warfa re, and J o h n Bagot Gl uhb
says t hat they in fac t fo ught o n foo l bec a use of t he mountaino us ter rain. Whatever t he rea son , t he
Mon gols wer e routed wit h ap pall ing losses; 6 ,770 Mo ngols and 2,0 00 Georgi ans we re killed , inc ludi ng
T u k uz, a nd th e Se lj uks proba bly suffe red about t he sa me numbe r of casualties. In a ddi tion
Ba ibars executed a ll t hose Mongo ls w ho we re taken pri son er, though he spa red the Se ljuks.
Soo n a ft e r, hea ri ng o f the ap proac h, o f a mu ch la rger Mon go l a rmy un d er Abaq a himself, Ba ibars
with dre w to Syri a. Abaqa t he n had th e t reacher ous Perva na Sulei man arrested a nd pu t on trial; he
was fou nd guilty no t o nly o f deserti ng t he army in t he face o f the enemy bu t a lso of act ua lly arra nging
fo r t he Ma mluk invasion, a nd was pro m ptl y e xec uted as a trai tor.
HO MS 128 1
2 Mo ngol arm ies invaded Syria u nde r Ilk han Abaqa and his bro t her M angu T im u r. While the former
pro cee ded 10 subdue the Marn lu k frontier f o r t rcsscs along the Eu p hrates, Ma ngu was joined by Ge orgian
and Cilici a n Armenian t roo ps u nder their kings Dimil ri an d Leo I ll , Ru mi Sdj u ks, and a small n u mber of
Hospita llers from a l-Marqab a nd pro ceed ed dow n the Oro nt es valley wit h his army 3 0-80,00 0 strong,
the G eorgia ns an d Armenians co nst ituting abou t o ne-third o f t he tota l ( perh aps 30, 000 me n) . O u tside
Ho rns they e ncoun tered t he Mamluk arm y un der Sultan Qala un.
T he Marnluks, nu m be ring 50-60,000, fo rmed up with a l-lIa lqa , Ro yal Mamlu ks and Egy pt ia ns in the
cen tre, Bed o uin s and Ay yu bids from Ha mah a nd Kera k 011 the righ t a nd Sy rians and Turcomans on the
left, wh ile Mangu dr ew u p with the Mo ngo ls formi ng the centre and left an d the bu lk of the a llied
conti ngents - Cilicians, Georgians an d Hospitallers - consti t uti ng the righ t Flank.
Despite hea vy losses t he Ch ristia ns of t he Mo ngo l righ t routed t heir Turcornan oppo nen ts and the I :!,OOO
men of t he Mamlu k left fla nk ea rly in the ba ttl e a nd p ursued t he m from t he fie ld righ t up to t hei r ca mp
be fo re t he ga tes of Ho rns, where t he y killed many mo re. Man y of the su rvivors th en fle d on to war ds
Egyp t, while the vic tors loo ted the aba ndoned camp. T he Mo ngo l ce n tre wit h w hic h they ha d now lost
to uc h mea n wh ile continued to press the Ma mlu ks, until a Mamlu k officer, pretendi ng 10 desert ,
succeeded in pe ne t ra ti ng the Mo ngo l ran ks an d wo unded a nd un horsed Mangu. Simultaneously a band
o f 300 Bed o uin auxi liaries attac ked the Mongo l le ft fla nk and pro ceed ed to plunder the baggage t rain.
Un nerved and fearing encirclement Mangu ordered a with drawal, and the Marnlu ks la unched a fin al
charge t o clea r the fiel d. Whe n t he isolated Ar men ians and Geo rgians learn t of th is th ey im mediately
turned bac k to rejo in t he main ar m y, passing so close 10 Qa laun 's com mand post - where the Sultan
had a gua rd o f o nly 1,000 men - Ihat he had to conceal his standards and silence his dr u ms for fear
o f d isco ve ry. But on ce t hey had passed he fe ll u po n t hei r rear and ha rassed th eir withdrawal so t hat
the y suffe red heavy losses as they foug ht t heir way out, especiall y since t hey also bu mpe d in to the
Mamlu k right fla n k as it re tu rned from its successful p u rsuit of Mangu. In fac t Mongo l losses su ffe red
du ring the pursuit were ap parently heavie r t han during th e ba t tle , b ut Mamlu k losses had also been
heavy.
ACRE 1291
Encou raged by rio ts wit hin the cit y, a Mamlu k ar m y o f 60,000 ca va lrY ,100 160,OOO infant ry and
92 siege-e ngines co mmenced t he siege of Acre on Ap ril 5. T he Frankish garr ison, un der the absent
King Henry Il' s brother Amalric, consisted of o nly 7-90 0 knig h ts and 14-18 ,0 0 0 infan try co m p rised
o f the Milita ry O rders, Syria n an d Cyprio te Fran ks, th e me rce nar y Fr ench regi me n t u nde r J ea n de Graill y,

65

an English cont ingen t u nder a Swiss merce nary o ffice r named Otto d e G ran d iso n, Pisan s, Venelians an d
t he Co mm u ne of Acre . Rei nfo rcements o f 200 k nigh ts a nd 500 infantry u nder King Henry him self arrive d
from Cy p rus o n May 4 .
On Ma y I S, 6 week s a fte r t he co m me ncemen t o f th e siege, th e cit y's o u ter wall fell, undermined and
breac hed in seve ral places by th e Moslem engines, and t hough t he bre thre n o f the Militar y Orders we re
a t first successful in dr iving out the Mamluk s, by eve ning the F ra nks had bee n for ced to wit hd raw
behind the in ner walls . J ust 3 days lat er th e inne r wall was also breach ed in t he vicinity o f the Accursed
T ower and the Mamlu ks fo ught their way in to th e ci t y in the fa ce of s tiff o p positio n fro m t he Military
Orders in par t icular, t he T emp lar Gra nd Mast e r and t he Marsha l o f the Hospit al bei ng a mongst those
kille d in t he chao tic s tree t-f igh t ing whi ch e ns ued . Bu t the Mamlu ks' pe net ra tion to t he in ner ci ty
mar ked th e e nd of orga nised resistance.
King Hen ry, Am alric and so me o t hers, including Jea n de Grailly an d O n o de Gra ndi so n, escaped by
ship to Cy prus , but most of the defen der s and a huge nu mbe r of ci t izens died in th e streets o r were
capt ured an d so ld in to slavery. Th e su rviving Temptars and o the r ref ugees con ti nued to ho ld out from
their fortress by th e sea un d er t he command of their Marshal, but on May 28, 10 days a fte r the fa ll o f
the ci ty, th eir defe nces wer e breach ed as a res ult of unde rmi ni ng and incessant bombard men l. 2,000
Mamlu ks the n storm ed t he b reach , only 10 bring the cru mb ling walls down on Moslem and C hr istia n
alike .
T he Frank s aba ndo ned T yr e the day afte r t he fall o f Acr e, and Be irut an d Sidon fell to the Mam lu ks in
J uly. With ju st 2 exceptio ns no vestige o f the mai nla nd c rusade r sta tes rem a ined by th e end of t he
sum mer, t he ex ceptio ns being t he lor dsh ip of Je bail, wh ich su rvived u n til 129 8, a nd the offshore T em pla r
fo r tres s o f Ruad at To rt osa. which fe ll in 1303,

WADI AL-KHAZINDAR (SALAMIYET) 129 9


The co nversion o f the Ilkh anid Mongols to Islam in 1295 did lit tle or nothing 10 lesse n th e ir enmity
towards th e Mamluks, and in 1299 th e Ilkha n Ghazan Mahmu d lau nche d ye t a no ther Mongol invasio n
o f Syria. T his time t hey we re in tercepted by the Mamlu k ar my a t Wad i a l-Khaz indar. T he Mo ngol army,
whic h included Geo rgians and 5,000 Cilician s, is recorded as 100, 000 st ro ng but was in Iac t much
sma ller, possibly fe we r in nu m ber tha n the Ma mlu ks' 20-40,000.
Ihe Maml u ks we re led by Sultan Mo hammed , bu t si nce he was only a child a senior amir, Sa lar, too k
co m mand on th e ba rrlefietd, Il l' fo rmed the Ma mlu k forces up with 5,000 Bed ou in a uxiliari es o n t heir
right Ilan k, tak ing com mand o f t he ce n t re himse lf while ano the r senior amir, Bek ta sh, co m ma nde d
the Id t. T he Mo ngols deci ded to re mai n o n the defe nsive and were orde red 10 s tand fast until Gh azan
himself led t he c harge.
For so me reason t he Ma mluk s decided to rely o n t heir swo rds and maces and p u t t heir lances (and
bow s?) aside. T he ir adva nce was p receded by SOO mounted enginee rs eq ui pped with ' naptha tubes' , b u t
t hese see m to ha ve had no ef fec t and co nseq ue ntly the cava lry cha rged. Bek tash successfully bro ke the
Mo ngol right and pu rsue d it fr o m the fiel d, but o n t he o pposite flan k t he Mamlu ks me t fie rce
resist ance , the Mo ngo ls having d ismounted 10 ,000 o f their men who no w sto o d be hind th eir horses a nd
poured volley s o f arro ws in to the c harging Mamluk s. T he Bedo uins an d Syrian co n tinge nts see m to have
suffe re d par ticul arl y severely , losing large n umbers of ho rses, a nd wer e fo rced to fall bac k.
Th ou gh still hard -pressed by Sa lar, G haaa n chose t his mo me n t to la unch his ccu n re r-a t tac k. T he elit e
Mam lu k Burji y yah regimen t broke in t he first c ha rge, and a fter a br ief e ngage men t a sec o nd c harge
routed t he rest o f t he Mamlu ks. Th e Mo ngol p urs uit took some as far as G aza a nd J eru sale m, while in
addi tion 12,000 Lebanese Dru zes se rio usly harassed the Mamlu ks as they wit hd rew . Mo ngol casualties
ap pea r 10 have to talled some 14 ,000 me n.
Damascus fe ll 10 Gh azan early in 1300 , and fo r a while t here seemed a possib ilit y that Christendom
stood a c hance o f rega in ing Sy ria by an alfiun ce with the Ilk ha n w ho , Moslem t hough he was,
would have we lco med Ch rist ia n a llies. No thi ng was d o ne howeve r, a nd the o p por t u nity evapor ated
afte r th e Mo ngo ls' de fea t by the Mamlu ks a t Shaqhab in 1303. In 1308 his successo r O ljeit u act ually
rea ched J erusalem itsel f and r um o ur had it that he would have hand ed the cit y o ver in e xc hange fo r
a Chr istian alliance . Bu t no such allianc e was offered, a nd th e death in 1304 of the p rn-C hns tia n IIkh an
Gh a zan reall y ended for ever th e c han ce o f a Mon gol-bac ked crusade r kin gdo m.

66

DRESS AND EQU IPMENT

1 & 2.
PILGR IMS
Th e dis tinguishing fea ture of all crusaders was t he cross, wo rn 'o n the sho ulders of t he ir ma ntles o r
cassoc ks or t unics' o nce the y had declared th eir inte nt ion to go o n a cr usade.
Alt ho ugh th e sho ulde r o r right breast see m to have been t he most co mmo n places to wear t he c ross it is
also reco rded worn be t wee n t he sho ulde rs (a ppa rently signi fying the pilgrim to be returning f ro m
crusad e ). It nor mally co nsisted o f a cruci fo rm piece of clo th se wn o nto every day clo t hes. T rad iti ona lly
it was red in co lour hu t, alt ho ugh t his was gene rally th e case, by th e T hird Crusade of 1189-119 2 cert a in
co lo urs had begun to ado pt nati ona l mean ing - re d fo r th e Fre nch , green fo r t he Flemish, whit e for
the English an d yello w fo r t he Ge rmans. To a cer tain e xte nt t hese distinctio ns lasted into t he 13 th
ce nt ury when, for ex am ple, Simo n de Mo ntf or t's army at Lewes in 126 4 wore 't he white cross of t he
crus a der', while the Fr ench wh o fought against Manfred of Sicily in 1266 wo re red crosses ( t he
en ter prise having been de clar ed a crus ade). By th e ve ry end of t his pe riod, however, the red cross had
beco me a na tio nal insignia of no t the F re nch but the English, while co nversely th e white cross ( often
o n a blue back grou nd ) was na tio nally ado pted by the French ra the r t han t he English! Undo ubt edly
cr osses of an y co lo ur co uld be fo und in a ny ar my at a ny time, de pending o n what material was to
ha nd a t the mo ment of ' ta king t he cross'; man y nobilit y, for instance, wo re crosses of suc h subs ta nce
as woven gol d.
T hese figures are ty pica l of t he ' no n-co mba ta nts' who acco mpan ied th e early cr usades in vast nu mber s.
Bot h da te to c. 1170 and wear ever yda y clo th es. T hey carry the c ha racteristic s taff an d wa llet or
scrip-hag, the latt er sus pende d from a shoulder -stra p.
Alth ou gh so me carr ied a how o r spe ar most were unarm ed or o nly poo rly eq uipped wit h farm im pleme nts.
and it is a hear t-fel t plea fro m mo re th an o ne conte mpora ry c hro nicler that mo re suc h pilgr ims of t he
early c rusade ar mies migh t have be en eq uipped 'w it h th e swo rd instead of th e walle t a nd t he ho w instea d
of the sta ff:
3.
FRANKISH KNIGHT c. 1097
Th e deve lo pme nt of armo ur in the crusa de r states foll o wed exa ctly Ihe sa me co urse as in Euro pe. Since
th is has alread y bee n discussed in ' Arm ies of Feudal Europe' it is no t intended to co ve r t he sub ject in
detail a gain and the follo win g 6 figure s sho uld be tak en on ly as a represe nt ative sele ctio n.

67

It is gene rally accep ted, qu ite right ly. that knights o f the First Crusade and, 10 a lesser ex tent , th e
Second Crusa de wou ld have bee n lit tle different from the Norman knights depic ted in the Bayeu x
Tapestry, and this co nclusion is borne ou t by th is figur e who, though he da te s 10 the mid-12t h century,
rep rese n ts a knight o f the First Crusade . Il l.' car ries a kite-shield, wens a co nica l helmet (with or with o u t
nasal} and a kn ee-le ngth , -%. sleeved haub e rk, and is armed with la nce and swor d.

Il l.' ca rries t he c rusade r de vice o n helm et an d go nfa lon an d co uld also have had it pai nt ed on his sh ield.
An English knight of the First C rusade is describ ed as having crosses o n his helmet , shield. saddle a nd
horse accou tre me n ts, and cert a inly d uring th e earli er crusades knight s carried t he cross dev ice c hie fly
o n shield and /o r helme t. S hield s were o the rwise painted in br igh t co lo u rs and pa tt erns, man y
probably rese mhling Baye ux T a pest r y type s; Albe rt of Aix, desc rib ing cr usad ers a t Antio c h in 109 7,
spea ks of 's hie lds o f gold , green, red a nd ot her colo urs.'
At what stage cr usade rs wh o sta yed o n in the Hol y La nd gave u p wearin g the cross is a n u nan swerable
qu est ion . A ppar e ntly so me never did , th oug h it seems pr obable t ha t t he majo rit y of se tt lers d id so so o n
a fte r ful fi lling thei r pilgr im's vo ws.
4.
FRANK IS II KN IG HT c. 1 150
Th is figure is very litt le diffe re nt from t he last, t ho ugh in accorda nce with prevailing fashion his tu nic,
as well as his haube rk , is so mew ha t lo nger. T he hau berk no w has wrist-le ngth sleeves which bec a me
sta nda rd in the co urse of IIn"12 th cen tur y. Th e cross is again in eviden ce o n his helme t.

Light er form s of ar mour such as th is would have remained in use amo ngst se rgean ts for much o f t his
era.
5.
FRAN KISlI KN IG HT c. 1 189
T his fig ure is based o n t he seal of t he most fam ou s c rusade r o f the m all, King Richard I o f England,
know n 10 post erity as Richar d Coe cr de Lion - Richard t he Lion -Hear t. The seal was pro bab ly ex ecuted
imm edi at ely prior to his depa rtu re fo r t he Third Cr usade.

68

T he sleeves of the ha uber k no w have mail mill ens attac hed , and in ad di tio n separate mail defen ces
(called hose n or c hausscs} arc worn to protect t he legs. Cha usses ha d bee n in use since the mid -L l th
cen tu ry bu t o nly ca me in to widespre ad use abo ut a centu ry later; ce rta inly the y we re stan da rd
equipment for wealthie r knights hy th is dat e, a nd the aut hor o f the lt inerarium Regis Ricard] no tes
with ala rm how Ric hard went in to battle at Ja ffa wit ho ut his chausses.
Ilis helme t is he misp herical rather than co nical ; a flat- top ped varie t y co uld also be wo rn , and Sa, from
Richa rd's seco nd seal of a fe w yea rs lat er , sho ws a no th er t y pe of hel me t with a face -guard, jus t
beginn ing to appear at about t his data ; no te also the e arly c rest. Ano t he r earl y occ urre nce of a crest is
in a n inci de nt at t he siege o f Tyre in 118 7, wh ere a knight is reco rde d wit h a pair of stag 's antlers f ix ~d
to his helmet.
T he shield displ ays Richa rd's heraldic de vice , two rampant lions facing each o t her , which also appeared
on t he back of his sadd le. Herald ry evolved in abo ut the mid- 12th cent ury and , in Outrem e r, may have
bee n e ncouraged by th e Sarace ns' use of personal dev ices.
FRANK ISH Kl'\IGHT c. 1250
6.
By 123 0 the helmet t ype de pic ted in Sa had evolved in to th e ba rrel-hel m ( the casq ue o r hca ume j
de picted here, padded o n th e inside and with eye-slits and bre a thing ho les pierced in t he mas k. A
q uilted head-defence, t he armin g cap , was usually worn under the coif from c. 1200 onwards.
O ther di ffere nces from the last figure are the add itio n of surcoa t and cuisses. T he fo rm er was most
probably adop ted in im ita tio n of Sara cen dress, poss ibly as ea rly as e. 1 127 whe n a knigh t is re corded
by Usarnah ibn-Mu nqi d h to have worn a lon g, sleeved green a nd yello w silk coat o ver his armo ur. Its
use was pro ba bly fa r mo re widesp read in O ut re mer t han in Europe , whe re it was not widel y worn until
t he ea rly- 13th ce ntu ry. It was usually sleeve less and at f irst plai n in co lo ur, but afte r t he int roduct ion

69

11
of hera ldr y it often disp layed the wearer's heraldic device. In Ihis pa rticula r insta nce t ht su rcoa r, as
well :IS the la nce pennon , displays crosses. T he upslanding cro ss at each sho ulder may indicate he is
weating some form of reinfo rced leat he r cuiriC' o r iron brea t pla te under the surcoa t.
Cuisses weTe quilled tubes worn over t he thighs as add itional protecti on . Th ey first appear c. I '220 and
arc common thereafter.
7.
FR ANKI SH KNIGIt T c. 1275
Take n from th e w-al of Jo hn de Monlfort, lor d of T yre and Toron (I 270-1283), this figure shows little
cha nge fro m 6 ex ce pt that he substit utes a banner for the' latter's pen non . like 6 he carries a fla t-topped
shidd ( th is t y pe fiu t ap peared c. 114 0 and was the pred ominant shie ld-type by the 13 t h ce nt ury. its
size de creasing som ewha t as tim e went by) .

More interesting is t he clot h co vering for his hor se, t he ho using. In Euro pe thi s o nly Iirst appeared c. 1185
bUI it may have ap pear ed in Out remer at a som ewhat earlier date un der Moslem influence (see 93), som e
Frankish hOUl'S possibly wearing housings at Hat nn in 118 7. Qu ite probably so me consis ted o f severa l
layers o r were q uilted . in which case t he y wou ld have bee n q uite capable o f stopping Tu rk ish ni ght arr ow s except a t close range. The housi ng was also usef ul (o r display ing t he rider's hera ld ic de vice,
for which purp ose it was alread y bei ng used before t he end of t he 12th century.

8.
F RANKISH KNIGHT c. 1290
T his figure, based o n mss. illustr ated in Acre be tween 1280 and 1291, sho ws ho w knights we re equ ipped
du ring t he kinlldom's closing yea rs. T he barrel-hel m has bee n re placed by a ty pe called a 'sugar-loa f"
afte r ilS sha pe (t ho ugh th e heau me also re mained in use) and he carries a cross-e mblazoned shield.
Colo urs of cross and field on crusade r shields in t he Acre mss. ind ica te t hat pra ctically any co lour
co mbinatio n was poss ible, irre spe ctive of he raldic rules, includi ng red on black , bro wn o n red, red o n
ma uve. blu e on ye llow, e tc. T he cross itself also ap peared in diverse forms and shapes.
An ached to his c ha usses are iron poleyns ( knee-gua rds), which co uld also be attac hed to the q uilted
cuisse. Ot her pieces of plate-armour in use by th is time bUI uncommon until t he 141h cent ury we re

70

co uters (elbow-gua rds wh ich, like poleyns, pro bably first ap pea re d c. 1225 ) and sc hynbalds {greaves,
protect ing eit he r the front o r bo t h fro nl and back o f t he lo we r leg). T here were also sho ulde r pieces
called aile ttes which first appeare d c. 1270 , bu t t hese we re of lea ther ra t he r t han met a l; the ir
defe nsive value remains ques tionab le.
9.
FRA NKI SH MO UNTED SE RGEAN T
In ad dit ion to knigh ts the re we re also a rmou red horse men of lesser statu s availa ble to t he Fr ank ish
ho st, re fe rred to variously in t he so urces by the term s milites grega rii, milites plc bei, cq uites lcvis
arma t urac , se rjans 11 cheval and servte nres loricati am o ng others; all refer to mo unted me n o f less t ha n
knightly stat us including se rgea nts (se rvien tes) , t he no n-knight ly e leme nts of noblemen 's re tinues and
pro bably t he wealt hier burghe rs o f th e tow ns. T hey are no t a lway s easy to find in th e so urces, which
ofte n list o nly the number of knight s prese nt, 'e xce pting,' as Fu lchcr of Chartres ad mits in o ne passage,
' those who were no t co unted as kni ght s alt ho ugh th e)' were mo unted.'
T hey were less heavily eq uipped than t he knights (hence 'Ievis arma tu rae ') , wearing lighte r o r oldfash ioned ar mo ur hut ca rr ying t he same armame nt o f lance and swo rd. T his mid- f Jrh ce nt ury figure
fro m Matthew Paris' dr awings o f cr usade batt les is probably fair ly t yp ica l.
In st rict feud a l ter minology the sergea nt was, by t he late-12th cent ury, t he holder of a grant of land
ca lled a sergean ty ( in Europ e usually half th e size of a knight's fee) , but co nte mpo rar y c hroniclers
mo re often te nd ed to use t he wo rd- 'se rgean t' and its variants as blan ket -terms fo r all non-knigh tly
soldiers, often no t even distinguishing bet ween mo unted men a nd infa nt ry. T urco pol es too a re
so me times described as sergea nts.
10,1 1,12 & 13.
FRA NK ISfI INFANT RYMEN
Infan t ry in the crusade r states ranged fro m pilgrims armed with no mo re than spear o r bow (see I and 2),
t hrou gh to we ll-ar med an d a rmo ured mercenaries and fe udal re ta iners, the latte r e le ments co mprising th e
la rgest percenta ge o f foo t-soldiers in most armies, arme d chiefly wit h spear, bo w or c rossbo w t ho ugh
so me may have been eq uippe d with bo th spe ar and bo w. T he Anon ymi Gesta Francorum records
cro ssbo ws in use as early as t he First Cr usad e, as does Ann a Co mn ena, a nd ce rta inly by the middle 10
late- Lj t h cent ur y t he crossho w was th e weapo n par e xcellen ce of th e Frankish infant ry man.
10 a nd I I are based on desc riptions o f th e 12t h ce nt ury. Beha cd- Din, writing of Frank ish infan try at
Arso uf in 119 1, desc ribes ho w they were 'clo t hed in a kind of th ick fel t, a nd mail corselet s as
ample as they were s trong, wh ich pro tec ted t he m again st arr o ws. I have see n me n wit h up to 10
arro ws st uc k in th eir bodies march ing no less easily for t ha t.' Ambroise, de scrib ing t he sa me ba ttle,
likewise reco rds t hat the infan tr y were 'a rme d qu ite well ac cording to t he cu stom of foo t-soldiers,
( with) head pro tected by a n iro n co ver, (a nd ) a hauberk and a linen tunic padded man y times a nd
difficult to pe ne trate, ingeniously wo rke d wit h a nee dle a nd co nseq ue ntly ca lled in t he vern acu lar a
Po urpoint.' Such q uilted co rselets, t hough kn o wn in Europ e fo r seve ral cen tu ries, o nly ca me into
widespread use d uring t he Crusa des t hrough co ntac t wit h t he Mosle ms, a mongst who m q uilted ar mou r
was a standard fo r m of body -defe nceIsee no te 35 -38 ); the Moslems called it al-Q ut un , literally
'cotto n' , a te rm which t he Fr anks soo n co rr upted to Ake to n (see figures 26-28 in ' Ar mies of Feudal
Eu rope'). 'G a mbeso n' was an alterna tive ter m tha t first ap peare d c. 1160 , possibly d ifferin g
fro m th e ake to n in having sleeves. Basically all such arm o ur co nsisted of a leat her , line n or woollen
t unic pa dde d wit h woo l, co tt o n and old rags a nd qu ilted eit he r vertically or diago na lly.
12, based on illust rat ion s in an Acre ms. of c. 128 0, gives a ge neral idea of t he ap peara nce of such armou r,
in t his insta nce 1 such cor selets being wo rn o ne o ver t he o t her ( possibly ake to n ove r ga mbeson). Figure
13, similarly da ting to the la te-13th ce nt ur y, subs tit utes mail co rse le t a nd surcoat. Bo t h wear ma il
c ha usses in additio n.
Unlike spear me n, c rossbcw men and arc hers a ppa re ntly car rie d no shiel ds. Alt ho ugh mo st shield s we re
like those of 10 a nd 12 it sho uld be no te d that so me o f t he mss. illum ina ted in Acre as late as
1290 129 1 sho w ci rcular shields in use a mongst Fra nki sh infa nt ry, one ms. o f 128 7 even depic ting o val
shields suc h as 12a .
T he clo t hes o f Fra nks in O ut re mer were o f co t to n. wool, line n an d silk. Colours were generally bright,

71

principally fed, 'H'CO and yellow, and also bl ack, those of the UPrc'Tclasses often being richly
cmhwido:rcd in r.olJ and coloured t hread . Th ... F ran ks W (' TC' ge ne rally cleanshaven by t he mid ! ::! Ih
century. one contemporary pilgrim no ling t hat of all the p<'orlcs o f Outreme r t hC'y ' ar e the only
one ... who sh.llve rh .. beard.'

Fo r o ther infantrymen of thi'!. era see ' Armies of Fe ud al Eu ro pe ', In 3ddilion . in crusadi ng a rmies
many knlgh ls were Ir...qu c n l ly redu ced to th e roll' of in fa n try tly the 10000s o f t heir horses.
1-' . T UR COPO l E
T u rco pnlcs 111. ... r... Sy rian me rce naries employed in considerable numbers b)' the :Iol ilit ar y O rd e rs
we ll a" hy the k inll and Fran k ish no bilit y.

a~

Despite 111\' sra te mc ms o f R . C Sm ail in his ' Crusading \lh rfu c' th at "t he re see ms litt le j us t ific a t ion
in assuming, on t he hai of rhe scanty infor ma tio n usually quo ted.Y ha t all T u rco pole s we re bo rn
horse men an d a r cl'~'rs ' a nd , of hor se-ar ch er y , ' tha t t henr is no reaso n 10 su ppose Iha t ma ny na uvcs o f
Sy ria wer e ad ep t in us u ve", it seems fairly ce rt ain t hat th e Tu rcn pnlcs were a ll horsemen and t h at
all hou gh nol a ll wer e oe co:ssari ly armed w ith a bo w b y far th e majority were. Th ose OIl Sarm in in 11 15
were ce rla inly arche rs, an d Usa ma h ib n-Munqid h act ua lly ca lls th e T urco po lcs ' the archers o f Ihe
Fra n ks": in addit io n a c hronic ler of m e T h ird Crusa de , describing a n engagemen t with Hy zun nn c t roops
on Cy p ru s. w ro te "like a swi ft T utco polc d id t he Em peror r i. Il- " , an d sho t 2 arro ws OI l rhe king.'
Funh cr ~ vi.I ~'n c ", Ihat they wen ' mo u nt ed ma y be in fer red Irom Ill,' word in g of Mn skm t rea t ies, suc h
as t ho se o f I ~ (,7, I ~ o<l and I ~ ID , all o f wh ich eq ua te ' a knigh t for a kn ight , a T u rco pole for a Tur c o pol e ,
a merchant fo r a merc han t , 01 foo t-soldie r fo r a foot -soldie r'. Saladin. dic ta ting t erm s fo r Ih,' surrende r
o f Ja Ha in 11<)~,li k e wi~ equated k n igh t fo r horsema n, fo ol -so ld ier fo r fo ot-so ldie r an d T u rco pcle for
ligh t-armed so l.lk r; in all these tns ta nc...s rh... very specific 'foot-soldier fo r fool-so ld ier' de ar ly excl udes
the 1 UreOl'II1\'5, by which \l"e m ay lake it t he y were mo u nt ed . Willia m of T y re states q uite s pe,ifica lly
t hat t hey w... re ' lill. h lOI rme,1 ho rse men ',
A l firs l Ihe y we re pro ha hl)' ma inly ha lf-hr......ds, Syr ian na nves and T u rk ish co nve rts. hUI la te r t hey
included a ,real ma ny Po ula in se rgea nt s who wer e p ro bab ly eq u ip ped 10 figh l Sar ucen-Iashio n ,
Dr. J . R ile y-Sm il h sugj!;~'s l i ng tha t b y t he l J th cent u ry th e 100 Tm Tu rco pol e 'rderred 10 the
func tion ra ther t ha n t he race o f th e ho lder' .
In addition 10 1110: bow t he T u rco pole s wo u ld ha ve carried

ligh t lance alllUor Javeli ns pl us a sword an d

16
possibly a mace. Whe th er t he y wen.' armou red or no l is a mo o t po int. As already seen. William of T y re
a nd Sal ad in bo t h desc ri bed the m as ' ligh t-ar med', but that is also the standard contemporary description
of Saracens, ma ny o f who m wo re light o r not-so-ligh t arm o ur . T he fact tha t T urcopole s were o fte n
m ust ered alo ngside the knigh ts wou ld te nd to sugges t that the y wo n: ligh t ar mo ur o f so me desc ription,
even if o nly q uilte d al-Qutu ns, a nd it is in tere st ing 10 no te that when G uy de Lusigna n first cs tabtished
fief's in Cyprus in 1 192 th ose of T u rco poles o wed the service or a man with mail ar mou r (as well as 2
hor ses ).
It see ms p robable Iha t t hose em ployed by t he Militar y Or ders wo uld have ear ne d so me kind of recognit io n
de vice, pro bably a cr oss (of t he a ppro priate colo ur ) o n shield a nd /o r tunic. tCo nr re re bret hre n and
mer cenaries of t he Or de rs p robably ca rried similar devices: we hear, for instance. o f shie lds wit h ch ief
gulc s a cr oss argen t, indica ti ng allegia nce to the Hospitallc rs.)
15 . MA RO N IT E O R SY R IAN C tl R IST IAN
T his sh o ws the p ro ba ble a p pea rance of Maro n ues a nd the few Sy rian soldiers in Fra nkish armies. T he
nati ve Christ ia ns wo re t he same basic d ress as Mosle ms [ Bu rc hard of Mo un t Sio n sa ys t hey we re
disti nguis hed b y 'a wo o llen gird le ' ) a nd were in fa ct fo rb idd en by legislatio n to wear Fran kish-st yle
clot hes . T hey also diffe red from the Fr ank s in grow ing lo ng bea rds o f whic h t hey we re e xt re me ly
prou d (Jac q ues de Vit ry rela ti ng ho w th e y 'cherish the m with grea t cure, and speci all y glory in them' ),

T he co m posi te bo w was th e princi pal wea po n o f t he ~ I a ron i t cs , a nd de Vil ry re co rds t ha t the fe w


wurhk e Syrians also 'us e bo ws and a rro ws, hu t are un armo urcd and rea dy fo r run ning away' (th ough
t his may be a refere nce to T urcopoles ).
Som e Mar o nite chie ftains atteast fou ght o n horse bac k and wore ar mo u r, and various sources a t test the
la king o f conside rable am ounts o f ar ms and a rmo u r fro m the Moslems, whic h W;l S undo ub ted ly reused
ar te r cap t u re. Man y ar mo ured Maro nite s wo uld t herefore have bee n ind ist inguishab le fro m Sar ncens,
a nd it was fairly certai nl y fo r the p ur pose of recognition t ha t o ne Maro nite chie ftai n is recorded as
having the sign o f t he cross o n his armou r. Som e Fra nkish eq uipm ent was un d o u btedl y also in use.
16 , 17 & 18.
CILl CI AN AR MEN I ANS
The Armenian principal ities relied c hie fly on ban ds o f paid retainer s (lar gel y na tives b u t including
T ur ks, Persians and Fra n ks ) and milit ia infa n try , In e qu ipm en t and o rganisa tio n F rank ish infl uence

73

'*
18
so o n ca me to pre do mina te ( part icu larly un de r Leo 11 , 1 198 -12 21 ) an d feu dal ism was in tro d uce d fr o m
neigh ho u ring A nlim:h , l hc t itles Cu nstab l and Baron be ing ado pt ed in place o f th e o ld Spara pc t and
Na kharar. In ad d ilion t here were so me Armenian kni ght s eve n in Ed essa a nd A ntio ch, of who m 17
is p ro hahl y fair ly re presen ta ti ve.
16 and 17. base d o n Cilic ian ms. ill uminat io ns and one of t he Acre mss. of c. 1280 , ar e fa ir ly ty pical
of Crliclan Armenian borsc men, com prised of the nobility and their re tainers . Both wear mai l
corsele ts, t hat o f 16 bein g o f a dist inc t ivel y lJyza nt ine design. Frankish eq uipmen t p ro bab ly
prcd om inat cd by the 13th cent u ry. so me la te- l J t h ce nt u ry and earfy -l at h ce n t u ry Cilicia n mss.
sho wing warri o rs indist inguishable from Fr a nkish k nigh ts ( tho ugh sim ple hel mets of the t ypes
wo rn here a p pear to haw bee n worn in prefe re nce to t he F ra n kish heau me}, but it seems likel y that
a m ixture o f Byza nti ne, Mosle m an d Fra n kish gea r wa s in wides p read use th rougho u t most o f t his
era : figu re I b ce rtai nly be t rays evide nce of a ll 3 sty les. Shields wer e eit her circ ular o r kit e-sha ped, t he
lauer ap pa ren tly ad o pt...d pr io r to t he Crusa des, proba bly un der Byza nt ine influe nce.
18, like 17 based on F ran kish m ss. o f c. 1280 -1 290 , wears t y pical orien tal garb . Th e cap is o f a t ype
wo rn by bo t h Je ws and Ar me nians in the so urces a nd was ap par e ntly a commo n fo rm of head wear,
even amo ngst Fra nk s. Many Armen ia ns wore t ur ban s, and a ll wo re bea rds. Co m mones t infa n tr y
weap on s we re !lo w and spea r.
19,20 & 2 1.
BRETlIR EN O F TH E MILIT ARY OR DERS IN lt ABIT S
19 we ars th e blac k ho od ed man tle, t he cap pa cla use, of the Hospital, wit h a wh ite cross sew n o n ;
the cross, adop ted at so me time before 115 3, was p robably qu ite small in realit y, Rile y-Smith sta ting
it to be o nly J o r 4 inche s dee p. Th e c ha racte ristic g po inted c ross o f the Hospitalle rs, sho w n in 19a,
seems to have been intro d uced du ring t he first qua rter of th e 13 t h ce n t ur y but d id not co m ple tely
re place t he cross rorm ee a nd was a ppa re n tly no t worn with milit ary d ress . A blac k skull-ca p o ffic ia lly
co m ple ted t he ha bit , th o ugh w hite tur bans wer e often wo r n in O utre mcr . A broad-b ri m med ha t (l ike
t ha t of 2) co uld also be worn.
20 we ars t he ha bit o f whil e wo o llen t u nic, man tle and skull-cap gra n ted to the Poor Knigh ts of Ch ristt he T emplars - in 11 28 ; p rio r to thi s da re thc=y dressed li ke sec ular knigh ts, weari ng d onated ca st-o ffs.
T he red cross was worn b y a ll brethren from 114 7 onwards. O th er item s o f o fficial issue d ress included
line n shi rts. t u nic, breeches a nd sheepskin jer kin. In a ddi tio n, howeve r, some breth re n o f bo t h Tem ple

74

20

and Hospital wor e more wordly garments such as brigh t silks and gold or silver e mbro idered clo thes a nd
tu rb ans.
2 1 is based o n the to mb ef figy of Conrad o f Thunngja, lI oc hmeister of the Teutonic Knights I 239 -124 J
Like t he T e m pla rs - and despite t heir oppos ition - th ey wo re a whil e ha bit, the ir righ t to wea r t his
being secured for them by the Holy Ro man Emperor Frederick 11 ( King of Jeru sale m 122 S-122 8 ).
The cross was black . Ser gean ts luter wore a grey habi t with a 3-a rm ed T au cro ss like a ca pita l "I "
(also ca lle d a cru x co m missa ), a nd it seems pro bab le Ihat t his d re ss was also worn in 131h ce n tury
Outremer. Bea rds we re o bliga to ry in all 3 Ord ers.
Th e follo wing gives br ief details of the othe r Milita ry Ord ers acti ve in Outremer (see also pages 10-15) :

Order
Knights of the
Hospital of S t Lazar us.

Histor y
A leper Order. Esta blished
ea rly-12th ce ntury.
Pro bably t urn ed milita ry
c. 1123 .

Ha bit
Black (?)

Device
G reen cross
fro m 16 t h
cent ury.

Kn ights of St Tho mas


of Canterb ury a t Acre
(St Thomas Aeon ).

An English Order.
Esta blishe d I 19 1. Proba bly
t urned milita ry c. 1220.

White.

Red cro ss wit h


whit e scallo p
shell at centre.

Kn ights of Our l ady of


Mont joie ( Knigh ts o f
Tru fac aft er 1187).

A Spanish O rder. Pa pal


co nfirmatio n 1180. Wit hdrew
from Ou trem er aft er Ha ttin
in 1187 and re turned to
Spain. Absorhed by anothe r
Spa nish Orde r, the Knights
of Calatrava , in \ 12 \ .

White.

Pa rtt-colcured
red an d wh ite
cross.

Reade rs may also be int erested to know th a t in a crusading treat ise of 130 5 it was proposed that all th e
exi st ing Milita ry Ord ers sho uld be united ; had t his been done the new Orde r's habi t was to have been
blac k wit h a red cross.

75

22
23
::!::!, ! .l s: !4.
KNIGHT S TEMPlA R
An avid admirer o f th ... Tempters. SI Bcrner d de Clairvau x, proud ly wrote in t he 12th ce n tu ry t hat Ihey
wen: ill-k e m pt a nd unwash ed , with th eir beards w ild an d their ha ir c rop pe d sho rt, 'r ee king o f d us t , soiled
b y their a rmo ur an d th e heat': Ill.' vic torlan ad ag.' abo u t cle anliness be ing ne xt 10 G o d liness cle arl y had
no p lac... he re!
! ! is taken fro m a ma p o f J er usale m da ti ng 10 c. 1 170. li e we ars a lo ng, wh ite surco at an d ca rr ies a wh ile
shield with a red cross pa int ed on it. A cross-em broide re d su rcoa t. apparent ly ad opt ed by th e Te mp lars
rel at ive ly early in th eir h ist o ry ( som e au t hori ties men tion cl oa ks ), re plac ed the cas soc k o n a ct ive se rvice;
th is wa s white e xce p t for conrrcrc bre thre n and sergean ts. t he la tt er of wh om wo re surco ats of bla c k , o r
br ow n o r so me o the r pla in colo ur. In fa ct a secon d figur e in t he sa me source wears a da rk b u t o the rwise
ide ntical su rcoa t to t h at worn here a nd , d espite no c ross bein g ap parent o n h is shield, he ma y well
rep rese nt a se rgea nt. In all ca ses t he cross wa s red.
~ J co mes fro m fre scoes o f a sim ila r d a te in th e Fr e nch ch u rch of Cressac, depicting Te m pla rs fight ing
Sar ace ns. Il l' app ea rs 10 we ar either a lo ng-slec ved su rcoa r o r so me fo rm of cassock o ver his a rm o u r,
t ho ugh o th crs wea r mor e ty pi ca l sleevele ss su rco a ts. The m ix tur e of d ress and the absen ce of be a rds
wh ere chins a re visiblc, to ge the r with the personal heraldr y a ppn rcn t o n so me shields ( as her e ), tends
to suggest tha t th cse fre scoe s may depi ct a m ixtu re of kni gh t s, sergean ts aOlI con fre rc bret hre n.
Ho wever it should be not ed t hat it is not kn own for ce rtain how l'a dy T cm p tar sh ields were de cora ted ,
t ho ugh it is probable (s ince so me means o f ide nnfica no n wou ld have bee n necessar y from th e ver y
earliest daysl tha t t hey carrie d c rosses fr om t he ver y begmning. Ho we ve r, e xta n t ver sio ns of t he O rder 's
R ule which p robably p re dat e 114 7 sta te t hat no decoration may be adde d to br ethren's sh ield s o r
lances, h u t p robably th is re fer s o nly 10 pe rsonal he ra ldry, :!3a depicts a T'c mpla r shield as it ap pea rs in
t he best -kn ow n Tempter sea ls, th ough p rob a bly sh ield s su ch as th os e carried by 8 a nd ~ ~ were mo re
co m m o n; th e d iagon al arms are p roba bly stren gth e n ing ban>.

Ho weve r ::!4 , who is based o n an illus t ratio n o f T em pla rs in Mall hew Paris' mid 13t h ce n t ur y Chronica

76

~l ~j ora , carries an alternative t y pe of shie ld, painted black an d white like th e Orde r's ba nner Bauccant
(sec 27a and b).

Regulat io n arms co nsisted of lance , swo rd, dagger, mace and shield. I n addit ion all arm our - co mprising
hau berk, c hausscs, helmet and later foo t a nd sho ulde r pieces - was off icia l issue . On e interes tin g point
regarding arm our is that am on gst th e Military O rders mail mi tt e ns with se parate fingers were app arently
forbidden as bein g a luxury!

KNIGHTS 1I0SP ITA lLER


25 & 26.
25 re presents the probable appearan ce of a 12th ce nt ury Hospitaller knigh t. The voluminous, enveloping
mantle , worn o ver t hei r arm our o n act ive se rvice, must have imp ed ed the wearer consi derably in ba tt le,
and in 1248 a Pa pa l Bull finally au thorised the ado ptio n of a ' wide', cross-emb roidered blac k surcoa t
(as worn by 26) as 'a remedy fo r t he fact t ha t wh en yo u are wea ring the ca ppa clau sa o ver yo ur arm ou r,
which hampe rs both yo ur hands a nd yo ur arms, it mak es it easier fo r your e ne mies to attack you and
har der fo r yo u to defe nd yo ursel ves', Th e surcoats of brother knigh ts were changed to red in 1259, sti ll
with t he Or der's white cro ss se wn u pon them, th e wearing of red surcoats bein g e xte nded to bro t her
serge ants from 127 8. Hospualler Donat s wore t he unif orm of bro t her kn ight s.
As with the Templars, it is not know n in wh at way ea rly Hospitaller shields were decorated t ho ugh
pro ba bly most carried a cross. Th e Hospita llers a ppa rently o nly universally a dop ted a red shie ld wit h a
wh ite c ross under t he G rand Master Nicholas de Lor gne ( 1277- 128 5 ). Unlike the Templa rs there is a lso
a fair chance t hat at least so me la te-12 th and 13th ce nt ury Hospit alle rs, probably the se nio r office rs,
bore t he ir own coa ts-of-ar ms o n th eir shields (or so one mu st assum e fro m 13th ce nt ury Hospitaller
legislat ion rep eated ly - and apparently unsu ccessfu lly - fo rbid di ng the decorat ion of arm s an d
eq uipme nt ). By t he middl e to lat e-L ath ce nt ury G ran d Mast ers ofte n qu ar tered the ir person al arms
wit h the arm s of the Orde r.

77

J;io

1"-

-.

28
3

29

27
27 . STAN D AR DS O f T HE MILITA RY ORDE R S
173 a nd b represen t 2 varian ts of th e Temp lars' blac k and wh ile ba nne r Bau cea nl as it ap pears in
xta t t hc w Paris' Chro nica Majora. Its name, usually co rrup ted 10 Beau Se-a nt o r Beauseant, de rives
fro m t he Low Lann fo r a pieba ld ho rse , and Jacq ues de Vil ry descri bes how it signified ' t ha t t hey are
fair an d ki nd ly to wards t heir Irle nds, but blac k and terr ible to their e ne mies' , In use a t least as
ear ly as 11 28 (t hou gh at t hat date pro ba bly a go nfalon rather th a n a ban ner), it was app are ntl y not
act ually carried by the Ord er's sta nda rd-bearer. th e Gonfano nier ; o n th e march it was born e by o ne o f
his esq uires, and in battl e it was born e by a Turcop ole (th e Gonfanonier hi mse lf taking co mmand o f t he
esq uires). In bat tle it co uld have a guard of 10 k nights, a nd its loss by a bro ther me ant ex pulsion from
t he Orde r. In ad di tio n t he Tcmplars had a seco nd ary ba nner o r go nfa lon of a red cros s o n a white fie ld ,
and e31:1I cnmma ndcry had its o wn ba nner plus 3 reser ve on e to be u nfur led if t he first was lost.

1 7c. t hl' sta ndard o f th e Hospitalle rs, co nsisted of a white cross o n a red field ; th is par ticu lar ex ampl e is
again ta ke n from th e Chroni ca Majo ru, l ho ugh Paris' lI isto ria Anglorum sho ws a va riant wit h a plain
cross. T his sta ndard was in use by 1182 a t the la test a nd prob a bly ea rlier, a nd like th e Temp lars'
Baucea nt was t he respon sibility of the Order's Go nfa no nie r but was ca rried by an esq uire.
T he ba nne r or t he Teuto nic Knights, 27d, was sim ply a blac k cross o n a while field. In the O rder' s
ea rly days t he pa tt ern o r t he cross may have bee n Io r mee ra t her Ihan plain, but ce rta inly t he lat ter
fo r m soo n came 10 predo minat e. Th e sh ields or bret hren d isplayed t he sa me blac k cross o n a wh ite field.
18. TIlE ROYAL BANNE R
T his depicts th e ban ner o r t he Kingdo m o r Jer usalem. Contra ry to the hera ldic rules of tinc tu re wh ich

78

co nde mn th e use of 'm etal ' o n 'metal' it co nsists of yell ow o r gold cro sses (a cross pot e nt be t wee n 4
Lati n cross le ts) on a white o r silver field . Earlier 12th cent ury exa mples o ft en sho w t he large cross with
sma ll balls rat her t han ba rs a t the ends of th e arms. Th is banner ma y have been ado pt ed as ea rly as
Baldw in t' s reig n (1 100- 11 18), his o wn being descri bed as wh ite in con tem porary so urc es th o ugh no
device is me nt io ned. In battle th e royal banne r was ca rried by t he Marshal of t he Kingdo m.
Th roughout thi s e ra most Chri stia n armies in Outre mer carried in add ition o t her cross-embroide red
n ags as well as t he no blemen's heraldic go nfa lons a nd ba nners.
29. Til E TR UE CRO SS
This wa s a holy relic often used by t he Fra nks as a ba tt le standard afte r 1099 , suc h as at t he Fir st a nd
Third Battles of Ramla (110 1 and 1105 ), th e Battle of Sar min (J 115), Ha b (J 119 ), Yib neh (1123 ),
Bosra ( 114 7), Asca lo n (1 153), Mon tgisard (1 177), and Halt in ( I 187) wh ere it was fina lly lost to t he
Sar acens. It was always carr ied by a cler ic, oft en the Patr iarc h of Jerusale m himself but othe rwise
an arc hb ishop, bishop or ab bot. Its bea rer a t lIalt in, t he Bisho p of Acre, wor e the ar mo ur of a knigh t.
29a is based o n an illustra tio n in t he Chro nica Majo ra dep icting t he cap t ure of the Cro ss at Ha tfin ;
Imad ad-Din , who was prese nt a t t he bat tle, describes it as cased in gold a nd ado rned wit h pearls a nd
precio us sto nes, Fulcher of Cha rt res likew ise reco rding it to have been ' partly cove red by gold a nd
silve r'. 29b is an alte rna tive re nde ring of the Cro ss, as it ap pea rs in a Histo ry of Ou tre mer ms. e xec uted
in Rom e in 129 5.
Ot her similar 'stan dards' we re also in existence, Roger of Ant ioch, for exa mp le, having a large jewelled
cros s with him at Ager Sa nguinu s in 1119 .
30 . FATIMID INFA NTRYMA N c. 1100
Moslem infantr y were gen erally un arm oured . This figure, from an 11th or 12 t h cen tu ry Egypt ia n ms.,
is armed with swo rd a nd thrust ing spea r, t he la tt er either a Tirad o r a Mitre d , a ppa rently the sta ndard
te rm s fo r infan try spears . Oth ers might substit ute javelins, called Har bah in Arabic, while in his
me moirs Usama h men tion s infan try sever al times as carrying on ly shield, sword an d dagger ( t he latter
called by var ious nam es suc h as Dasha n, Sikh, Nimga an d Sikhina j. Other infa ntry, of co urse, wo uld
have bee n arc hers, tho ugh un der t he Ea timid s t hese were chi efly Ar men ian an d Sud a nese slavesoldiers (see 33 ;.
Th e shield is take n fro m reliefs on the Bab al-Nasr ( the Gate of Victo ry) in Cairo, execu ted in 1087. It
is o f a typ e called Tu rs by t he Arab s, desc ribed by Murda al-Tartusi in his 12t h cen t ury Ta bsira h (a
mil itary ma nua l writ te n fo r Saladi n) as 'a rou nd shield whic h covers most of th e holder ' , ca pa ble of
protec ting him fro m most sides and th erefo re clea rly convex in sha pe. It co uld ap paren tly be of
'conside rable circ umference' a nd is usually depicted wit h a rei nfo rce d rim and a boss o r several bosses
(see 33 - wh ere t he shie ld is taken Irom t he gate of Qal' at al-Gind i in Syr ia of 1187 - 44 and 54).
AJ-Tartusi desc ribes shie ld su rfaces of un tan ned, va rnish ed o r painted hide, polished o r bare wood ,
and ho rse, ass, ca me l or giraffe skins ( o ne wo nders wh et her zeb ra was used too?). He reco rd s in addi tio n
shi elds o f cane sewn toget her with co tto n and says also tha t 'some choose shields of iro n'. Th e Daraqa, a
circu lar shield sma ller tha n the Turs, was alwa ys of hide.
His short, tighl -sleeved coa l an d tunic are t he sta ndard cos tu me of a Moslem warrio r, allo wing far mo re
fre-e do m o f move me nt than t he wide-slceved , flowing dress wo rn by civilians. Rou nd t he up per arm are
t he usual Tiraz ban ds wo rn by Moslems, usually st rips of brocade or clo th of a co nt rasting colour
rich ly em broidered in gold an d coloured t hread, ofte n with qu ota tio ns from the Ko ra n, but so me times
plain. Ibn Kha ldu n late r reco rds that t hey migh t have the Su lta n's o r a n amlr's na me embroidered on
them. L. A. Ma yer, in his ' Mam luk Cost um e', explains t hat real Tiraz ' in th e sense of an hon ori fic
for m ula' were gra nted on ly to iqta'd ars, eithe r by the Sul ta n o r an amir ; all ot her Tiraz were ' techn ically
decor at ive fa kes'.
3 1. FATIMID INFA NT RY MAN c. 1150
This figur e an d t he nex t come from a ms. fragme nt from fu stat which dep icts Moslem s an d Ch ristians
in battle befo re a for tress . It prob ably dat es to c. 1150 but may be somew ha t ea rlier, so the Moslem
warr ior s de picted are fa irly certai nly Fatimids.

79

T his figure is barefo o t, armed o nly with shield and fr inged spea r, and wears an unusual pai r o f what a re
ap pa ren tly baggy bre eches, pe rha ps the ski rt o f his tun ic pull ed up through a be lt. The kite-shield was
ca lled T ar iq a by the Moslems, a term which, it has bee n sugges ted (cu riously) , evo lved from the name o f
the small, ci rcular Europe an sh ield. th e T ur ge; th is seems impro bable . T he T ariq a was possibly eve n
a do pte d pr ior to t he Crusad es ( the re are kite -shiel ds carved o n t he Bab al-Nasr ) but ce rtainly d u rin g the
Cr usad es Ta riq as would ha ve become ava ilable in fa r larger numbers, shields - to gethe r wit h o t he r
Fran kish eq uip men t - bemg recorded to have bee n reu sed by t he Mosle ms after ca pt u re fr om th e Fra nks;
al-Qa lanisi, referring to the equ ipment of Nur cd- Din's HOOps in 1 157 , speci fic a lly spea ks o f ' Frank ish '
T ariqas. The T uriq a a ppea rs to have become popula r as far east as Pe rsia (see 50 and 87) but drop ped
o u t o f use in Syri a d uring th e Bahr iyyah Ma mluk era, th o ugh al-Maqrizi still reco rds a u nit o f young
Mamlu ks eq ui pped wit h Tar iqa s.
Io n al-Athir actually reco rds ar ch ers in Sa lad in's ar m y with Ta riq as, and al-Tartusi's Ta bsirah de scnbes
the Tariq a in detail. He record s it as 'the shield used by t he F ra nk s and By zan tines, wh ich is shaped like
an onion and pa in ted in all so rts of co lo urs , d es igns a nd ar tist ic pat te rns. It is a lo ng shiel d of a sha pe
a cceptable to both th e ho rsema n and the fo ot -sold ier ; it beg ins rou nd ( at t he top ). bu t narrows do wn
litt le by little an d at t he bo t to m en ds in a shar p po int like the ti p of a spea r'. A variant o f th e Tariq a
was t he J an u wiya, des cribed as like a T ar iq a but wit h a fla t te ned base so th a t infa ntry in a defe nsive
formatio n could sta nd th eir shields before t he m.
A second Moslem infant ryma n in the so u rce ap pears to .....e ar t he same 'breeches' but is ba re hea ded and
wea rs short , bla ck a nk le-bo o ts. Neither wear T iraz han ds.
3 2. F AT IMID CA VA LRYMAN c. I I SO
T he Sara cen co a t-of -mai l see ms to have gone und er a variet y of nam es, suc h as Dir' , Zard , Yel ba , Lam at
al-Har b, Zardiyya t Sabila and Zard iy yat Musbal a to mention b u t a Iewf hese referring var io usly to
sh orter o r longer corselets. Some are d esc ribed as 'd ragging', while Sa bila an d Musbala mean
'fo u n tain-li ke', bo th o f which te nd to sugges t that t hey might rea ch well below t he kne e, possibly even
d own to t he ground . Th is wou ld be un usu al, how ever . since ge ner ally Mosle m armo ur re mained
conside rably lighter than th at o f th e Franks; th e Itin er arium Regis Ricard i, fo r instance, d escribing
arm oured <IS welt as un arm oured Mosle ms at An ouf in II Q I , says t ha t t he y wer e ' no t weighed d o wn wit h
hca...y arm our like o u r kni ghlS'. Th is is more tru e o f t he Turks than t he A rabs , ho wever , a nd eve n th en

80

the re were e xce p tions (see 58 ); fro m th e so u rces it is a pparent t ha t na tive Arab cavalry, as o pposed 10
Bed o uins or Turks, wer e usua lly ar mo u red, and Ma yer c o ncludes in his ' Mamlu k Co stume' tha t mail was
t he co m mo nest fo r m o f Moslem arm ou r.
This ma n ap pea rs to wear a t ur ban ra t her t ha n a hel me t. It has been argued tha t t he tu rba ns wo rn her e
are in fact no mo re t han caps o r co ve rings co ncealing helmet s, but since 3 1 wear s an al mos t iden t ical
t ur ba n t his see ms u nlik ely ( t ho ugh still no t impossible). Undeniably helmets were so me times concealed
benea t h tu rban s, b u t it sho uld a lso be no ted th at in t he 13 th centu ry Jea n Sire de J o in ville w rote o f
Moslem tu r ba ns t ha t they were ca pa ble of ' ward ing the heavy blo w o f a swor d '. The o riginal ms. dep ic ts
this man 's t ur ban as du ll re d wit h blac k mar kings. T hey we re most comm o nly white bu t co uld also be
blue, blac k, brown o r a ny other col o ur.
Th o ugh t he original de pic ts him wit h o nly a sword a lance wou ld no r mally be ca rr ied to o, but it is
imp or tan t to no te that as he is an Arab he wo uld no t ca rry a bo w. Usamah, a Sy rian Ara b, does no t
reco rd t he bo w in use by horse men an y whe re and he certai nly neve r used o ne himsel f ; his ba t t le anec do tes
are al mos t e xcl usive ly o f swo rd an d la nce th rusts, and the Ara bs clearly relie d o n t heir p ro ficie ncy with
t hese we apons ra t her t han t he bo w, t ho ugh so me may a lso ha ve emplo yed ja vel ins.
Cavalry lances gene ra lly went un der t he name s Ru m h, ~l i zra q and lI a tt iy ya, ap paren t ly all very simi lar
wea pons pro bably di rre ring on ly in leng th, wei gh t an d blade sha pe ; th e heav y R um h o ccu rs most often .
A nother t yp e, t he Qu n ta riya (cf. th e Byzan t me Kont aria }, was wide ly used by the Fra n ks as we ll a nd
was u ndo u bte dl y a lo ng wea pon , q uite p robably 12 fee t. T he Ber be r Ka barba ra, reco rded hy al-T artu si,
was a lso of co nside ra ble length , with a shaft of so me 11 1h-1 2 ~ fee t and a (socketed j j blade o f a nother
2-2 ~ feel. Usama h records t hat c. 1 120 t he Ara bs o f Ifa mah a do p ted a n even lo nger lan ce, lengthe ned
' by at ta ching one lance to anothe r' a nd reachi ng a length o f 18-20 dhira' - :2 7-30 feet ! T his m ust
he <I n e xaggera tion, despite t he fac t tha t o rd inar y lances co uld cer ta inly re ac h I S fee t. Ho we ve r, il
is interesti ng to note his descr ip tion of suc h a com po un d lance in use, ' trai ling o n t he gro u nd like a rope,
t he warr io r una ble to raise it ' , which ce rtai nly ind ica tes t ha t it was o f un usua l ( not to say rid icu lous!)
le ngt h ; one imagines t he e xpe r iment was sho r t-lived, Lances were usua lly of cane o r woo d, Imad a d- Din
writ ing of ' b ro wn lan ces' a t lI all in.
3 3. SU DANESE ARCHE R
Su da nese in fa n t ry, pred o mina nt ly ar c hers, wer e an im po r tan t ele men t o f Egy ptia n a rmies d u ring t he
ea rlie r pa rt o f thi s per iod , featu ring prom inen tly in th e Fali mid era (as many as 30,00 0 bei ng e mplo yed
by 1 169 ) and less p rominentl y unde r Sala di n and the Ayyu tJids. Sud a nese tro o ps d o not see m to have
bee n e m plo yed at all un de r t he Mamlu ks, and aft e r t he fa ll of t he A yyu bids it was to be several
cen t uries bef o re Negro es again a ppe ar ed in large nu m bers in an Egy pt ia n army in any role o t her t han
as gro o ms o r ho rse-bo ys,
Su r p risingly - since so fe w Eu ro pea ns co uld have eve r seen a Negro a t t his da te - Sudanese so ld ie rs in
Moslem em plo y e xci ted little o r no com men t fro m most Cr usade ch ro niclers, fro m whic h we may
surmise tha t t hey were la rgely, to all a ppea ra nces, iden tica l to the average Ara b in all bu t skin
co lo u ring, th o ugh at least one lat er so urce reco rds that t he y sca rred t heir faces .
T he u nifo rms of Su da nese gua rds me n a ppea r to have been of ric hly de co ra ted brocade or dam ask , but
it sho uld be no ted t hat , cont rary to th e im pressio n c rea ted by most mod e rn-d ay hist o rian s, far fro m all
suc h so ld iers wer e gua rdsme n.
F ulche r of Char t res, who refers to t he Sud anese as Aet hio pes, no tes t hei r blac k skin and imp lies in a t
least o ne passage tha t they fo ught wit h bo w or spear. Albert of Aix add s that t hey ca rried maces
( undo ub te dly the 'fla ils o r sco urges o f iro n' noted by bo t h G ibbon and O man) and reco rds that a t t he
batt le o f Asca lo n in 109 9 th e Suda nese ar c hers kne lt o n o ne k ne e to fire, 'accordi ng to their custo m'.
T he l tin er arium , writte n by an e ye-wit ness, also me nti o ns the Suda nese, ref erring to th ose a t Arso uf
(11 9 1) as t he Nigred uli, the Negro Pac k, 'a race o f de mo ns ver y blac k in co lo ur' , T he ens uing passage
is u nclear, b ut Am broise (t he O ld Fre nch, an d possibly mo re relia ble, versio n ) re nde rs the sa me passage
as ' Following th ese came a black race - Noi rets is t heir common na me, o r Sarace ns o f t he ber rule
(unc ulti vated la nd ) - loa thsome and as bla c k as soot in colo ur, swif t an d agile footmen a rm ed with bo ws
a nd wit h ligh t s hiel ds' ,

81

34

35

34. SUDANESE SPEA RMAN


T ho ugh mos t Sudanese in Fa timid and Ay y u bid employ were a rchers so me we re inst ead a rmed with a
spear . and il is as o ne such Iha l I have inte rpre ted this figu re from the SI Dents wind ow s (sec no te 35
belo w). The spear co uld be used as a t h rusting or t hrow ing we apo n, Ba ldwin I bein g ba dly wo unded in

1103 by the throw n spear o f a Sudanese infantr yman.


It is appare n t fr o m his simp le d ress that he is no l a guardsma n a nd he carries only a spear an d a circu lar
Turs. T h e latt er has a rei nfo rced rim and an acute ly spike d boss like tha t of 3&. A swo rd wou ld have
also been currie d, a nd Negro swordsmen appea r in a list of Fat jmid regiments reco rded c. 10 47 - 1054.

Usam a h's anecdo tes incl ud e refer en ce s 10 Negro hor semen too, and some mo dern au t horit ies - such as
La ne-Poole - have even in te rpre te d Salad in's Qar aghulam cavalry as Negro es (Q araghulam t rans lating
liter ally as ' Black slave') ; more probably Quraghula m merel y de not ed no n-Turkish ma mlu ks, no do ubt
includ ing so me Negroes neve rt heless.
35,36, 37 & 38.
SYRIAN CAV AL RY MEN c. 11 50
These figu res ar e fro m a se ries of 10 pa in ted window s once in th e monaster y ch u rc h of 5 t Dents in
Paris. T hese wind o ws, o f mid- 12 t h cen tu ry d at e, th e co m missioning of which has been accred ited to
Lo uis VII's c hief minister Ab bo t Sugee, were des troyed d uring t he F ren ch Revol uti o n bu t ar e kno wn
fr o m s ketches e xecuted b y Mo n tf auco n in 1729 ( in 'L es Mo n uments de la Mo nar ch ie F ra nqo ise') in which,
alas , t he origina ls were no t copied alto ge ther clearly.
T he equip me nt por trayed was p ro bab ly base d on t he rep o rts of eye-wit nesses who had partici pa ted
with Lou is in t he Se cond Cr usade , though th e e piso d es depic te d ac tually all took place d uri ng the Firs t
Crusa de. T he figures the mselves a rc pro babl y Sy rians, rep resenti ng T ur kish marnluks o f the various
'aska rs.
35,36 and 37 all a p pear to wear q uilte d al-Qu tuns (see no te 10 ), st rengt he ne d wit h sca les in t he la tte r 2
insta nces, though po ssibly 36 ma y be a very poor re p resentation o f a la me llar Djawshan ( see 48 ); ce rtai nly
the Charlemagne wind ow o f c. 12 10 in C hartres Ca t hed ral, wherein ce rta in de tails we re insp ire d by if no t
copie d d irectly from t he o riginal St Den ts window s, sho ws Moslem s we ar ing corselets th at ar e u ndo ubtedl y
la me llar, so it is po ssible that so me o f t he 5 t De nis figu re s to o t he mselves wo re lam ellar armou r. Other
figu res in Mon tf au con's ske tc hes qu ite d early wea r mai l co rse lets, so me time s wit h co lfs, whi le a fe w, of
whi ch 38 is the clearest, wea r sca le.

82

,l

'--<1 0

36

38

Helm et s arc all eit he r co nica l - p ro bably the t yp e called Baid a (egg) because o f its sh ape - O f he misphe rica l, o r of Spa ngenhe tm co ns truc tio n. so me times ap parently wit h clo t h, lea t her o r ma il aven tails.
Shields are circ ula r a nd co me in various sizes, o fte n wit h ac u tely spiked bo sses like that of 3 6. Arms
co nsist c hie f'l y o f sword and lance , t he latte r o f no o u ts tandi ng le ngth (u nd o ub tedly rest ricted by t he
confines of th e illust ration area invo lved) ; alt ho ugh a fe w hor se-a rc hers are a lso ap par en t bow s arc,
ra th er cur io usly. heav ily o u t nu mb ered by la nces a nd no ne of Mont fau con's ske tc hes sho w bo wcases or
qu ivers.
T hese par t icular figur es ar e taken res pect ively fro m sce nes de picting the bat tles o f Nicaca ( 1097 I,
Asca lon (109 9) , Do rylaeu m ( J 09 7 ) an d Anti och ( 1098 ).
39 , 40, 4 1 & 4 2.
T URK ISH CA VAL R YMEN
Co n te m porary C hrist ian chr o nicle rs ge ne rally use d t he te rm 'Turk' to descri be Seljuks, T u rc o ma ns an d
Sy ria ns o r ar mie s co m prised ma inly ther eo f - Salad in's ar mie s, fo r example, are descr ibed a s T urkish
even t ho ugh t hey also co n tained many Hed ouins, Ara bs, Ku rds, Negroes and o t hers. Of t hese fou r figu re s
two are Syria ns ( 4 1, fro m t he J aziru , a regio n o f No rthe rn Syria ro un d Mosul , Raq q a a nd Diyar Bek r, and
4 2, from Ra qq a ) an d t wo ar e Selju ks (3 9 , fr o m a Persian ce ramic , a nd 40, fro m Azer baija n; th ese are
ty pical of Selj u k wa rrio rs in general, figures ide ntic a l to 3 9 ap pea ring on Se lju k pa in ted bo wls as early
as th e 1 1t h c en t ury ).
All 4 wea r lo ngish to pco ats with a righ t-ove r left n ap ( t he Muq a llab) at the fron t, plus e mb ro id ered
he ms, cuffs and co llar ; ro und t he u pper ar ms are t he usua l T iraz band s. Tall,lo ose boots , baggy tro users
and , in the case o f 39 , a sma ll ca p wit h a tur ban wra ppe d round it , com ple te t he costu meiJ va sho ws t he
same type o f tu rba n hu t witho u t t he e m broid e red , tra iling head ha nd. T ur ban s pro per such a s th at of
40 (w ho da tes to c. 120 0 ) wer e also being wo rn at least as ea rly as th e ta re-! t t h ce n t ury. 41 wears instea d
a fu r-trimm ed ha t wh ich hea rs a s tri ki ng resem blan ce to t he mit re-caps o f 18t h ce ntu ry gren ad iers a nd
was characte rised by a me tal pla te a bove th e fo rehea d. This stiff, tr ia ngula r ty pe o f ha t, ca lled by t he
nam e Sha rb ush, was o f T u rkish origi n an d see ms to have bee n wo rn o nly b y a mirs and c hie fta ins as an
indic a t io n o f rank , eve n Salad in being recor ded to have wo rn one ( concealing a ma il ca p benea th ). It
was worn u nde r both the A yyubid and Bah riy ya h d y nas t ies hu t was la ter aboli sh ed b y t he Ct rcassia n
Mamluks. It appears in illust ra t io ns o nly from th e late-12th cen t u ry b u t had p roba bly bee n in use
somewh at ear lier, th e illu st rat ion s t he mselves bei ng principa lly of R umi, Ja ziran, Iraq i a nd
Azer baijuni o rigin .

83

As can he see n here a nd in other illus tra tio ns t he Seljuk a nd Sy ria n T ur ks generally (though by no
mea ns ex clu sively - sec 4'1 an d 50 ) WOTe t heir hair ver y long in 3 tai ls, one a t ea ch sid e o f Ihe head
a nd o ne at t he hac k. Mo ust aches wer e usua lly lo ng ( Al p Arsla n coul d alleged ly l ie th e ends of his behind
his head!) while beard s co uld be full, sho rt o r very wisp y, so me times co mp rising no more than a
'shad ow ' o n eit her side o f till: jaw a nd a small t uft un der t he bo t to m lip .
As fo r ar ms, the Itincrariu m Regis Ricard i, descri bin g Saladin' s largel y Syria n arm y a t Arsouf in 1191 ,
rec o rds that " he T ur ks aTC almos t weapon less, ca rr ying o nly a bo w, a mace fu rnis hed wit h shar p
tee t h, a sword, a lance o f reed wit h an iron t ip, and a lightly hu ng knife' , So me Tu rks carr ied in addi t ion
a small axe sus pend ed fro m t he sadd le, T he sho rt b u t powe rful composit e bow was th eir princi pal
weapo n, T he arrows were ligh t, limiti ng th eir pene tra tio n so mew hat so that although t hey co uld pier ce
armou r th ey ofte n d id no t and when t hey did might inflic t only a shallo w wound o r no wound at all
(see page 37 ). T he bo w was often slu ng beh ind th e left sho uld er d u ring close co mbat.
T he bo wcase, wh ich co uld double as a q uiver, hu ng o n th e lef t, while t he q uiver was sus pe nded fro m the
belt at the right ; t hese a re occasio na lly de pic te d th e other way ro u nd. Q uivers co uld co ntai n up to 60
arro ws. In add itio n spare bo ws and e xt ra qu ivers we re o fte n carr ied. so me t imes as man y as J of each.
so it was q uit e feasible fo r well o ve r l OO arro ws to be carrie d. The ligh t la nce co uld be used fo r thru sting
o r throw ing. but javelins migh t also he Carried. Small shields held hy a single, cen t ral gri p wer e in genera l
use, tha t o f 40 being o f a rather un usu al de sign; th e rose painte d at the ce n tre may w ry well he a n
he raldic device .
Swords co uld he cu rved like t ha t o f 47, lo ng like t hat o f 40, o r shor t a nd st ra igh t. F rom its lengt h a nd
sha pe that of 42 is q uit e definitely an India n weap on . I ndian swor ds st ill bei ng held in high es tee m
thro ughou t t he Mosle m worl d du ri ng t his e ra, j ust as the y had bee n since as ea rly as t he 7t h ce n t ury .
Whe ther t his was be ca use Ind ia n swo rds wer e par t icula rly goo d o r bec ause Egy pto -Sj-ria n swo rd s wer e
part icu larl y bad is not altoget her clea r. Ce rt ain ly al-Tartu si rec ko ned Egy pt ia n blades as inf er io r not
o nly to Ind ia n swo rds hut also to And alusia n, Magh ri bi a nd Ch inese swo rds too. What ever the reaso n,
India n blad es, e it her o f t he t rad it iona l t ype shown here o r o f more ' mo dern' d esign. wer e impor ted
in to the Moslem wo rld in grea t num be rs, o ft en then being rchilre d a nd decor ated a cco rding to lo ca l
taste and p revaili ng fas hio n. Captured F rank ish swo rds a lso fe ature a nd u nde rwen t similar ad apt ati on.
O t he r eq ui pmen t im port ed fro m India included la nce s an d co rsele ts (type uns pec ified bu t p ro bably
sca le and /or lame lla r),
T u rkish clo the s wer e o f te n o f b rocad e o r silk and wer e ver y brigh t, usuall y invo lving geome tr ic patterns
or Floral o r ara besqu e moti fs o n a b righ t base co lo ur.

84

~"
~b

41

42

4 3 . SYR IAN CAVA L RYMAN c. 12 20


T h is A y yu bid warr ior from Mosu l wear s q ui lte d hip-length ar mour w it h m ail sleeves, u nd o u b ted ly a
Kuza gh an d , and a h elmet with nap e-guard . Ot h er figures in t he sa me source wear lame llar a nd mail
corselets.
T he Kuza gha nd ( Persian Kaz ha ghand . caucd in west ern so urces a G azeganz, fro m whi ch t he te r m
Jaaerant almost ce rt ainly evo lve d ) was basically an early ty pe of Brigan d ine , so me t imes appare n tl y
wo rn in conj u nc tio n wi t h a ma il corsele t. Al-Tart usi im p lies th at It was inven t ed by ea sterne rs Sy ria ns o r Iraq is ; he d escribe s it as a ma il co rsele t co vered in cloth a nd silk, q uilt ed , and with an
o ute r su rf ace o f embro ide re d m ate ria l o r brocade. A l-~l aq ri l i records Fa tim id Kuzagha nds co vered
with bro cad e and silver st ars. probably rivet s. Usa mah has lef't us with a de tailed de scri pfion o f o ne
o wn e d b y his fath er , wh ic h co nsisted o f 2 co a ls-of-ma il, a lo ng ' F ra nk ish' on e wit h a sho rt er one,
appare n tly wais t-len gth, o ver it , line d on t he inside a n d co vered o n t he o u tsid e wit h fell , t he wh ole
being pa dd ed wit h fe lt , rabb it ha ir and silk and , pre su mably, qu ilte d. Fr o m Ibn al-A thir we a lso kno w
th at t he K uzagh and ha d a co llar, appar ently u psta ndi ng, wh ile la ter so urces le nd to ind icate th a t it
co u ld ha ve sle eves - as here - t ho ugh mo re often it d id not . Kuzagha nds reco rd ed in use by a co n t ingent
o f Sy rian A ra bs at Ho ms in 1280 were cov ere d with red satin and bro cade , Qalqashandi reco rding in th e
14 t h cen tu ry th at cove rings we re us ually of red o r yell ow broca de . By the 14t h ce n tu r y, however ,
Saracen Brigadines wcre manufactured in th e Eur o pea n s ty lc , t he a rmo ur ele me n t co nsisti ng o f iro n o r
st ee l la m in ae rivc tted to get her ; t he resulti ng Brigan dine was ca lled by t he name Qarq al and wa s the mo st
co m mon Iype o f later Mam lu k bod y-arm o u r.
-

Hel me ts wit h so lid iro n na pegua rds a pp ea r to ha ve bee n fa irly co m mon du ring t h is per io d , Q alq ash an d i
reco rd s 2 ty pes o f hel me t in add iti o n to the Haid a mentioned under 3 5; both were calle d Migh far, o ne
with a m ail a ven tail (t he Mjghfar ai-l ard), t he o the r (ap par en t ly older) type with a so lid neck guard ;
4 3 01 probahly depic ts a varian t o f t he tauer from a mid - Lath ce n tu ry edi t ion o f Jcin vine' s Mem o irs. Imad
ad -Din to o refe rs t o helm e ts w ith neckguards. 4 3 b, c a nd d sho w ahemative he lm e ts with nasals as we ll
as napeguu rds from 2 ve rsio ns of Willia m o f Ty re's lI isto ry o f O u tre mer executed in Acre c. 1280 ; again
wr iti ng o f his fat her's a rmo ur as wor n in th e 12th century Usamah me n t io ns a ' Mosle m helmet ' with
a nasa l. ' Visors' are a lso occasio na lly mentioned, but probably aventails or cotrs - per ha ps like tha t
of 58 - a re me ant. Baid as at le ast were often pai nted and so m e he lmets wer e eve n gilded (a s, fo r
e xample, was Saladin's).
4 4. SYRIA N INFA NTRYMAN
In Sy ria, Iraq and the I aaira infantry a lwa ys to ok sec o nd p lace to the mo u n te d m ilitary e lite o f th e
amirs a nd 'askans . Th ey were pro vide d largely by city mi liti as suc h as Ih e Ah d at h and o the r irr egu lar
volu n te e rs, a nd a ppear m ost fr equen tly either in bat tles in t he imme dia te vicinity o f th eir home to wns

.,

6J

43

44

o r in sieges. Ce rtainly the infan t ry o f some Syri a n ci ties, pa rtic ularly Aleppo, were es pecia lly noted
for t heir abilities as siege-e nginee rs: th ese came in 3 categories - t he lI ajja rin (artillery cre ws ). Naqqa bin
(mine rs) an d Khur a san i (crew s for the ra ms an d pe n t ho uses ),
Thi s Iigu re, fro m t he sa me so urce as t he last, is pro bably fa irly Iyp ical o f Syri an milina men, com p rised
chie f'ly o f poorly armed and ar mo u red levies from the indige no us Arab po pulat io n. T hou gh most wer e
Ara bs t he milit ias of so me cit ies in No rthern Sy ria and t he Jaair a (such as Alep po a nd Mosul) wou ld
also have included Kurds and Turks as well as peo ples of o lder nat ive stoc k, while else whe re Gr eek speaking eleme n ts a lso su rvived.
Be ing largd y Arabs most wo uld have bee n a rmed with spea r or swo rd, but javelins and bo ws, and
sornc nmes even crossbows. also fea t u re p ro mine n tly in th e sources.
4 5. SAR ACEN CR O SS BO WMAN
During t he Crusades the c ross bo w soon earned a healt hy respect from the Mosle ms fo r its acc u racy and
de adliness and t he y q uic kly ad o pte d th e weapo n t he mselves (t ho ugh it may have been in use in parts of
Persia as early as the 'rth ce n t ury ].

In fact the Saraccn c rossbo w ( of te n called th e Qaw s Fa rungi o r F ra n kish Bo w) wa s a su perio r wea po n to
th at of t he Fra n ks, using a co m pos ite bo w as opposed to t he sim ple self-bo w used by th e latter . Al-Tur tu si,
speak ing o f cr ossb o ws, desc ribes 4 diffe ren t ca tegories - th e Qaw s al-Rigl (or 'leg-bow', a name co mp a rable
to t he 'o ne-foo t crossbo w' o f Eu ro pe) which was smalles t, probably with a sti rru p: the so me what larger
' Aqq a r, p robab ly comparable tothe ' two-foot crossbow'; t he Gar h, the lar gest , mo un ted o n a s tand for
use in siege-wor k: and t he lI usban o r 'pass-ho ppe r', ap pare n tly a c rossbo w with a ba rre l fo r shoo ti ng
sho rt , t hick bo lts. sli ngstoncs. o r sma ll na pt ha gre nades. He also describes t he met hod o f load ing using
:I ! -elawed hoo k, :Il1a.:h<'d to a to ughe ned o x-hide belt, to pull back the st ring.
T he Frank s in turn ad o pted the composite crossbo w fro m t he Sar ace ns, realisi ng its superiority, and
for so me ti me Leva nri nc crossbows an d t heir man ufacture rs we re in high demand in Eu ro pe; King
J o h n o f Eng land 's cross bo w-ma ker, fo r inst ance . was Pe ter ' t he Saracen', a nd King Louis IX's was
J o h n ' the Armeniun",
T his figure is based on an illustr at ion in xtanhcw Paris' I' bro nica Major a de pic ting th e Ayy u bid
garriso n of Kera k in 1! 4 1. 11 0: wears ma il a nd a helme t o f a ty pe w hich frequ ently appea rs in

86

con te m po ra ry illust rat ions of ~l osle m s , pri nci pally in Spanis h sou rces. In the origi nal he is shown
wea ring a n ar ming ca p under the helme t. T he cross how itse lf has bee n su bstituted from a 13th cent ury
Egyp tia n military manual. T he st irr up is o f int erest since it appears to he of lea the r or ro pe ra the r th an
iro n.
46. AYYUBID HEAVY CAVALRYMAN ACCORD ING TO MATTHE W PA RI S
Illust ra tions in Paris' chronicles and so me o t her 13 th cen t ury so urces te nd 10 depic t Moslem wa rriors
in equi pment t hat mak es th em almost if no t tot ally indistmguishuble fro m the Fra nkish knight s they
fight, a nd the tende ncy in t he pas t has usually bee n to dismiss th ese as the prod ucts of a rtists igno rant of
the appeara nce of ' rear Sa rucen armour. Ho we ve r, one need o nly loo k at a fe w of t he co nte mpo ra ry
chro nicles 10 see t hat this is no t a n al toge the r j ustifia ble co ncl usio n. I I is a well-reco rded fact t ha t mu d !
Frankish eq uipment was reused by xtosrem s afte r cap ture, incl uding shields, la nces , swo rds, he lmets an d
corsele ts (see 31 , 4:! and 43 ) - we read , for ex ample, of Arab ho rseme n at Ra mla in 1101 who 't oo k up
the shields, la nces and shining helme ts o f t he slai n an d pro udly ado rned t he msel ves' , an d one Ayyubid
warrior at Acre in 11 Q I similarly put o n t he armou r o f a Frankish knight he had killed ; ce rta inly figure
J::! above needs only to sub stitu te a helm et for his tu rba n to become a 'Frankis h' knight. T he St Dcm s
windo ws too show so me Moslems in armour which resembles very closely that of th e crusade rs t hey
f igh t.
At th e sam e time Ma tthew Paris' illus tra tio ns also de pict Mosle ms in mo re dis tinc tive forms of a rmou r,
of which t his partic ular figUH' , hascd o n his dr awings of th e battles of Arsouf and Bahr Ashm un , is on e.
li e wear s a stiff, sleeveless scale corselet ( prob ably based o n a lea ther foundation) o ver a sho rt coa t-ofmail with a co if, and ap parentl y also wears qu ilted cuisses. Whet her o r nOI suc h equipment wa s eve r
actually worn by Egyp tian o r Sy rian Mosle ms is open [0 deba te, but it certainly was wo rn by th e
Stostems o f Andulusian Spain as ex plai ned un der figures 75 and 76 in ' Armies of Feudal Euro pe'.
One po int that should too" no ted , ho wever, is Ihat acco rdi ng to L. A. Mayor t he flat-top ped varie ty of
kite-shie ld de picted here was never act ually ado pted by the Sa ruce ns (tho ugh again capt ured shields
wou ld have almost cer tainly bee n thu s uscd t. 46 a and b show 1 mo re ty pica l shield s o f the T urs
varie ty from o the r illust ratio ns by Paris.

87

"GtlD 4 9

48

4 7. AY YUBID MAMlUK c. 1240


Since he carries a Tu rk ish sab re rat he r tha n t he usual swo rd th is figure may ver y well represe nt o ne of t he
new wave of Khwa rizrnia n o r Kipchak ma mluks to he fo und in Ayyubid employ in t he 1230s and 1240s.
In additio n ste ppe -influe nce is a ppare nt in his ha t wit h upturned brim ; t his was the Saraq uj, ty pica l o f
Mo ngol d rcss tsee 84 ) an d ado pted by th e Ayyu bids and earl y Mamlu ks via such mercenar ies. Th e Sa raq uj
was usuall y whil e. In t he so urce th e t unics and coa ts ( t he la tt er called 'Tarta r coa ls' - see SS a nd 56) of
such figures are all of rich broca de. princi pally blue, green o r pink in colour.

T he sab re came into mo re widespread use in t he latc-13t h o r early- 14 t h cen tu ry under Mon gol
tnuucncc tho ugh cu rved swords ar e occasiona lly de pic ted o t record ed in US( as early as the 1 11h ce ntu ry,
pro ba bly introd uced from Cen t ral Asia via slave-soldiers pu rch ased in t he East.
Note th e spu rs fixed t o his hoots. Usam af me ntio ns Khuff hoo ts with spurs bUI p ictoria l sou rces
ten d 10 indicate tha t sp urs were unco mmon am o ngst Mosle ms du ring thi s era e xce pt in Andal usia an d
13 t h ce ntu ry ~b m l u k Egyp t.

48. S ELJ UK II EAVY CAVA LRYMAN


Alt ho ugh t he maj or il y of T urkish cavalry seem 10 have bee n una rmou red ho rse-a rch ers. ' hea vy' cavalry
were a lso to he fo un d in their arm ies, t hese bei ng generally sup plied by t he retin ues and ma mlu ks of the
amns an d o t her chie f tains. T he c hronicle r Bar Ile braeus ma kes muc h of Alp Arsla n, t he victo r o f
Manl ike rl, putti ng on his armo ur bc rore tne battle, adding tha t 'a ll the Tu rk s did likewise'.
T his la l.', 1~ I h or ea rly 13t h ce ntu ry Seljuk fro m Al l'r hai; an wea rs armo ur th at is of t ypically Easte r n
des ign, comprisin g a ma il hood , Persian -st yle helmet with neckguard an d a waist-le ngt h Djawshun th a t
reac hes only to t he chest.
' Djawshan ' seems 10 have described a lamella r corsele t of any length and al-Tart usi says it wa s of Persian
o rigin. Th e lame-llae were chiefly o f iron , horn o r t rea ted leather and cou ld be gilded, varn ish ed o r
pain ted (Suh a n Kha t Khosro u I is reco rded wearing red ar mour in I ~ IO ) , tho u gh Scljuk a rmo ur was
ap paren tly o ften blackened. T hat wo rn here may ver y well he' at tached to t he tu nic itself in the same
way as is 48a {wit h a lterna te ro ws o f lamellae pa inted different colo urs), f rom a store of arm s a nd
armo ur de pic t .. d in a n early- f J t h ce ntu ry so urce. It is possibly an arm ou r of simi lar length that is
reco rded bei ng worn by a n Abbasid am ir in one of Usa ma h's a necdo tes: describi ng the Bat tle o f
Qinna srin in 1137 he mentio ns how a Frank ish ho rsema n's la nee pie rced t his ami r thr ough th e chest

88

50

51

52

and cam e o u t a t his back , despi te his gilded Dja wshun.


Th is man's eq uipme n t inclu des lance, shield. a nd sword as well as a bo w,though Bar He braeus stat es
th a t Al p Arsla n cast aside his bow an d a rro ws and fought with spear a nd shield whe n he do nned his
arm o ur. T he le ngth o f t he swo rd sho uld be noted, suc h lo ng weapons fr eq ue n tly appearing in Syria n
and Persian so urces o f t he 12t h and 13 th ce n t u ries. T he helmet co uld he plu med .

By th e 1311'-13 t h ce ntu ry and pro ba bly so me wha t ea rlier most Sdjuk heavy cava lry wo uld ha ve closely
resem ble d 58 a nd 89 .
4'1 & 50.
SELJUK I NFANTRYMEN
Despit e th e predominan ce of caval ry in th eir armies Sefjuk infant ry were, see mingly, no t u nco m mo n, fo r
e xa m ple fea t u ring pro minen tly a t Myrio kep ha lo n in 1 176 , while Ann a Co mn en a reco rds as many as
80 ,00 0 'fully-a rme d infa ntr y' o p posin g th e fi rs t Cru sade at Heraclea in 109 7. T hey wer e usua lly
u narmo u red a nd most were eit her jave lin men o r archers, so me ca rr yi ng sho rt spea rs to o. By the mid- I :!t h
ce n t ury a t t he latest cro ssbo ws wer e also in use, becoming an im po rt a nt infant ry ar m by the 13 th
cen t ury ; R umi c rossbow me n rec orded at t he Bat tle o f Ak hla t in I :!3 0 wer e pro tec ted by la rge co whide
s hiel ds, pre su ma bly wielde d by shie ld -beare rs.

49 is fro m an ea rly- 13th ce nt u ry Persian paint ed bow l which sho ws a numbe r of similar figures as well
as horsemen like 39. Clothes a re de pic ted mainly d ar k blue, ligh t blue , tu rquo ise. b rown and ran :
anc ma uvc so urces depic t red , green, blac k and mo st o t her co lo u rs also being worn . On t he bowl
so me infa nt ry me n have t he ir t rousers cross-garte red .
50, fro m Azerbaijan Ithe sa me so urce as 40 and 48 ), is in te res ting in sho wing tha t th e Seljuks to o used
the ki te-shiel d (s om e infa ntry figures o n t he pai n ted bo wl men t ioned ab o ve also su bsti t u te ki te-shield s for
circ ular o nes ), and also in its depic tion o f the more 'c harac te ristic ' T ur kish hairs tyle whic h du ring th is
e ra seems to ap pea r o nly in Easte rn fro ntie r regio ns a nd am ong st t he ' u ncivilised' T u reo ma n nom ad s.
50a and b are alt e rna tives fr o m a Pe rsian so u rce o f e. I :!:!5.

5 1. RUMI "FIR ENK' II E,\ VY CAVALRYMAN


T his 12 t h ce n tu ry figure in sho rt la mella r co rselet bears a re mar kably close resembla nce to co n te mpo rary
Bv zan rines ( see, fo r e xam ple, 66 and 67). T his is probably because he is himsel f a Byzan t ine, possibly a
mem ber of o ne of t he indigeno us G ree k Christia n un its , u niform ed and a rmed in Byza n t ine fashion and

89

with t heir o wn co mman ders, raised and mai ntained by the Selju k Sulta ns of Rum and late r know n as
Kafir-S ipahi1t'r and Mar to tos by t he Otto mans. So me we re brigade d alo ngside Franki sh me rce na ries
a nd the gene ral te rm 'Piren k" o r Fra nks was often a pplied to t he m collectively (see page 20). Fo r
lame llar a rmour in use amo ngst Mosle ms scc note 48 abo ve.
~~
TUR(O MAN TR IBE S ~IA~
T urco mans ( who still c xist eve n tod a y, under the name T ur kmens) su pplied th e bulk of Sclju k armies.
as well as providi ng larg.. nu mbe rs of au xiliaries to the la te- Fati mids, Ayyubids, Mamluks and O tt omans.
Som e \vcn se rved with t he Almo hades in Spai n an d Nort h Africa, whe re th ey we re still call..d by t heir
carli\r name of Ghuaz. T ho ugh t hey used some in fan try ar med with spear, sword and how th e y relied
on th ... ir light ho rse-arche rs in baute.

T his tigur... is based o n th e 14 th centu ry d rawings of Usta d M... hmc d Siyah Qalc rn, 13 t h ce nt ury
illustrations ind ica ting t ha t th e re had been no c hange of dre ss in t he int eri m. lI is to pcoat sho ws th e
ancmauve uprig ht-faste ning rat he r than th e obliq ue Muqulla b na p gene rally worn by T ur ks. Uslad
Mehn1l'u shows tu nics chkny in shades o f hlue , blac k, bro wn and red. T he black fu r o r felt cap is fairly
stand a rd. Ihn Hibi, howe ver, desc rihi ng 13t h century Ka ram anli T urco mans in Anatolia, spe uks of red
caps and black coats and boots.
Basic equip men t ap pea rs to have co nsisted of now, sabr e a nti 2-3 light javelins. In addi tion bags of 1001
wcre no rmally muc h in ... videncc.
Tu rco man wo mc n also re-gula rly fou ght alon gside the ir me nfolk , Ma rvazi co mpari ng the Amazo ns to such
temalc Turcoman war rio rs in the 12 th centu ry. Much later ( in Ihe 15t h cen tury) on e tr ibe is said to have
ratscd as many as _~ O. OO O fem ale warriors.
53 & 54.
BEDOU lj\; T RIBESMEN
Th ... Bedawis or Bcdouins w... re pr incipa lly no ted as hrigands d uring t his e ra and were as likely to be fo und
robbing t hc ir f e uo w-Mos!...ms as t hey w e r... to bc fight ing t he Fr anks, 'it bein g well-known .' as I o mville
records. ' that t he USl' a nd custom of t he lk do uins is always to fall up o n t he weak er side.' Nevert heless
Bedouins a pp...ar...d as au xiliar i...s in most Most... m armies ( and also in SOlo ... Fra nk ish o nes ). se rving ma inly

00

@
@@
57

as cavalr y th o ugh infan try aTC also rec o rde d o n o ccasion s. In F ra n kish e mploy they usuall y su p plied
sco uts and spies.
T hese 2 figur es da le res pec tively to c. 123 7 (I larir i's Maqa ma l) and c. 1306 ( Raschid at-Din's Wo rld
lI isto ry ) and tally clos ely wit h t he d escr ipt ion o f Bedo um d ress lef t to us by Jo invillc in his xtc mcirs
o f the Seve nth Crusa de. li e reco rds t heir charac te ristic ca mel-wool tun ic, til l' long, wide-sleeve d G u b ha.
as cove ring the whole body do wn to t he ground , while th e tu r ban was wra ppe d around t he hea d in
suc h a way th at o ne strip wen t bene a t h th e c hin, as c an be see n in bo t h these figu res. In t he so urces
clothes ar e de picted o r des cribe d as d ye d c hie fly in b right co lo urs, p redom inan tly re ds and blues o f most
shades. Striped clothing o f t he t ype wo rn by 54 , popularl y associ a ted wit h A ra bs, only be came
co mmo nplace fro m the l I t h ce nt u ry . Hair was black .
Jo inville also reco rds a Bedo uin belie f ' t ha t no -one c an die save o n t he d ay ap poi n ted, and for th is
reaso n t hey will no t wear a rmo u r: and th at ' in ba il ie t hey ca rry no th ing b u t swo rd an d la nce ' , which
basically re pea ts Willia m o f T yre's co m me nt t hat 'acc or ding to thei r custo m' the y 'fo ught wit h lances
o nly.' Burchard of Mo u nt Sio n, who wro te c. I :no, ad ds tha t ' t hey do no t use arro ws, sayi ng t ha t it is
base be yon d meas u re to stea l away a man's life with an a rro w.' T he la nce was usua lly of can e ('reed' ).
T he swor d was gene ra lly suspe nded fro m a baldric across t he right sho ulder , t he Bedo uins ap pa re n tly
ad hering to t his t ra dit io nal Moslem custo m ra t her Ihan fo llo wing t he p re valen t hab it of gird ing o n th e
sword at t he waist : o t he r t ha n the Be do uins o nly Nur ed- Din's arm y ap pea rs to have regularl y used t he
bald ric.
T he Byza n t ine gcylitzes ms. of c. 1200 de pic ts Mosle m horse men in d ress ide nt ical to th at wo r n by th ese
figure s, an d like wise ar med with lance , sword an d shie ld ( most o f the shields rese m ble t ha t o f 30, t ho ugh
a few ap pa re n tly carr y crescen t devices ).
5 5 & 56.
MAMLUKS
T hese figu res arc based o n t he ' Bapt istere d e Sa int Lo uis' of e. 13 00 . Bo t h we ar 'T artar coa ts' I Qaba
al-Tar rany yah ) w hich, as is obvio us from the na me, we re of ~l on go l orig in and fol lo wed t he Mo ngol
pract ice o f having t he Muq a lla b flap cross the ches t fr om lef t to righ t as opposed to t he T ur kish fashio n
o f righ t to lef t. (T he left o ve r right Mo ngo l-st yle Muqa ltab also fea t u res in Ru mi and Persian so u rces in
t he 13t h r e n t ury.) Su ch coa ts wer e o ft e n worn u nder a lon ger to pcoa t (s ec 5 7).
In 12 8 3 so me 1,50 0 Maml uk guards me n a re d escr ibed as wearing red sa ti n or silk coa ts, un do u btedly
unifo rms suc h as are so me times men tioned in o t her con tem po rary so urces {Fntimhl Su d anese guardsm en

91

appea r to have been unifo rmed , and cer tainly as early as 117 7 Salad in's pers on al mamluk re giment is
reco rde d hy WiIliam o f T yre wea ring ye llo w uniform s). Red was t he most co mmo n un iform colour under
t he Ma mlu ks, though Ay yu bid yellow was st ill so me t imes worn . Red was also th e usua l co lo u r fo r the
Kalaula h cap . usu ally wo rn wit h a ke rchief wound round it as by figur e 5 5. Yellow Kala utahs were wo rn
under the A yy u bids an d also by the e arly Ma mlu ks up 10 th e re ign of Kh..liI (1290- 1293 ). T he y we re
some tim e s ernh rcidered . The Kala u tah itself app ea rs to hav e been pad ded with co lt o n, p rob ably 10
increase its d efe nsive val ue.
Bot h wear sashes o f coloured sil k roun d the waist. so me ti mes yello w but pro bab ly mo re o ft e n red .
A mir s, and even a fe w ordinary ma mluk t roo pe rs, instea d wore de cora ted Min taq a bel ts, t he se
c o mp rising gold a nd silver link s mounted with pr ecio us sto nes accordi ng 10 ran k. Usually a bla ck
lea the r belt -po uch was sus pended at the right.

Footwear co nsists o f kn ee-length Kh uff boots wit h co vc nn gs c alled Saq al-Muza worn over them.
A slip per-lilt' shoe co uld also he wo rn over th e boot . T he bo ot s the msel ves had a clear sea m d ow n t he
side (see 4 7 a nd 57 ) and were usuall y o f yellow o r blac k leat he r in win ter , while leath e r in su mm er . Red
hoots an: also rec o rded.
The d ress o f a mir s is recor ded as bei ng mu ch ric her th an that of o rdi na ry mamlu ks. T he cere monial
dress of Amirs of 100, fo r insta nce , consisted a t one lim e of an outer co at of red sa tin embroi dere d in
gold and t rim med wit h minive r, and a fr inged inn e r coa t (p rob ably a Qa ba al-T art any y ah) o f yellow
satin. TI\l' Kulaut ah was o f gol d brocade, wit h a mu slin ke rch ief st rip ed in whit e an d o ther colours
wrap ped roun d it. Finally a beaver cloa k 'might be worn .
T ho ugh 56 wears a helmet bo t h ap pear to he o t her wise un ar moure d, hu t it sho uld be no ted that Moslem s
ofte n wore body-armour ben eath their o ute r garm en ts in t he sa me way th a t th ey wo re helm et s be neath
tu rba ns an d ca ps (William o f T yre, fo r inst ance, reco rds Saladi n's bo dyg uar d wearing ar mo u r under th eir
ye llo w silk un ifo rms at Mo ntgisard) . In add it io n Usa rna h, Ibn Hud ayl and o the r au thors recor d ho w
armo u r was often ca rried o n pac k m ules and only do nned im media tel y pr ior 10 batt le.

5 7. MAMlUK
T his figur e, from a ' History of Ou tre mer ' o f c. 1280 , is ty pica l of th ose ap pear ing in t he mss. e xec u te d
in A CH' in th e seco nd ha lf of t he 1J l h cen tury. so "a n be assu med 10 he a fa irly relia ble re prese ntation
o f a Mamtu k warri or of t ha t lime.
li e wea rs Kh uff ho ot s. a small turban ( big tur ban s wer e bann ed at least in Syria in 1291 ) and a long
o u ter ro be, th e ' Islamic coat' ( Qaha al-Islamiyya). T he Q aba co uld he wool . sati n, sil k or co tto n and
was appare-ntly most co m mo nly ei t her whit e or stri pe d in red and blue . By t he 15th cen t ury o nly win te r
to pc oa ts a p pear to have been coloured and d ecorat ed thu s, most Mamluks' o u te r garm ents (as well as their
boots) bei ng white in su m mer. Ano t her t y pe o f co at so meti mes worn was th e Sallari. an o u te r garmen t
with elbow-length slee ves.
li e is ar med with a mace, a favo u rite Mamluk wea po n, used princip ally to crus h helm et s and. co nseq ue n tly.
heads. It was ca lled ei th er Dub bus or ' A mud ( Persian Gun) de pend ing o n whe the r it was e n ti re ly of iro n
or had a woode n handl... Som e were Itanged o r sp iked . When not in use it was nor mally tu c ked beneat h
th e knee and sti rr u p st rOl l" 10 t he right of the sad dle. maml uks being reco rd ed ca rryi ng t heir maces ' fro m
th e st irru p' in t his way a t least as ea rl)' as t he mid -12t h cen t ury . Anot he r t y pical Mamluk wea po n rel a te d
to t he mace hu t o nl y recorded in later so u rces is th e G hadd ara, a stee l staf f kep t in a c ase Oil the sadd le
a nd capa ble o f c utting o ff a ma n's arm . On e figur e in t he Ba ptistere de Sai nt Lo uis se ems to be carr ying
such a weapo n. whe re it ap pears to be a bou t 30 inc hes lo ng.
Alt ho ugh the ~la m l u k s ado pt ed the kite-shield (see 3 1) t he T u rs clea rl y re mained fa r mo re popular. Like
t hc main figu re , 5 7a-f are all fro m t he Acre mss. so arc rairl y typical o f t he hera ldic c har ges ca rried b y
xtamt u ks. Most no ticea ble are t he la rge nu mb er o f c resce nt device s. II has been cla ime d t hat the c resce n t
was no t widely adopted amo ngst Moslem s u n til the O tt omans ad o pt ed it in the 15 t h century , hu t t he
freq ue ncy wit h which it appea rs in t hese mss. would see m to dis pro ve this. the c rescen t bein g, alongside
the rose tt e. t he most commo n shie ld de vice depict e d. Sec also 64 .

M A~ll UK

IN F ULL ARMO UR c. 129 0


in full arm our ap pear on ly rare ly in th e so u rces of th is e ra, (ho ugh as menti o ned ab o ve man y
proba bly wo re simila r bo dy -a rmo ur to tha t d epic ted here bu t conceale d it ben eat h t hei r to pcoa ts.

58 .

~h ml u k s

li e wears a ~lighra r hel me t, wit h plume and so lid nec kgua rd, and a long lam ellar I>ja wshan. ( Ay t he cnd
o f thi s er a at t he la test the term Djawshan co uld also be ap plied to a ma il co rsele t reinfor ced with small
tin pla tes ca lled T ene ke, as depic ted in 583 ; being o f more expensive co nst ruc tio n Ihan eit her mail o r
la mella r t his ty pe was gen erally restrict ed to a mirs.) T he mail coi f covering all hut his ~' y es is take n fro m
t he Baptislcr e de Saint Loui s: similar coi ls are 10 be occas io na lly see n in o the r Mosle m so urces a t least
as ea rly as c. I :W O. so me times wo rn wit ho u t a hel met.
His arm s co nsist o f lance , bow , swor d {with tasselled hilt - see also 36 and 40 ) and circul ar shield
c harged wit h an he rald ic lio n.

59. MA MlUK TA8ARDAR


T his figure p ro bably rep resen ts one o f t he infan t ry guards me n ca lled T aba rdar iy yah. named a fter th ei r
d istinctive wea po n t he Ta bar (a xe). !l o w hig th is un it ac tu a lly was does not see m to be altoget her
clear - it ma y have co m p rised no mo re t han t he 10 Ta bard ar iyya h wh o accompanied Ille Sul tan o n
parade. T he ir co m mand er was t he A mir-T abar . T he axe was also em plo yed by o t he r troo ps, J o inville
reco rd ing 30 al-Halq a in 1250 ' wit h d ra wn swo rds in their hands and Danish axe s hangi ng at their
necks' : the shape o f t he axe blad e was appa ren tly very simi lar to t he t radit io nal Scandinavian design .
AI-T ar t usi describes th e sha pe o f t he Nagin , a smaller, ca va lry versio n o f t he Ta bar, as like a half-m o on.
T he haf t o f t he Ta bar co uld he of wood o r me tal. T he blad es o f cere mo nial axes wer e usua lly deco rate d
wit h inla y an d perfo rated pa tt ern s.
60. MAMLUK ENG INEER wrr u MJOFA
A ceria in al-Hassan al-Ra m ma h d escribes a nd illustra tes Ihe Mid fa in a work o f c. 1280 -1190 . It was
clearly an early firearm, made o r wood wit h a barre l only as deep as its m uzzle width, used to fire
8 und uk s (?b ullels) or fea th ered bo lts . T he c harge filled a Ihird of t he barre l a nd co nsiste d o f a mixture

60
of 10 pa rts sa lt pe t re IBuud ), 1 par ts cha rco al, and l Yi par ts sulph ur .
T he ac t ual discover y of gu npowder is a d ubi o us dis tinctio n wh ich has been variously cla ime d fo r Chin ese,
Ind ians, Byzanti nes, Ara bs, G ermans and Engl ishm e n, bu t the name o f t he disco verer and da te o f ac tual
d iscove ry rema in uncer tai n. T he date of th e ap plicat ion of gun po wde r (0 a proj ectile-firi ng weapon is eve n
mo re hazy , bu t if the da ti ng o f this Mamlu k rns. is co rrect then th is so u rce is cerlai nly a mongs t the
earliest pieces o f evide nce o utside of China . Th is weapo n was pro bably no mor e Ihan an ex perime n ta l
device of t he Ro yal Arsena l an d may ncv er haw seen active se rvice , t hou gh the la te-1 3th ce nt u ry
ch ronicler l bn Abd al-Zahi r re ma rks that for t he siege o f al- Marqab in 1285 'iron im plemen ts a nd fla methro win g t u bes' we re issued by the ro yal arsenals, and o ne wonders whet her any of the Mamlu k
engi nee rs arme d wit h ' nap t ha tu bes' at Sa lamiyet in 129 9 (ap pa re ntl y mounted ), o r s to rming th e
breac hes of Acre in 129 1, migh t have act ua lly ca rried su ch wea po ns. It has to be ad mitt ed t hat ha ndsipho ns like th ose use d ea rlier b y t he Byza ntines see m mo re pro bab le.
' Midfa' was also the name ap plied to th e ea rliest k no wn Ma mluk can no ns, d at ing to 136 6 o r possibly
1340 (l a te d a tes con sidering t he a ppa rent ea rliness of the weap o n descri bed here).
6 1. ASSASS IN
T he dress of t he A s~ ssin was. as is that of his mo dem-day co u nte rpart , in no way u nusual. Disguises
arc o ften mentioned , ho we ve r; th e Assassins who killed Co nrad o f Mo nt ferrat , fo r instance, wer e d resse d
as mo n ks, and o the r incidents see t he d ress o f merchan ts, Fra nki sh so ldie rs a nd Sy ria n C hristians bei ng
wo rn . In t he ir o wn st ro ngho lds Assassin bret hren wo re white cloaks and red ca ps.
T hey no rmally o perated singly or in pai rs, t ho ugh on occasion con side rab ly larger gro ups a p pear, perhaps
to he do ubly ce rtain o f success. I1-Bu rsuq i o f Mosul was murder ed by a hand o f 10 Assassins in 1126
an d Caliph :l1Mu st:lrsh id .by as ma ny as 15 o r 17 in 1135.
T heir wea po n o f e xec u tio n was e xcl usively t he dagge r, so me ti mes po isoned an d a pparen tly so me t imes
engra ved wit h t he nam e of t he in te nde d vict im, an ea rly inst ance o f 'i f it' s got you r na me on it . . .' !
Usa ma h even records ba tt le ane cdot es whe re Assassins appear to be arme d o nly with dagge rs, b ut
nor ma lly swo rd, sp ear a nd shiel d would have been adde d in comba t, and fully -ar med Assassins would
ha ve been indistingu ish a ble from o rdina ry Moslem warr io rs.
A cere monial da gger desc ribed by Jotnvtne consisted o f 3 d aggers o f wh ich the to p 2 had t he ir blades
shea t hed in t he ha ndl es of the lower 2. Thi s was ca rried by o ne o f th e 3 e nvoy s se n t to Lo uis IX a t

94

Acre in I 252; an other carried a funeral shroud wrap ped round his arm , to be pre sen ted to t he king
for his o wn bu rial sho uld he reject t he Assassin de man ds! An o th er cer e moni al weapon recor ded by
Join ville was a lon g-handled ax e carried bef o re th e Old Man o f th e Mo untain , t he haft of which was
co vered in silver and had da ggers fixed to it in so me way.
62 & 63.
MOSL EM MUSICIA NS
Mou nted ha nd s accompanied most Mosle m arm ies in ba tt le d uring this era, the Moslems believing
t ha t th e more noise the y made the bolde r t heir spirits becam e and th e mo re fear t hey str uck into t he
heart s of t he ir en emies (the Bedou ins in part icular wer e sensi tive to t he noise of drums) : t he It ine rarium
Regis Rica rdi records of Arso uf t ha t 'b efore t he arnir s t here we nt men clanging aw ay wit h t rumpet s an d
clarion s; ot hers had dru ms, o the rs pi pes and tim hrels ( tam bourin es) , ra tt les, gongs, cymba ls, an d o t he r
inst ruments suited to mak ing a din . To raise t hese noises was t he specia l d uty of ce rta in men ; and the
lou der t heir din the fie rcer th eir co mrades fo ught.'
Pro bably mos t impo r tant of all were t he na ke rs and ke tt le-drum s. T he nakc rs were great d ru ms whic h
acco mpanied th e Sulta n, or his co mman ders-in-chief, an d co uld o nly he bea te n a t his per so nal co m ma nd,
to t ran smi t o rders o n th e battlef ield. T he Sulta n's ban d, co m mand ed by th e Am ir-'Al am. co mprised 4
nak ers, 40 ket tle-dr ums, 4 ha ut bo ys, a nd 20 tr ump e ts; so me mu st have also carrie d cy mba ls and o t her
inst rumen ts.
T he impo rta nce of th e ban ds ca n be judged fro m t he fact t ha t an 'a mir with drums' (Amir al-Tablk ha nah )
was one of t he highest ra nk s in t he Mam lu k military hierarchy. and tha t on ly an 'a mir wit h drums' o r an
a mir o f 100 were permi t ted ba nds a t all. T hose of amirs o f l OO see m 10 have consisted of 8 o r 10 kett led ru ms,4 trumpe ts, 2 hau tbo ys, 2 timb rals , plus o t her inst rume nt s. Amin of 40 (Le. 'a mirs wit h dr um s' )
had 3 kettle-drums, la ter 2 ke tt le-d rums an d 2 Ilutes. In Salad in's day the a mirs co mmandi ng Tu lhs
wer e each acco mpa nied hy a t least a single trumpet er.
Th ou gh t hey are ofte n sho wn carr ied o n mul es ( but o nly ra re ly on hor ses), it was camels t hat were most
co mmo nly used fo r ca rry ing drums, th e d rums of the Mamluks besieging Acre in 129 1 being ca rrie d on
as man y as 300 ca me ls.
T he Mon gols used na ker s in a n ide ntic al ca paci t y to t he Ma mluk s, the roll of th e Kha n' s o r arm y
com man de r's nake rs be ing t he co mmand to attack , 'fo r t he Ta rt ars,' rep o rts Marco Polo. 'do no t dare
to start a ba t tle till t heir lord 's dr ums begin to bea t.' T hose of the Mon gols ap pear to have avera ged
ab ou t o ne me tre across, an d were likewi se usually carr ied o n ca mels th o ugh Kublai Khan had some
whi ch appear to have been conside rably bigger and were ca rried o n e lepha nts.
T ho ugh o n th e ba lllefield t hey normally transmitt e d or ders by trumpe t ca lls, even t he Fra nk s ap pear
to have use d drums in th is capa city (undou btedly un der Moslem influen ce }, WiIlia m of T yre rela ting ho w
a t Ascalo n in 1125 th e king ' ordered t hat his men be recalled by th e sound o f t rum pe t and roll of d rum.'
64. SARACEN HERALDRY
In th e Mosle m wor ld heraldry played on ly a seco ndary role am o ngst Ihe militar y e lite. O nly Su ltan s a nd
alliin co uld have heraldic devices, Qalqa sha ndi recordi ng Ihat it was c usto mary fo r every amir to have a
special blazon ' accor ding to his ch oic e and prefere nce: Such devices were heredit ary o nly to such
descen da nt s as fo llo wed military ca ree rs. T he y were pro bably originally gran ted by th e Sul tan him self
an d usua lly represented the o rric e which t he bearer had he ld at the time that he was mad e a n am ir.
Abu'l Flda, writing in Ihe early 14t h century, recor ds th at ' the Secre tar y's emble m is t he r en- bc x. tbe
Arm our-bearer's t he bo w, the Superin ten dent o f Stores' t he ewe r, the Master of th e Rob es' t he na pkin,
the Marshal's t he horseshoe , and th e Jawish a golden saddle.'
eae-m repr ese nt a var ie ty of Syrian and Egyptian devices as used by t he Ayyubids and early Mam luk s.
64a is the pen-bo x o r th e Secret a ry, 64 b t he napk in of the Master o f the Ro bes, and 64 c and d th e swo rd
of th e Arm o ur-bea rer, t he latt er also incl uding a napki n. As me ntio ned by Abu 'J Fida, the Arm ou rbearer ' s device co uld a lso be a bo w (so me times accom panied by arro ws), o r e ve n a c rossbo w, t hou gh
no exa mples of th e latte r surv ive. 64e is a device usually describe d as a crescen t, th ou gh in his ' Saracenic
Heraldr y' L. A. Ma yer plau sibly suggests t hat it is a Sarace n hors e-shoe . and th er efo re the device of t he

9l

63

96

Marshal ( see also note 57 ),


T her e were a lso o t her officers ' device s not list ed by Abu'l Plda, for instance t he table o f th e Taster
( 64 f) an d th e c u p o f t he Cup-bearer (6 4g and h), on e of the mos t common dev ices in Saracen her aldr y,
O ther devices indica t ive of t he ir bearers' offices were po lo-sti c ks ( Polo-master, 64 i), sta ndard (' Alamdar ,
or Sta nda rd -bearer), d rum s and drumst icks [Ta blda r, o r Dru m mer ) and ho rn , 64j , a device very co m mo n
am o ngst th e 13 t h ce ntu ry Bahriy yah Mamlu ks, May er sugges ts as t he dev ice of the Dispa tch-rider .
Anima l de vices were un usua l, and t he on ly anima ls to ap pear in Saracen heraldry ar e the lion , t he eag le
and o cca sionally th e ho rse. T he most fa mous during t his period was t he lio n o f Sultan Baiba rs (64 k) , and
o ne so urce speaks o f Sa ladin's standa rd a nd t hat of his brot her e l-Afda J as ca rry ing pa irs of lio ns a t
Acre in 1 191 , Ho wever, Saladin's de vice ma y have been an eagle, a device wh ich a ppears to have been
pa rti cularly popular a mongst t he Se ljuks ; it was so meti mes 2-hea ded , possi bly -in imit a tio n o f th e
2-headed eagle ado pted by t he Byzan ti nes so me ti me d u rin g t his era . lengi a nd t he O rto q ids appear to
have used t his device . T he banner of t he vizier Fa kr ad-Din, the Mosle m co m ma nder at El Ma nsu rah,
also bore an e agle.
641 a nd m were also popular dur ing th is er a. 6 41, usually descr ibed as a ro se tt e, was a com mo n de vice
under both Ayy u bids and early Mamlu ks, usually 6-po in ted as here but som et ime s wit h 5 o r 8 po in ts.
Th e Ile u r-dc-Iis (64m ) was the de vice o f Nur ed-Din a nd also fea tu res on a large nu mber o f Ayyubid
co ins. T he Sarace n Ile ur-de-hs differs sligh tly fro m t ha t used in Fran kish hera ldr y in t ha t th e 3 lea ves
grow fro m a co m mo n ste m; in Frankish hera ldry t he leaves ar e ind ividual and ar e j o ined toget her o nly
by a ba nd in t he middle,
So me o t her d evices re presen ted Tamghas, the triba l sy m bo ls used as brands by many Asia tic peoples
an d introdu ced in to th e Near East by T ur kish mam lu ks.
F rom the evide nce o f su rviving ex a mp les it wou ld appear that the co lo urs used in Saracen hera ldr y
consisted o f white, yello w, red, blue, green , bro wn and black. Th e formal regulat io ns o f Eu ro pean
herald ry , fo r bid d ing t he use of cer ta in co lo urs together, d o no t a ppear to have ap plied.
6 5. SAR ACEN ST A NDAR DS
Unde r t he Ayyub ids and ea rly Ma mlu ks the ro yal sta nd ard was o f gold -em hro idered yellow silk o r
damask . T he ir Ro yal Mamluk u nits also car ried yellow st andards, ea ch o ne e mbr oidered wit h the
herald ic d evice o f its un it co m ma nde r. Jo inville records the se d evices to have been in crimso n,
men tio ning roses, ' be nds' and bird s as e xa m ples. Th is pra c tice may also be in tende d by a re mar k in t he
It inera riu m Regis Ricar di that a t Arso uf T uqi ad -Din com mande d 700 o f Salad in 's ma mlu ks, eac h un it
o f wh ich carried a yellow sta ndard to get he r wit h 'a pe nn on (d evice ?) of a differen t co lo u r', especia lly
since th is so u rce also ref ers to th e use o f e mb lem s o n standards. Taqi's o w n sta nda rd resem bled 6 5a;
the It inera riu m descr ibes it as 'a pair of trousers' ,
T he It iner a riu m ment io ns ba nne rs and pen no ns o f 'co u ntless' shapes a nd sizes, o t her so urces noting
man y d ifferen t colou rs in use. Imad ad-Din recor ds red as well as 'l asmin' sta ndards in Saladin 's ar m y at
lI a tt in, wh ile green sta nd ards are reco rded in t he Seljuk ar my at Do r ylaeu m. T he Ab basid Caliphs
co n t in ued to use blac k standards up un til t he d est ruction o f the Ca lipha te by t he Mo ngo ls in 1258 ,
tho ugh in 1057 pu rp le ba nners decora ted with gold script are also reco rded , p ro ba bly simila r to 6 5g.
In 1 17 1 t he Ah hasid Ca li ph sen t black ban ners to bo th Saladi n a nd Nur ed- Di n.
T he sta nda rds given here ar e cha rac terist ic o f those dep icted in co n te m po ra ry so urces. Most d ate to the
13 th ce n tu ry. T he dev ices on 6 5 b an d c o f c. I 250. and o n 65d and e whic h da te to I 28 7, a re her al d ic.
6 5 f is a horse tail banner of T u rkish design su ch as was probably carried by many maml u k units of ste p pe
o rigin, as well as by Seljuks and T urco rna ns: see also !JOb. T he Fati mid vizie r al-Afdal's standard a t
Ascalon in 109 9 , de scr ibed as having a go lde n ball a to p a sifver-plate d sta ff, was pro bably just such a
banner, as were t he Khwarizmia n lances reco rded by J o invdle on which were fash io ne d ' heads with hair,
t ha t seemed like t he heads o f devil s.' l o inville also spea ks of Khwa riz mian sta ndards which were ' red
and ind en ted u p tow ards t he lan ce ' , presumably swallo w tail pen no ns.
6 5g, ha nd i d ep ic t a type o f standard c alled a Tu, an orn ame n ta l metal blade ato p a wo od en shaft. It
was usually perfo rated or damascened , o fte n wit h inscri pt ion s or heraldic devices. T hese par tic ular

97

,,

..

= : '*
-

65

exam ples a re from Han n's ' Maqumat' of 123 7, while 6Sj shows an ac tua l Mamluk Tu in det ail. In th e
so urce t he rib bo ns o f 6Si ar e blac k with go ld ba nd and fringe, wh ile th e n ag of g is blac k, bl ue. red
or c rimso n wit h blac k or while let te ring. The T u was used in Rum, Persia. Syria and Egyp t.
66. 67, 68 & 69 .
BYZANTIN E HEA V Y I N FANTRYM EN
In t he ir armo u r, as in many o t her respec ts, th e Byzantine s (o r ' Ro ma ns' as they persisted in calling

themselves] clung te nacio usly to their classical herit age throughout this era, the evolu tion of armour
basically stagna ting af ter t he I lth c en tu r y so Ihat most so ldie rs de pict ed in so urces of t he I 11h- 13t h
ce n tu ries diffe r fro m one ano ther o nly in de tail. Unfort un a tely t her e are no military man uals o the r
t han t he so mew ha t Mach iavellian I I t h ce n t ury S tra tegicon o f Cecau me nus, so we a re almo st en tirel y
depe nd a nt o n suc h co n te m po ra ry illus tra tio ns for inform a tio n regard ing arms a nd armo u r.
Basic eq uipm ent .:k arl y co nsisted o f corsele t. hel me t, shield . swo rd a nd sp ea r. T he co rsele t was most
Ircq uen tly o f la me llar or sca le , less o fte n of mail, usua lly re ac hin g o nly to the hi ps and sho ulde rs with
hanging pt er uges still pro tec ting th e t highs and u pper arms. Hel me ts were o f 3 ma in ty pes - the most
com mo n varie t y being po in ted, with the neck pro tec te d by a scate or ma il ave n tail o r hanging le at her
tap pe ts (66-68 ): ccmca t with t he back e x te nded in10 a nape-guard ( 72 , 73) ; o r brimmed like a kettlehel me t, also so me ti mes wit h a nec kguar d o f lea t her tap pet s o r ma il. Shi e lds could be ci rc ular o r kitesha ped, thou gh so me in fa n try st ill ca rried t he o ld ova l sh ield in t he lute- ll t h ce n tu ry. T he kite-shi eld
appea rs to have bee n in ge neral use amo ngst hea vy infa nt r y a nd cava lry by the mid -1 2t h ce n t u ry [bu t
see note 75-7 8 ), l ho ugh Ihe ci rc ula r shield p revailed a mo ngst ligh t infan t ry. Flat -topped heate r
shields like those o f t he Fran ks we re a lso in use b y the 13t h ce n t ury, Ihou gh the kite re mained mo re
co mmo n; t hat ca rried by 6 9, qua rte red in red and blac k. is fro m a late-I 3th centu ry wo o d -carvin g.
Th e infa nt ry man 's spear was no w usua lly of a bou t 8-10 feel , t ho ugh t he o ld 12 fo ol Ko n tar io n may
have re ma ined in limite d use t hroug hout this e ra. T he swo rd was mos t co m monly sus pe nded from a
baldnc .
O the r it ems o f ar mou r 10 be fo u nd in use inclu d ed woollen o r linen ho o ds suc h as th a t wor n by 69,
a pparently fa irly common. as well as ma il co ils, the fo rme r p ro bably th e same a s t hat d escribed as
laced a t t he hac k of t he neck in Leo VI's Ta c tica ; th e o ld leath er harn ess o f breas tba nds and sho uld er
pieces ( 67 . 69 . 7 2 e tc.}; tub ular u p per-arm gua rds: a nd greaves a nd vam bra ces (b o t h of t hese ment io ned
only very occasio nally d u ring th is era).
Unifo rms . where worn , were still mainly o f vario us shades o f red and blue , usua lly wit h heav ily embroidered

98


0 '

67
bo rders and he ms, often brocade. Offi cers an d nob lemen wo re muc h mor e ela bo ratel y em broid ered
t unics a nd tro users o f brocade. Embroide ry was of ten gold. Boo ts, a stan dar d part of Byza ntine milita ry
equ ipmen t, we re c hiefly red, black, wh ite o r ye llo wish lea t her ; the ma rkings, co nsisting of 2 o r 3 dark
ban ds, we re fairly standa rd. So me me n, ho wever, appear to have wor n shoe s supple me nte d with similarly
ma rked gaiters in pla ce of th e boots (see figure 76 ).
Ha ir was gene rally long enough to co ver t he ear s, but was neatly trimmed , while shor t beard s were
c harac teristic of th e Byza ntines t hro ugho ut th is era a nd are often record ed in a necdot es (suc h as wh en
Richard I of Englan d ca pt ured Cyprus in 119 1 an d o blige d t he Gre ek po pul atio n to s have off th eir
bear ds ' in tok e n o f th e ir cha nge of maste rs' ).
Of the 4 figures de picted here , 66 da tes to t he lat ter part of t he 11th cent ury white 67 an d 6 8 are fro m
illustr a tio ns in t he famo us Scylitzes ms. whic h pro ba bly da tes to c. 1200 {no te t he shield de vices o f t hese
2 figures, wh ich clo sely rese mble Bayeux Ta pest ry t ypes ). 69 dates to t he 14th ce ntury a nd is pro bably
rep resentative of Byza ntine infa nt ry as t hey a ppea re d at Ihe time o f t he 'Cat ala n Vengeance' an d t he ea rly
O tt oma n wa rs.
70,7 1, 72 & 73. BYZANTI NE LIGHT INFA NTRYM EN
Light infa nt ry co ntinued to co nstit ute a fai r per cent age of Byzantine foo l so hfie rs , so me co n tinuing to
rese mble the t radi tio nal types described under 6 , 7 and 8 in ' Ar mies of t he Dark Ages' (Anna Com ne na,
fo r instance, describes light infa nlry arm ed o nly with bo w a nd small shie ld ). Ot he rs were stingers and so me
were cro ssbo wmen ( ca lled Tzangra tor oi). After a pp aren tly fa lling ou t of favou r in t he 10 t h cent ury t he
cro ssbo w (Tz angra! was rein trodu ce d unde r Fr anki sh tnftue nce dur ing t he 12 th cent ur y ; when Anna
wro te her Alc xiad c. I 140 1150 she still described the crossbo w as 'a weap o n o f t he bar baria ns ( Frank s),
absolute ly unknown 10 th e G reeks' and fe lt it necessary to give a de tailed descri ptio n of it, which
wo uld sugges t th at its use was no t widespread even t he n (thou gh she is describing Frankish crossbo wmc n
of t he First C rusad e ). Ho wever, it is mentio ned in use d uring Ma nuel's reign (1 1431180 ) and cert ainly
it was in gener al use hy t he end of t he ce nt ur y, lsaac of Cyprus' army in 119 1 ap pare nt ly including a
conside rable number of crossbo wme n. It freq ue nt ly occurs in 13 t h ce ntur y so urces.

70

69

71

Most light infa nt ry. howe ver, were arc hers or, 10 a lesser e xtem.jave bn rne n. 70 a nd 7 1 a re bo t h armed
with co m posi te bows , t ho ugh 70 ( c. 1100 ) carries in additio n a spear. 7 1, from th e Scylitzes ms., carries
no shield : he is probably on e of t he light-a rmed An atolian provincial t roo ps (Paphlagoni ans and
8 it hynians in part ic ula r) held in high regard by the Byzant ine! during th is period, es pecia lly in Nicaean
a rmies of th e 13 t h cent ury - t he re were Bithynia n a rche rs a t i'ela gon ia in I 259. fo r e xa mple, and at
rta tata in 1260, wh ile 800 elite Bit hynian archers were th e nucl eus of th e army with which Ale xius
Stratcgopoulos recapt ured Consta ntin ople in 126 1. His cap is characteristic o f both Bithynia ns and
Phrygians ( tha t of 70 is similar).
The soeannc n depic ted in 72 and 73 are pro bably fairl y representative of the light-armed e x-T hema tic
pro vincial levies a nd t he infa ntry co ntingen ts o f t he Stra tio tes. T hese t wo da te to t he 12t h and 13th
ce nt uries respec tivel y, bUI si milar figures are to be fo und t hrou ghout this e ra. Bo th wear helmets o f
simila r desig n and carry ci rcular shields a bout 2 fee t in diame ter. 72 in addi tion wears a leather corsele t
with rei nforci ng hreastband and pte ruges at t he shoulde rs. Scyli tzes sho ws many such unar mou red
infant ry spear me n with kite-shie lds in place of ro und o nes.

74. VA RANGIAN GUA RDSMAN


T he axe remained t he princi pal weapon of t he v ara ngian s, l ohn VI Cantacuzenus wri ti ng of ' Varangians
with th eir a xes' as late as 13 29 . T he usua l blade-sha pe ca n be clea rly seen in this figure, fro m Sc ylit zes ms.
A spear co uld also he carr ied. T he illustratio n fro m wh ich t his figure is tak e n ind icates that so me a t least
co ntinued to carry t he rou nd shiel d as la te as 1200 o r per haps eve n later , tho ugh Nike tas (w ho wro te in
th e early- I3t h century) descr ibes Varangia ns with a xes a nd ' lo ng' Ii.e . kite ) shie lds a t Eski Zagra in 11 22.
74a depicts th e head and sho uld ers of a Vara ngia n Gu ardsma n in sta le d ress from a eort ratr rep resenting
Joh n VI in 13 5 1; in thi s sou rce ha ts an' wh ite with gold trim and t un ics are blue . 'Sky-co lo ured' silk
tu nics are a lso reco rded by l lar o un ibn Yahva as being wo rn by gua rdsmen in t he I Ilth ce ntury.
presumably Varangians si nce the y ca rried gilded a xes.
T he ir arm o ur was generally heavy - we hea r from Anna Com ne na, for inst ance, Iha t "t he weight of the ir
arm s' soo n brou ghl o n fa tigue at Durazzo in 10 8 1. Q uite wha t sho uld be made o f an alte r na tive so urce
for t he same ba il ie refe rr ing 10 a lack of mail co rsele ts am o ngst t he English (i.e . Varangian s) I do no t know .
T he G uard pro ba bly ceased 10 e xist tow ards t he en d o f the 14 th ce ntury.

100

74

72

75,76, 77 & 78. BYZANTINE HEAVY CAVALRYMEN


Byzantine cavalry were genera lly less heav ily ar mo ured t han thei r Fr ankish c o unte rpa rts. an d F rankis h
chro nicle rs as a result a lmost invaria bly describe th e m as 'se rgean ts'.
T here was little uniformity of arm our, pro bab ly o nly guard un its now mainta ining a ny degree o f un ifo rm
ap peara nce. or th ese 4 figur es, 2 wear mail co rselets wit h breast bands ( plus sho ulde r pieces in the case
of 78 ), o ne a scale co rselet with pterugcs, and t he fou rt h an ap pa rentl y qu ilted corselet, pro ba bly over
mail o r lame llar. T he latt er figure (fr om Scylitzes) wea rs in add itio n splint greaves. Most heavy cavalry
in Scylitzes in fact resemble 68 an d 76.
A1I 4 car r y kite-shilds deco rated in al most western fashio n. T he kite-shield a ppe ars to have bee n invented
by the Byzanti nes in th e first half of t he 10 t h ce nt ury (see ' Arm ies of the Dark Ages' ) a nd by the I I t h
ce nt ury was in widesp read use, pa rt icul arl y am o ngst horsem en . Ci nnamus, howeve r, co nta ins a passage
whic h seems to imply t ha t pr ior to th e beginning of Man uel's reign (1 143) most cavalry were 'armed with
ro und shields' a nd that lo ng shields ' reac hing 10 t hei r feet' were o nly in trod uced d uri ng army reforms of
c. 1150 . Q uit e ho w th is sta te me nt sho uld be interp reted is o pen to deb ate , but is wort h noting t ha t
al-Tar tu si refers to th e kite-shield q uite specifically as 'the shield used by t he Franks and Byzantincs'.
Never t heless, so me la te so urces still occasion ally show ro und shie lds used by Byzanti ne cava lry.
At th e beginn ing of t his e ra so me heavy ca valry un its still incl ud ed arche rs as we ll as lance rs ( the
Immo rtals, fo r exa mple, inlcuded bo ws am on gst t heir eq uipme nt) but t hese see m 10 have stea dily
disap pea red in t he co urse of th e 12th ce nt ury. Man uel's refo rm s we re basica lly responsible for their
fina l demise (see page 40 ) t hou gh we still occasio nally hear of hea vy ca valry ho rse-arc hers eve n at the
end o f th e 12t h ce ntury ; Isaac o f Cyprus' army incl uded heavy hor se-arche rs in 1 191 , including tsaac
himse lf. Most cavalry, ho weve r, were lancers. T he 12 foo l Ko ntos was still in use during muc h o f t his
e ra (the Moslem Q unta riya, and pr o bab ly th e Rumh to o, were de rived fro m it ) bu t Frank ish and It alian
la nces wer e also used. Of ficers still seem to have carried th e Bard oukion or mace.
79 . BYZANT INE LIGHT CAVA LRY MAN
T he Scylitzes ms. and various o t he r so urces ofte n sho w band s of unarmo ured ho rseme n similar to t his
figure, arm ed o nly wit h swo rd, lance, shield and helme t, a ppa rently represen ting nat ive light o r med ium

101

75
cavalry suc h as an,' occ asio nally recorded in t he written so urces. I 1 may have bee n tr oo ps o f th is t y pe
th at co nstit ute d at lea st a part o f th e co ntingents o f th e q uasi-feu dal S tra tio tes. It is probable that man y
of t he e x-T he ma tic cavalr y as still ser ved wer e also of th is ty pe. They were possibly uni fo rm ed , a nd so me
may haw been bow-arm ed .

However, most light cavalry of t his era were Asiati c mercenaries, part icu larly Pechenegs an d Cuman s
(t he Pigma lici o r Pineenal i and Co mans of Frankish so urces, both descri be d under figures 1 15- 117 in
'Armies of Feudal Europe' ; sec also figure 80 helow) an d, in numbers which steadily increased during
t h is er a, T urk s, ge ne ra lly referre d to as Turco poulo i. (One poi n t o f in t erest is t hat Pec he negs a nd Tor ks
recorded fight iug fo r th e By za n t ines in t he Man zikert ca m paig n were indist inguishabl e fro m th eir Selju k
e nemies, wh ich indic a tes a close affin it y in t heir dr ess).
80. CUMAN CA V A LR Y MAN
At vario us t imes du rin g t his per io d t he Cu mans (a lso called Kipc haks, o r Polovtsy by th e Russian s) fo ugh t
eit he r as allie s or me rce na ries for t he By zan tines, Geo rgian s, Mongol s and Roma nian Fran ks as well as the
Russians, Bulgarians and Hu nga rians, and as stave-soldie rs in Ayy u biJ , Marnluk and Kh wariz rnian armies.
T he y ma y a lso, to ward s t he e nd o f t he 11t h centu ry . have se rved wit h th e Khazars J u ring t he twilig h t
yea rs of th e Khaga na t c. '

T hey wo re tr ousers, hoots, lo ng Ara b-st y le tu n ic and ka fta n. Bro cade , fu r, wool a nd line n p re do mina ted ,
hu t goa ts ki ns wer e also wo rn and Ro bert de Cla ri, recor d ing th e even ts o f the Fourth Crusade , speaks o f
the Cuman s wear in g a shee ps kin ga rme n t wh ich may have bee n intended to serve as light ar mo u r. Other
for ms of a rm ou r includi ng sca le and lamella r we re also wo rn dep end ing on wealth a nd soci a l sta t us; fo r
suc h richer warr io r ty pes sec figu res 11 5- 11 7 in ' Arm ies o f Feudal Eu ro pe' .
Ro bc rt de Clan implies th at t he Cu man s wer e armed o nly with th eir bow s, b u t By zan ti ne an d Russian

10 :!

so urces also record sa bres, lan ces, lassoes, maces a nd javelins in use , the Cu mans bei ng not ed fo r t heir
accuracy wit h the latt er. Most shields we re small circular on es, bu t so me Cumans carri ed a small versio n
o f t he kite shield.
T he y a lso incl uded so me foo t-soldiers o n oc casion. T hese pro bably rode ca me ls o n t he march .
T he Curn ans' Russian na me ' Polo vtsy' and Germa n name ' Falven' bo th origi nated from wo rds mean ing
yello w, whic h is fa irly certai nly a reference to skin colo ur.
81. A LAN CA V A L RY MAN
T he nom adic Caucasian Alans (also called Osse tians) survived well be yon d th e dose o f t his per iod , albe it
o nly in small co mmunities rou nd t he Black Sea co astline aft er t he ir crushing defea t by t he Mo ngols in
1239 . Alt ho ugh t hey co uld incl ude a large nu mber of infan t ry t heir main arm was cavalr y and t he 14t h
cent ury Ca tala n c hro nicler Munt aner records t ha t t he Alans were ' held to be t he best cavalry t here is in
t he East' , which cer tainly e xp lains wh y in the Byzantine a rmy t hey received do uble t he pay o f th e best
nat ive t roo ps.

Arch aeological finds prove th at t hey were still pri nci pally bo w-armed ; t he Byza ntines, who co ntinued to
hire Alan s in large num bers in th e 12 t h a nd 13 t h ce ntur ies, usually brigaded the m alongside th eir T urkish
troo ps a nd used t he m as skirmishers. Cinnamus reco rds o ne insta nce in 1156 whe n t hey we re brigaded wit h
Geo rgian t roo ps, and cer tainly t his figure fro m Daghesta n co uld equall y we ll be a Geo rgian.
Oth er eq uipme nt would ha ve incl uded sa bre , dagger, shield (p ro ba bly o f wic ker an d/o r lea t her) an d a light
lan ce , t hou gh f inds of spear-heads are co mp aratively few in nu mbe r. Most wo re little if any ar mo ur, but
t here we re at least so me heavy cavalry ; 3,000 'A gulani' - Ala ns o r possibly th e neigh bou ring Albania ns
- recorde d in t he Selju k army at Ant ioch in 1098 we re armo ured all o ver ' wit h plates of iro n' ( probably
indica ting la mellar) as we re t he ir ho rses, while ma il-a rmou red Alans are a lso me ntio ned during th e
Mo ngol co nq uests .
T he ir infa ntry fo ught princi pally wit h a he avy, lo ng-handl ed ba tt le-a xe.

103

As wit h most steppe peopl es they were acco mpan ied on the march by Iheir fam ilies a nd wago ns, form ing
the latt er in to Ihe characteris tic defen sive laager when t he y en camped a nd ptichin g t he ir te nts withi n .
T he y were generally blo nde with blue eyes.
8 2. G EO RG IAN CAV AL R YMAN
Jacqu es de Vilry te lls us t ha t t he Ge orgians were ' very warlike and valia nt in ba t tle, being st ro ng in body
and po wer fu l in the co untless numbe rs of t hei r warr io rs' , ad ding t hat the y were ' much d reade d by t he
Saracc ns . . o n whose borde rs t hey d we ll.' Marco Polo simi larly rela tes that ' t he Ge o rgians are a handso me
race of do ughty warrio rs. goo d arche rs a nd goo d fight ers o n th e bat tlefield.'

Of th eir appeara nce d uring Ihis era we kn ow little an d th is figure is based lar gely o n 14t h ce ntury so urces.
Arms and equ ipme nt ap pear to have bee n princip ally of Persia n design a nd t he co mposi te bo w was o ne
o f t he ir main weapo ns, th o ugh lance, mace an d sword or sa bre were also car ried.
Dc Vitr y reco rds t ha t t he y wor e the ir hair a nd bea rds 'a bo ut a c ub it lo ng' , while Po lo says the y wore
th eir ha ir sho rt, so we are o bviou sly no t the o nly o nes un certa in o f t heir a ppe aran ce!
83 & 84.
MON GOL LIG HT CAVA L R YMEN
Mon gol cost ume a nd eq uipm e nt is described fa irly th oroughly in co ntem po ra ry so urces. w luta m o f
Ru brec k recor ds t hat in summer th e Mo ngols wore silks, rich broca des a nd co t to ns from Ch ina and Persia,
and Fria r Joh n de PIa no Car pini probably intends t he sa me ma te rials whe n he spea ks of buc kram , ' purp le'
a nd bald eq uin . Marco Polo also spea ks of clo t h of gold ( brocade ) and silk, lined o r decorate d wit h sabl e,
e rmine , sq uirr el a nd fo x fu r. O ne ty pe of Chinese shir t, first recorded in 12 19 , was of raw sil k wo rn as a
type of armo ur since arro ws co uld no t pe ne tra te it , instead be ing d rive n inl o th e skin so Iha t by t ugging
o n t he shirt th e a rro whead co uld be ex trac ted fro m t he wound clean ly,

In wint er fur coa ts and bre ec hes were wo rn , usua lly 2 o f the fo rm er, t he inn er co a l with t he fur o n th e
inside an d t he o ute r with it o utside. T he o ute r coa t was of wolf, fox , mo nkey, badge r, dog o r goat skin
depe nding o n t he socia l sta t us o f t he wearer. Sheepskin and st uffed silk we re also wo r n, plus felt which
se rved as a t ype of ligh t ar mo ur,

104

Carpini men tion s whit e, red an d blue-p ur ple tu nics as weU as ba jdequin. 11 . H. lIowor th, desc ribi ng th e
dress of mid- 19t h ce ntu ry Mo ngols, says the usual colo urs for the o uter summer co a t (the Kalat) wer e
blue or bro wn , over a bright blue or gre y shirt ; tro user co lours appear to have bee n simila r. The n apo pe ning of the Kalat wen t fro m left to right, as o pposed to th e right-over-left o pe ning of the Turk s
(see not e SS/ 56 ). An orna menta l bell , rou nd fur or plu sh-tri mmed ca p an d leather boots with felt soles
comple ted the cost ume. Howor th ad ds that a t tha t lat e da te the cap had two 4 5 cm ribbons ha nging
dow n at th e bac k, and th ese ap pear to be me ntioned in at least one conte mporary source of our pe riod.
The alt erna tive ha t worn by 84 is a Saraq uj.
1'0 10 records basic Mon gol equ ipment as bow , mace an d swo rd (oth er sources describe th e latter mor e
accu rately as a curved, one-edged sa bre). Apparently 2 or 3 bow s were carried, or else o ne par ticu lar ly
goo d on e, an d 3 large q uivers o f a rro ws. Polo speak s o f only 60 arro ws being ca rried, '30 smaller o nes
for piercin g and 30 larger with broa d heads for discha rging at close q uarters ' ; armou r-piercin g arrows
were also in use. All had eagle-feather flights. Car pini's rep ort ind ica tes that the arrows were 28-30" long;
ano ther so urce says th ey were lon ger th a n Europ ea n arrow s a nd had iron , bone or horn head s 3" broa d.
Th e bow was bo th lo nger and ca pa ble of grea ter range th a n the type in use wit h th e T urks and Mamluks.
Other ar ms were lasso. dagger. an d lance, th e latter o ft en with a small hoo k below the head to pull
enemy horsemen fro m t he saddle. Vincent de Bea uvais, however, says few Mongols car ried lances a nd
Carpini seem s to co nfirm this.
Polo records shie lds in one passage a nd Ea rpini says th a t wicke r shields were carried, tho ugh he ad ds th a t
th ey we re not used much because the y in terfered with the use of the bow and th at he on ly saw th e m in
use in camp at night by guardsme n suc h as the Keshik. Ml:' ng lIu ng (a Chinese gener al con te mporary to
Genghis Khan) seems to disagree since he lists 4 ty pes of Mongol shield : la rge, of hide or willo w wood
(the latter possibly mea ning it co uld be o f inte rwoven osiers ); a smaller type used by front rank light
tro o ps to de flec t arro ws; la rge ' to rto ise' s hields for use in sicge-workj a nd appa rent ly a type o f face-visor.
84a depicts how the Mongols wore their hair. The crown was shaved right ro und , leaving j ust a long lock
of ha ir on the very to p of th e head which hung do wn to the eye bro ws. The hac k o f the head was also
shaved. At the sides they grew their hair long 'like wo men ' , pla iting it be hind th e ears. Rub reck indicat es
th at th e re co uld also be a plait a t the back of the head. Com pa re to th e hair style of SO.
Moustaches co uld be gro wn to e xttavage nt length, th ough Carpini sa ys only a fe w gre w hair on their to p
lips. All the sources agree tha t bea rds were sca nty.

10S

85. MONGOL HEA V Y CA V A L RY MAN


Co nt emporaries offer a fair n um he r o f desc ri ptio ns of Mon go l arm our, a lbeit ge nerally vague.

Carpin i records iron or steel helmet s with lea the r colfs or aventuils, mail cc rescteu, and leat her bod yarmo ur o f overlap ping strips; he also gives an accurat e and detailed description o f lamellar armou r used
for bot h me n a nd horses. Marco Po lo says t hey wo re a vc ry st ro ng arm our 'o f lea the r that has been bo iled',
i.c . cu ir bo ullh. Ma tt he w Paris also re co rds lea the r ar mo u r, o f o xh ides st re ngthene d wit h iro n plates,
addi ng th e im probable bu t amusing det ailtha t o nly th eir ches ts wer e protected, t heir backs bei ng left
u nar mou red to d iscourage t he m fro m ru nn ing away ! T ho mas of Spa lat ro desc ribes 'a rmo u r o f b uff a lo
hid es wit h sca les fasten ed o n it' ( poss ib ly la me llar) as well as iron or lea th er helme ts. T he Em pero r
Frcderick JI records ' unta n ned hid es o f o xe n. ho rses an d asses' re infor ce d with plate s of iron wh ic h wer e
so me ho w st itched in. li e also me nti o ns that th ere wer e man y conside ra bly be tt er-eq uippe d Iro m t he spo ils
o f their de feated ene mies ( he ac tu all y sa ys 'Christians' ,therefore F ra nk s). In to th is ca tego ry fa ll iro n
helmets a nd armo u r o f 'iron pla tes' of Persia n origin and ma il haube rks o f Alan origin rec o rded in
add ition to hard e ned- le at he r armour by Ru brec k. Metal armo u r was po lished to a high shine.
Q uill' clea rly lea the r was t he com mo nes t form of body-armo ur, c o nstruc te d fro m 'overlapping plia ble
s tri ps' accordi ng to Carpin i. li e reco rds t ha t th e hide strips - a bou t 3~ inche s wide - wer e tightl y
se wn to gether 3 layers th ick , th en so fte ned by boi ling and sha ped to fit. li e add s t ha t t he hide was
stiffe ned with bitume n, wh ic h wou ld also have ser ved to pro tect it from h umi dity. T he wh o le a rmour
consisted o f fro n t, bac k, arm an d leg pieces, th e front and bac k bei ng join ed .11 t he shoulde r (a nd sides,
one assumes) by iron plate s and bu ckles: sec a lso 89.
T he stan da rd Mo ngo l ba ttl e-format ion req uire d t ha t 40 % o f t he ar my we re heavy ca valry, b u t William
o f Ru b rec k sa ys o nly th e o ffice rs a nd pick ed men wo re arm o u r and thi s is reitereat ed by Vincent d e
Beau vais, who a dds t ha l no mo re th a n 10 % o f the Mo ngo ls we re ar mo ured.
86. MONGOL I N FA NT RY M AN
Altho ugh earl y Mo ngol armi es wer e e xcl usively cavalr y they grad ua lly ca me to incl ude a large pe rce nta ge
of infan try recruited fr o m t he subject populat io ns o f co nq uered ter rito ries, p rincipally C hin ese bUI also
Turks, Ara bs, Khwariz mia ns, Russia ns a nd ot hers.

Ma in weap o ns appea r to have been a lon g t h rusting spear ( p rincipa lly as a defence a gains t ho rsemen ),
javelins, bo w o r crossbo w, a nd a shield could be ca rrie d. O t he rs we re enginee rs. Th is particu lar figu re,
fr o m t he Mo ngo l In vasio n Sc roll of 129 3, is probably a Chinese auxilia ry. He wears hel met a nd qu ilted
bo dy -arm ou r, p robably o f felt .

106

90

8 7 & 88. I L KH A ~JD L1GnT CAVAl RYMEr\


T hese 2 figu res and t he nex t all co me fro m illustra t ions 10 t he ' Wo rld Hist o ry' o f Raschid al-Din, e xec u ted
betw een J306 and I J I S.

It was und ou bted ly the Ilkhanids 10 whom Ma rco Pol o was referrin g when he wrot e th a t ' t hose ( Mon go ls)
who live in t he Levan t have ad opted th e man ners of t he Saraccn s'j t ho ugh it is ap paren t fro m t hese
figure s th a t it was t he tr ad itio ns of Pe rsia ra th er t han Egy p t o r Moslem Sy ria 10 wh ich th ey had succumbed.
T he dre ss of ho t h th ese figure s (particu larly t ha t o f 8 7 wit h his short-sleeved jacke t and baggy trou sers)
be t ra ys co nside ra hle Persia n in fluen ce and is fa irly c har ac te rist ic o f t ha t worn by Persians and Mogh uls
o ve r the oc1I.1 several hu nd red yea rs, the o nly ap pare nt co ncessio n to Mo ngo l fas hio n be ing t he Saraq uj
wo rn b y 88 . Tu r bans we re also freq ue ntl y wo rn fro m Ilk han Ghazan's time ( 129 5-1304 ) o n wards, while
som e o f Rasc hld 's i1ustration s also sho w t he S harbu sh ( sec al a-d I in use. Clot hing colo urs were b righ t,
wit h reds and blues pred o min a t ing, o ft e n richly em broi de red .
T he ci rcu lar d evice on the c hest of 8 7 may be a bad ge of o ffice called a Paiza h (see no te 9 3 in ' Armies
and Enemies o f Ancient Ch ina') ; t hose of t he ll kh anids wer e marked with 15 lio ns d epen ding o n
se nio rit y, p robably I lio n fo r a co m ma nd er o f 100 me n, 2 for 1,000, 3 for 10,00 0,4 fo r 10 0,0 00 and 5
fo r princes and co m mande rs-in-ch ief.
J udging fr om the illust ra t io ns bo w a nd sa b re wer e the p rinci pal arms, th e latt e r a lo ng, narrow wea pon
wit h o nly a very slight cu rve. Pro ba bly a small shield like th a t o f 89 was also carri ed. 8 7a de picts an
alterna tive t y pe o f shiel d whic h was also in use, ulti matel y de rived fro m the Fra nkish kit e-shie ld ; o ne
illustra tio n sho ws such a shield slu ng at a wa rrio r's back b y guige-st ra p.
89. ILKHA N ID HEAVY CA V A L RY MA N
T he ar mo ur worn he re is t yp ical o f t ha t dep icted in man y tat e-t Jt h cen tu ry so urces a nd th rough o u t
Rasc hid at-Din's mss. , co m prising a lon g, lam ella r corse let ( o ft en comple te ly co ve red by a heavily
embro ide red 'su rco at" j and a spi ked helme t wit h aven tail. Buckles and laces are ver y clearly d epicted
ac ross th e sho ulders an d d o wn t he c hests of so me co rselets in Rase hid's illust ration s, indic at ing t hat

107

J~l'~:'
j

:,1

t hey were co nst ruc ted o f several di ffe ren t pieces as described unde r 8S . Th e a rm-pieces a re naps ra t her
t han short sleeves. O n ma ny co rsele ts alt e rna te ro ws o f lamellae are so meti mes sho wn pa in ted o r
o th erwise dec o rat ed . The helm et , wit h its clo t h or leat her ave ntail, is almost invariab ly de picted a bl ue
co lo ur (p ro bab ly ind icati ng iro n) wit h th e spike co lo u red go ld.
O t her ite ms o f ar mour in use bef o re the e nd o f t he 1J t h cen t u ry incl uded t ubu lar vam braces, k neeguards , greaves and ' mirror' armour [i.e. plates o n chest and back secured by straps).
Note the cle ver if so mewhat im practical me th o d o f stowing away the lance wh en bo th hands are needed ,
sturring it t hro ugh t he wais t-belt and passi ng t he fo o t t hro ugh a small lo op near t he butt. Lances see m to
have varie d in leng t h be twee n abou t 9 an d 12 fee l, o r so me times mo re, a nd wer e he ld in a variety o f ways
inclu di ng th e unde rarm co uch and t he j -ha nd ove rarm th r ust. A bo w was also carried, to get he r with a
sabre and freq uen tly a mace .
Shie lds see m to have been mostly 12-20" in d iamete r, ap par en tl y held by a single ce nt ral grip .
90. MONGOL STANDARDS
T he re ap pear 10 be no co nle m po rar y illustra tio ns of Ihe Khan's 9- la iled T uk standa rd (that depict ed unde r
9 4a in ' A rmies and Ene mies o f Anci ent C hi na' a ppe ars to be a misin te r pret atio n o f Hulagu Khan's ro yal
u mb rella ). All we k no w o f it is t hat it co nsisted o f 9 whit e yak tails, Meng lI ung adding tha t it had a ' black
moon ' in the middle, pr obably refe rri ng to the ball atop th e staf f. J o hn C reer ha s suggested 10 me in
co rrespo nd ence t ha l in fa ct th er e was no se t arra ngeme n t for th e ta ils, bUI th at pro bably it was th e
nu m ber of tail s thal ind icat ed ran k. T he n u mber 9 itself was sacred 10 the Mon go ls , and Ho wo rt h
t hi nk s t hat t he 9 yak-tail T uk of t he Khan p ro ba bly resul ted fro m the o rigina l di visio n o f t he Mo ngols
pro per into 9 hordes (hy Genghis Kahn's li me re p resen ted by t he O rlok). 90a is my own in te rp retatio n
o f its a ppearan c e.
Most o the r sta nda rds wer e like 9 0b. T ho mas o f Spalatro describe s Mo ngo l sta nd ards as sho rt , made o f
bla ck o r white ya ks tails wit h ba lls of wo ol at t he top, while o ther so ur ces also refe r to sta nda rds made
' fro m t he black ho rse's tail' , one of 4 black hor se-tails apparen tly be ing another o f their main ba ttle
sta nda rds. T he Mo ngo l stand ard at the Battl e o f l eignit z in 124 1 desc ribed by Ge rman chro nicle rs as a
de mon with 'a grey head and a lon g black beard' was u nd o u b tedly of t his ty pe. T he Mo ngols a t ' Ain
J alu t in I 260appea rto ha ve had whi le stand ards , but o thers may have been d yed red o r o ther co lo u rs.
O ther standa rds mig ht be of clo th as was Ku blai's, descri bed by Marco Pol o as carrying a sun and moon
device. T hese ma y have resembled 90c, from Rasch id al-D tn's ms. o f 1306 .
9 1. F RAN KIS H HO RS E
Because the Fra nks depended so heavily on the charge o f th eir mailed knight s ho rses were extre me ly

108

valu a ble in O utre mer, eve n mor e so t han in Eur ope beca use of the const ant da nger of inju ry o r loss in
batt te as a result o f T urk ish arch ery tactics. Restor , t he custo m o f repla cing a vassal's horse if killed or
injured in ba t tle (see page 6 in 'A rmi es o f Feudal Eur op e') , may have act ually evolved in Fr ank ish
Sy ria in t he early- 12th century ; Usa mah reco rds in an ane cd ot e how Tan cred , told by his men d uri ng a
battle of c. 11 10 t hat t hey feare d for their ho rses, pro mised to repla ce a ll t hose hur t in the fighting
('T he ho rses are my prope rty. Whosoever of yo u loses his ho rse shall have it repl aced.' ) and th is a ppears
10 be t he earliest recor de d insta nce o f Restor.
Ho rses in Outre mer came c hiefly fro m Syria an d Cyprus, Arab steeds were part icularly highly prized ,
and high prices we re also raid fo r Kurdish and Persian horses, ' fine steed s' o f 'gr eat value' accor ding to
Marco 1'0 10. Turcoman (T urq uema n or T urq uan ) horses wer e also used bu t t hese were clear ly
smaller.Ti ke t he hard y hor ses of Cilicia n Armen ia, bo t h t herefor e bei ng ridde n ma inly by sergea nts
(tho ugh Templar sta tu tes ind icate tha t Comma nders, as well as t he Grand Maste r and o ther o ffic ers,
also had a T urqu eman eac h).
Eur op ean horses also fou nd their way to th e Itoly La nd wit h th e var iou s crusadi ng arm ies but if t he
so urces are to be belie ved most of the m did no t last lo ng, th e major it y of th ose that ca me o verland
d ying of ex hau stio n, sta rvatio n o r wounds lo ng before t hey reached Sy ria. In add itio n th e Military
Orders frequen tly had ho rses sent out 10 Ihe m by shi p from t he ir Europea n Con vent s: th eir regulatio ns
also specified th at no bro th er was allo wed to take a ho rse fro m O ut re mer bac k to Eur ope if he sho uld
be ' posted ', Th e Moslem s, incidentally, did not thing much o f Europ ean horses, despising the m as
'o verlargc in t he bod y and lacking spirit'.
Most knight s were e xpected to se rve with 2 or 3 spare ho rses, and even se rgea nts so me times had 10 have
o ne re mo unt.

109

96

& 93 . MOSLEM HOR SES


O ne of th e c har ac teristic fea tures o f Moslem harness was the collar ( Mishad da ) worn at the th ro at.
usually with a plume o f hor se-hair suspended from it as in figure 9 2. It hJS even been su ggeste d that this
may ha ve been colo ured as a mea ns of ( u nit~ ) ide ntification. A seco nd plume was o ften suspended h orn
t he breast-si ra p tog ether with o the r pe ndant s; 92 has in ad di t io n 3 penda nt s han ging fro m lo ng straps
on e ith er side of the sadd le, a ppa rent in many illust rat ions of T ur kish horses t hro ugh out th is era.

T he sad d le itse lf was often very o rna te: Usama h d escribes o ne as black and q uilted. a nd a not her as gold
wit h a blac k ce n tre and t he ride r's name in black lett ering round t he ed ge. Th e sadd le-clo t h (Zu n nari), which
usua lly cove red a bo u t half of the ho rse 's bac k, also tended to be rich ly de co rated.

'H, a Selj u k moun t dating 10 c. 1115 , is int erest ing in t ha t it wears a ho using , called Kan bush b y t he
Mosle ms {compa re to t ha t o f figu re 7). T he se wer e pro bab ly in use by t he 121h cen t u ry and were fa irly
co m mo n by the end o f the A yyu bid era . The Mallllu k sulta n Baibars had a horse wit h a blac k ho using
at his co ro nano n in 1160, and at Acre in 129 1 Ihe T em plar of Tyre re por ts o f the Mamlu ks th at tt hey
had t he ir mou nt ed me n all a rmed , a nd the ir ho rses in ho usin gs.' A t 1I0 ms too , in 1281 , many o f the
Ma mlu k ho rses ap pea r to have worn ho usings. Pro bably th e housing so metimes co ncea led arm ou r.
Hor se-arm o ur was in use a mong st t he Moslem s eve n bef ore th e Crusad e s but o wing to t he pred ominan ce
o f ligh t cavalry in th eir armie s it a ppears o nly rare ly in th e sou rces. T her e wer e a t least 3,000 ar mo ured
horses in the Seljuk army defea ted at Ant io ch in 10<,) 8 , an d Sult a n Kilij Arslan I ro de an a rm o u red ho rse
at the Bail ie o f Kha bar in 1 10 7. In his ' Ra y mon d II I o f Tr ipo lis' M. W. Baldw in eve n implies t ha t t he re
were ar moure d ho rses in Sal adin's a rm y at Ilal tin in 1 18 7, a ppa re n tly ci ting Ibn al-Ath ir and Abu
Sham ah . Moslem terms fo r ho rse-arm o u r wer e Barasim (bard I, Bara ki ( cha nfro n) and T igfaff ( qui lte d
armo ur ). The F ran ks ado pt ed horse-a rmo ur in th e la te- 12th cen tury , an d its use stead ily incr eased
thro ugho ut t he 13 t h cen t u ry: fo r F rank ish ho rse-arm o u r se e figu res 120 and 12 1 in ' Armies o f Feud al
Eu ro pe' .
<,) 4. BYZAN TINE HO RS E
T his is t y pica I o f Byzan ti ne harness thr o ugho ut t he I l t h. 12th and 13 t h ce n t uries. It appea rs to have
mos t c o m mo nly been dyed re d o r black .
Ho rses we re mostl y from Ana lolia and Syria - Ann a Comnena me n tio ns Dama sce ne. Ede ssan and Ara b

110

horses be ing bo ugh t fo r the ar my, an d t he Byza nt ine word fo r horse ( Phar rhi} itself d eri ves from th e
Ara bic. An o th er t y pe held in high regar d fo r its speed was ca lled t he Wild Horse by th e Byea ntincs.
appar entl y th e sa me as the Turco man o r Frank ish "T urqu ernun' hor se. Thcssa tian horses were a lso o f
good q uality.
T he Byzan tin es wo re th eir st irr u ps sho rte r th an th e Fra nks. Spu rs arc a bsen t fro m most con te m po rary
illust ra tio ns, bu t t hey do occas io na lly occ ur as, fo r insta nce, in one o r t wo pict ures in t he Scylit zes
ms. So me Byzan tin es [ po ssibly those of Tu rkish an cestr y or e x trac tio n ) ap pear to have follow ed t he
T ur kish custo m o f c o nt ro lling t he horse by use o f a sma ll wh ip sus pe nded a t th e wrist .

I know o f no Byzan t ine so u rces o f th e Cr usa de era wh ich de pic t or me nt ion t he use o f ho rse-armo ur by
Byzan t incs, th ough t his do e s no t p rove that it had co m ple tel y d isapp eared. It see ms mor e p ro ha hie t ha t
its use sim ply beca me le ss widesprea d wit h th e gra d ual d et eriora tion o f t he milita ry esta blis hment, a nd th a t
o nly t hose weal th y e nough (o r wit h access to Imperial armo uries ) were ab le 10 o btain ho rse-a rmo u r after
th e c nd of th e I 1th ce n t ury o r me ea rly part o f t he 12t h cen t u ry.
95. MONGO L PONY
Mo ngo l ponies wer e sho r t-legged a nd stoc ky-a nd sto o d o nl y 13- 14 han ds high bUI the y wer e , in the
E mp eror F reder ick lI's words, 'swift a nd at nee d lo ng-end u rin g: Each man had a t least 2 and possibly
as many as 18 horses, t he se a ppar en tly being ridden in ro tation fro m da y to day . T he y were ma inly
geldings a nd mares.
T he har ness depict ed here is fairly t y pical, most ho rses havin g a plu me sus pende d a t t hroa t or c hest.
T he tail was no rma lly t ied o r sho rtened a nd t he st irr u ps wer e worn shorl. T he sad d le was made o f
wood , r u bbe d wuh sheep's fa t to pro tec t it against t he ra in.
So me were a rmo ured o r half-armo ured. Car pini re co rd s leat her horse-arm o ur o f 2 o r 3 layers pro tec t ing
t he ho rse down to its knees, a lso des cribing horses ' wit h t heir sho uld ers a nd brea sts pro tec ted ' , appar en tly
with me tal armo u r. In ad d itio n he reco rds lam ellar horse-arm o ur a nd iro n head-p ieces. Wit hout ci ting a
so urce 11 . Lam b, in his ' Genghis Khan ' , sa ys t ha t t he 'shoc k di visio ns' had ho rses 'e ncased in la cq ue red
lea th er - red o r black', by which he may be referring to Kesh ik u nits. For t he p ro bable a ppe arance o f
Mon gol ho rse-ar mou r sec figure 122 in ' Ar mies and Ene mies o f Ancient Ch ina'.
So lid co lo u red ho rses we re gene rally prefe rred since they co ncea led t he blood o f ho t h t heir o wn and
the ir rider s' wo un ds, w hite ho rses be ing ge nerall y sh unned for t he same re aso n ( whi te ho rses we re in
fact sacr ed am ongst the Mo ngo ls). T he Baat u t rod e blac k hor ses. wh ile gre ys. ches t n u ts. ba ys, so rrels and
s ke w ba lds ar e a lso record ed.
T he Ilk hanids a ppear to have main ly rid de n lar ge Ara b s teeds.
Like all Asiat ic no mads, t he Mongo ls di rec ted t he horse with
be see n sus pended h orn th e wrist o f figure 8 4.

:I

wh ip rat he r than sp u rs. Su c h a whip ca n

96. CAME L
Ca me ls were t he ma in mea ns o f huggage t ran spor t in the Middl e East a nd a ccompa nied most armie s Moslem , Mo ngol or F rankish - in large n u mbe rs; Beha ed -Din reco rds th e Fra nks ca pt uring a s ma ny a s
3 ,0 00 ca me ls fro m o ne o f Salad in's su p ply carava ns in 1 19 2 (t he Itinerariu m claim s t he even higher
figu re o f 4 ,700 ) in addi tio n 10 mul es ami asses, a lso used in lar ge nu m bers, and th is was o nly o ne o f 3
similar co nvo ys. In ad d itio n to carr ying baggage t he ca mels o ften do ubl ed 3 S infa n t ry mo unts o n t he
march , bu t th ey d o no t see m to ha ve bee n ridden in bat t le e xcept by so me Arabised Negro tribes o f th e
Sudan , suc h as t he Bega. Mamlu ks usu all y had at least o ne ca mel eac h, mor e o ft en 2, wh ile no n-ma mfu ks o f
the al-Halq a receive d 3 per 2 men .
xtosle m cara van s ge nerally had l he ir o w n esco rts , co m prise d o f cavalry, in ad d it io n to which the d rivers
were usu ally arme d, Fu lcher of Cha rt res describ ing how t he drivers o f th e Fat im id su pply co lu m n a t
Ramla in 110 2 'carr ied sta ves and missiles in t heir ha nd s fo r fight ing.' O f t he 3 ca ravans repor ted in I 192 ,
tw o wer e e sco rt ed b y Bedo ui ns; in all th e 3 carava ns see m 10 have had a co mbi ned esco rt st re ngth o f
2,000 ca valry (includ ing 500 eli te mam luk s ) plus ' n u merous fo o tmen', pro ha bly th e ca mel d rivers.

I 11

APPENDICES
APPENDIX I MILITARY SERVICE OWED TO THE KIN GDOM OF JER USALEM AS RECORD ED BY
JEA N O' IBELlN
Jea n d' !be lin wro te c. 1265 but ap pea rs to have recorded militar y ser vice as it pro babl y exis ted in th e
re ign o f Hald win IV, therefor e so me lime be t wee n 1174 a nd 118 5, T he re a re several vers ions of his lists
extant in whi ch , inevita bly , ce rtain discrepancies have been intro d uced; t hese a re no ted where they
appear . A la ter list by Marino Sa nudo shows certain o t her differences- and t hese to o a re no ted . D' l be lin's
'Livre des Assises de la Haute Cou r'. from wh ich t his da ta is take n, is q uot ed in full in Volume I of
' Recue tt des Histo ne ns des Cro isad es, Lois' publis hed in 18 4 1 ( a facsimile edit ion was publi shed in t his
co untry in 1969 ).
KNIG HT S ERVICE
The Baro ny of t he Co unt of Jaffa a nd Ascalon , includ ing Ram la, Mira bel and Ibelin, o wed 100 knigh ts
(one version ...eves t he impro bable figure of 500) thus:
Ja ffa 25
Ascalo n 2 5
Ram la and Mlra bcl 40
Iod in I Q
T he Barony of t he Prince of Galilee owed 100 kn ights (the sa me o ne version again sa ys 500) t hu s:
Th e lands to t he cast of t he River Jo rdan 60 ( one version says 40 )
The la nds to t he west o f the Rive r Jo rdan 40
T he Baro ny of Sidon , inclu din g Beaufo rt , Caesarea a nd Beisan , ow ed 100 kn ights ( on e versio n agai n
says 500 , while Sanudo doe s no t list t his Ba ron y a t all) thus:
Sidon a nd Beaufor t 60
Caesarea 25
Be isan 15
T he Seigno ry of Kera k, Mo nt rea l and Hebro n o wed 60 knights thus:
Kera k an d Mo ntr eal (Oultrejourda in) 40
He bro n 20
T he Seignc ry of Co unt Joscely n owed 24 knight s (o ne versio n says 50 ) t hu s:
Cha teau do u Rei ( Mi'iJiya) 4
Saint Geo rge ( Lydda ) 10
T he la nds of Geoffrey le Tor t 6
T he la nds of Ph.ilip le Ro us 2
T he Chambe rlai n 2
~ ex t d' l belin lists t he knight service ' wh ich t he bishop s of t he kingd om of Jerusale m o wed' ( o ne version
includes th ese as pa rt o f t he Seignory of Co unt Josccly n : t hey are no t listed at all by Sanudo) t hus:
T he Bisho p of Saint Geor ge o f Lydda 10
T he Archbisho p of Nazaret h 6 ( o ne version says 10 )

(T he Sc igno ry of) To ro n and Maro n 18 (o ne versi on says I S) th us:


Toron 15
Maron 3
D'Ibehn th e n moves on to t he knight service ow ed by t he cit ies of the kingd om . Of t hese Je rusalem ,
Nab lus, Acre a nd Daro n co mprised the ro ya l de mesne a t th is time.
Th e se rvice whic h ' t he 1I0ly City o f Je rusale m' o wed was 41 knights (4 3 in 3 versio ns, but 4 1 in San udo )
th us:
Lore ns de Francleuc 4
Anscl Babin 5

112

The wife of Jean Co main 4


Raym ond le Buffile 3 ( 5 in 3 version s )
Henr y des Mons I
Nicho las d'A rt ois I
Simo n the son of Peter l' Erm in 2
Andrew of the Temple 2
Pet er d'An ti! I
Amalric the son of Arn old 3
Baldwin de Saint-G itles 3
Simon o f Bet hlehem I
Enge ram de Pinq uegni 2
Lady Gille, the wife of Jea n de Vale nce
Pe ter le Noir 2
Fulk le No ir I
Ansel le Borgne
Hugh le Pet it I
Th e childre n of Ro ben de Pinquegni 2
Eustace Pat ric I
The city of Nabl us ( Nea poJis) owed 85 knights (on e ver sion says 80 , an oth e r 102, but 85 in Sa nudo )
thus:
Th e Viscou nt 10 (5 0 in one versio n)
Renier Roh art and his mother 8
Jean Belarnier 5
Eudes do u Merle 4
The wife of lI ugh de Mimars 4
Th e wife of Baldw in le Prince 3
The wife of Ray mond I
Jean de Saint Bertin I (3 in 4 versions)
Con stantine the bro ther o f Raym ond I
William le Queu I
Henry the so n of Guy Rays I
Th e wife o f Baldwin o f Paris I
Isaac de la Pessine I
Roger l' Asne I
Aub rey de Roi 2
Ber na rd Fo uchier I
Richa rd o f Naza re th
Ra ymond Bahin I
Baldwin de Ro trtnes I
T he wife o f Ro bert Salibe I
The wife o f Michacl le Gran t
Ge rard Passerel I
Baldwin of Ibelin 4
The Lady o f Cacsarea 2
He nry the Crossbowrnan
Guy of Na ples I
Arn old of Tripol i I
Rey nald de Soissons
Amalric de Landre I
Philip o f Naza ret h I
George l'E scrivain 1
Balian of Ibelin, 'fo r the land whic h he holds in Nablu s' 15
Simon de Darria n 2
T he city (or seigno ry in one version ) of Acre owed 80 knights (3 versio ns say 72 , but Sanudo - who calls
the city by its classical name of Pto lomais - also says 80 ) t hus:
Th e Co nsta ble (A malric de Lusigna n) 10

113

Balian o f l a ffa, t he Cha mbe rlai n 7 (6 in o ne versio n)


Pagan of lI aifa 7
Raym o nd o f Scandehon 7
Philip le Rou s I
T he wife of Eu des 2
G era rd Espinal I
Lady G ille 3
William de Mo lc mbc c 2
Th e wife of Willia m of Ant ioch
Wait e r de Sai n t Denis 2
Ro bert T ahor I
Raou l o f Nazareth I
Simo n de s Moulins I
Foun t Joscety n I
J ord an de Terrc monde
Mich ael o f Mo u nt Sina i I
Dreu x t he bo the r of G ilbert de Fia r I
w after of Blunchegarde 9, of w hom Am o ld de Brie supplied
T he wife o f Ad am Cost e I
w e tter le Bel I
Eudes de la Mid i I
Gace t he son of Ro bcr t
Gille de Calavadn 4
T he Se nescha l 3 ( 4 in o nc versio n)
Q uast rin Benoit 2
Am o ld de Difoille I
T he Viscou nt (Willia rr. Ill' Flo r )
Jor dan Harenc 1
l ean de Rains I
T he ci t y ( or seigno r y j o f Ty re owed 28 k nigh ts ( 25 in one versio n ) t hus:
Th e v cncna us 3 ( I in one version)
Si mo n lie ~I ar rin i 3 (I in one versio n)
T he wife of WiIlia m le Grant 2
T he wife o f Gilhert v e m ter I
Fu lk d e la Fal aise 2
An sel t he so n o f Charles
Gera rd Ga zc! 2
Hen ry de Mache fin I
Ad am o f At sou f I
Dents t he so n of Geoffrey
Raoul de Bo u telfie r 2
Ro ge r Sau veri 7
Sirno n de s Moutms
Roger le G ast I
T he city ( o r seigno ry l o f Da ro n o wed 2 k nigh ts th us:
Ocra rd de Do uai I
Rey nald o f Montgisard I
T he ci ty (or scigno ry l of Beiru t o wed 2 1 knights(No de ta ils given. Neither Daron nor Beiru t appear in
Sanudo 's list).
D'I belin adds up his own figu res to a total of 5 7 7 k nigh ts: of the o t he r vers io ns o ne gives 56 7.2 give (,77 ,
an d 3 give 6 66 . while Sanudo - wh o, as noted above , o mits several figu res _ gives 5 18 . Ho weve r, his
a rith me t ic is at fault in severa l plac es (N ahlus add s up to o nly 8 1, Acre 10 76 ) and his sum to tal is
lik ewise wrong. Addi ng th e figu res fo r you rself, yo u will a rrive in fac t at 675 . Sm all. in his 'Crusading
War fare ', say s th a t ' ho weve r t he figu res a re added, their to tal ca n no t be less tha n 64 T , bu t in fact b y

114

laking eac h minimum tot al ( 40 ins tead of 60 for Eastern Galileo, 15 instead o f 18 for l oro n/ Ma ron , 80
instead of 85 fo r Nablus, n instead of 80 fo r Acre, and 25 instead of 28 for Tyre) the Iota I ca n he
red uced a little furt her, to 636 . Conversely by taki ng th e highest figure in eac h case Iex cep t for th e
impo ssible 500 o f the 3 great Baro nies: therefore 50 ins tea d of 24 for Co unt Josce tyn, 10 instead o f
6 for Nazare th, 43 instead of 41 for Jerusale m, and 127 ins tead of 85 for Nablus, includin g 50 instead of
10 for the Viscou nt) it is possible to increase th e to tal to as much as 74Q. How eve r. as no ted o n page 10
the figur es arc clear ly inco mple te ; d' lbel in him self admits his lack o f knight service dat a for Banyas an d
Subei be ( bot h ca pt ured by Nur ed-Din in 1164 ) a nd Chatea u Ne uf , an d it is kno wn tha t othe r fids (suc h
as Arsouf, which o wed 6 knights and 21 sergea nts - Le. 16'1.r knights - in 1261 ) have also been omi tted.
S ERG EANT SE RVICE
This service app ears to have bee n owed o nly by church lan ds and th e burgesses of the cities. like th e
list of knight service , it is almos t certainly incomple te (w e know , for instance, tha t Magna Ma homeria
provided 65 'fight-armed yo uths' - und o ub tedly a co ntingent o f sergeants - a t Gaza in I 170 ). D'Ib clin
lists the fo llowing :
The Pat riarch of Jeru sale m 500
The Cha pte r of th e Holy Sepulchre 500 (Sa nudo says just 5)
Th e Abbey of St . Mary of Je hosa phat 150
T he Ab bey o f Mo un t Sion 150
The Abb ey of the Mo unt o f Olives 50 (150 in 3 versions. No t listed by Sa nu do)
T he Templum Domini 50 (3 versio ns sa y 150, as do es San udo )
The Latina 50
The Bisho p o f Tt bcna s 100 (500 in 2 ...ersions )
The Abbe y o f Mo unt Ta hor 100 ( 500 in 2 versions )
T he City of Je rusale m 500
The City of Acre 500
The City of Tyre 100
The Cit y of Nablus 300
Th e City of Caesa rea 50
Th e Bisho p o f Bet hlehem 200
Ra mla, Mira he1 an d Ibd in 150 (Sanudo says 100)
T he Bishop of Saint Ge orge o f Lydda 200
Arso uf 50
The Bisho p of Seb astea 100 (5 00 in 2 versions, 150 in an othe r)
T he Bisho p o f Acre 150 ( 550 in o ne version )
The Bisho p o f lI ebron 50 (5 50 in one versio n)
The Arch bisho p o f Tyre 150
The Arc hbisho p of Nazareth 150 ( No t listed in 2 ver sion s. Sa nudo says 50 )
T he Bisho p o f Sidon 50
The Arc hbisho p of Caesarea SO ( Not listed in one versio n)
Ascalon I SO (1 00 in 3 ...ersion s, and in Sanudo)
Ja ffa 100 (N o t listed in 3 versio ns, nor in Sanudo)
Le Lyon (1 - Leluo n in Sa nudo} lOO
Le Ge rin (? - Leyr im in Sanudo) 25
lIaira SO
Ttberias 200
This lime d' l he lin add s up his figures co rrectly to a to tal of 5, 02 5. thou gh one version miscou nts to
5, 175. Those ...ersion s with variant figures add up to 4,9 75, 5,0 75, 6,12 5 a nd 7,025 t hough 3 version s iUve
the ir own to ta ls inacc urately as 7.075. Sanud o' s tot al of 4,280 is much lower than any of th ese.
APPE ND IX 2 ROGER DE FLOR AND THE CATA LAN GRA ND CO MPAN Y 1302-13 11
Cat alan mercenaries arc first recor ded in Byzant ine servi ce in 1279 , du ring the cam paign leading up to
the Baulc of Negro ponte . Corsairs of Catala n origin also appeared o n oc casion in the flee ts o f the pirat e
Megas Duces Licarlo a nd John de 10 Cavo , bUI it was no t un til 130 2 tha t the Byzantincs e mp lo yed
Cala lans in pa rticular ly large numbers.

11s

Th e previo us yea r the Sicilia n wars wh ich had comme nced with the so-called ' Sicilia n Vespers' of 128 2
had finally been ended by th e Peace o f Callabc'lIotta, and Frederic k 111 of Arago n, King of Sicily, could
finally dispens e with the service of the mer cenary Grand Company of Catalans unde r Roger de Flor not with out a sigh o f relief ! Th e y Idt his service some 18.000 stro ng, in addition to true Ca talans including
al t hat time Italia ns, Fren chm en , Germ ans, and some Ara gonese : when first ra ised by Peter o f Atagon in
1281 th e co mp any had even inclu ded "IOOTS.
Roger de Flor ( whose real name. Rut ger vow Blum, was co nsiderably less romantic!) is desc ribed by a 14th
cen t ury Ffore nune ch roni cler as 't he fat her of all Condo rneri" . li e was an apos tasized Templar sergea nt
who had made his fa me an d fortune a t the fall of Acre in 1291 , when he had co mmandeered a Fem plar
galle y and c harged exo rb ita nt pr ices for passage 10 the safety of Cy prus! Atter a peri od o f pirac y as
ca ptain o f a Oenoese ship he had joined th e me rcenary troops of Fredenck III and beco me commander
o f the Cata lan Grand Company , and It was he who, an tr th e Company had bee n made redundant by
Fr edenc k, managed to e xtor t co nsiderable privileges from the Byzantine Empe ror Andro nikos 11 in
eacha nge for the promise o f its service against the Tu rks of Asia "linor . Byzantine sources re cord the
stre ngth o f the Company wh en it sailed from Sicily fo r Co nsta nlinople as 2-8 ,000 me n, while th e mor e
reliab le "t unl aner , de F1or's secretary, records the m as 36 ships and 6,500 men , co mprised of 1,500
cavalry, 4.000 Almughavari ( Aragonese mou ntainee rs - see figure 64 in 'Armies of Fe udal Euro pe') and
1,000 o ther inb ntr y. This total does not include the seamen, who probably account for th e diffe rence
between xt unt aner's 6, 500 a nd Pechymeres' 8,000. (T he latter, ho wever, reco rds the size o f de Flor' s
fleet as o nly 18 , alle ys and 4 'great shi ps': since Genoa supplied a number o f his ships thi s figur e may
re present only those which were his own.) Eith er wa y, by the Spring of 1303 the Cal alans nu mbe red
about 6,000 men .
On his arr ival a t Constan tino ple de Flor was created "kgas Dull. hy Adr oni kos ( th is bei ng one o f th e
term s of their agreem e nt! and , following scu rrles with Genoese colonis ts in the ci ty , the Cata la ns were
prom ptly shippe d over to Asia Minor for a ca mpaign against th e Tur ks, of wh om th e y subse que ntly killed
mo re Ihan 50 ,000 in e ngage me nts at Cyzic us, Phila delphia an d th e Iron Gates. Un for tunale ly these
successes went to de H oe's head , so that he abused his a uthority and gradua lly beca me o pen ly hostile to
Andr onikos, seeing himself as ru ler of a suze rain Byzant ine sta te which he had plan s to ca rve out in
Anal olia. Despite his ele vatio n to th e rank of Caesar, an official requ est 10 red uce th e nu mber s of his
Iroops 10 3.000 was ignored, and incide n ts co ntinued until Michael IX, Andr on ikos' so n a nd eo- Empe ror,
resort ed 10 having de Flor assassinat ed in 1305, and in the e nsuing carn age so me 2,300 or mor e o f the
Compan y we re hunted do wn a nd killed: Munt ane r recor ds that th eir numbers were reduced to 3,307
men and 206 ho rses.
Leaderte ss and demoralised th e majorit y of th e survivors then disba nd ed. DUI 1,500 o f th em, a mixture
of Almu ghavari and Fr ench men (the la tte r, together with Catalan knighls. und oubtedly providing th e
cavalry eleme nt) Iortrtie d the mselves in Gall ipoli, from whic h th ey succC'ssfully re pulsed tw o
Byzantine attack s. T hey were grad ually reinfor ced by motle y ban ds of adven tur ers plus some 3,800
Turco potes a nd Turks (1 ,800 cavalry and 2,000 infa nt ry] who had dese rte d from thc Byzantines.
Ult ima tely internal d issensio n fo rced them to abandon Gallipoli a nd split up . The largest part , so me
8-9,000 men incl udi ng 3,00 0 T urks, marched inla nd into Thessaly in 130 8, finall y heading to war ds the
Frankish Duchy of Athe ns, wher e Duke Waiter de Bne nne e mplo yed Ihe m against the Byzantincs and
the Du chy o f Nenpa tras , from whom they seized over 30 for tresses for him within 6 mon th s. w hen peace
was co nclu ded the Duke no long er desired to e mp loy suc h a vast number o f unmanageable mer cenary
troops : h.. instead granted land s to 500 o f the m (:!OO cavalry and 300 Inf antr y) and dismi ssed the rest
with out pa y (whic h was 4 months beh ind). Inevit ab lY,t he Catala ns were not con te nt 10 leave it at tha t.
and event s ultimat ely c ulmina ted in the decisive Battle of Almyra or Kephi ssos in 13 11, wh ere Duke
Waiter 's cavalry, be twee n 2,0 00 and 6 ,40 0 s tro ng and including atlcast 700 knighl s from all Fra nki sh
Gr eece, Weft trick ed by the Ca tata ns into charging headl on g inl o a can-fully concealed marshy plain
wher e thei r hor ses wer e b o~ed down. The Ca talan s, wbo now include d 3, 500 cavalry and 4.000 infa ntry
( the la tte r largely Almughavari but including so me Dyunl me prison ers-of-war pressed int o service
bec ause th ey were good archers) , th en all but e xte rmina ted th C' Fr ank ish army - so th or ou ghly Ihjt only
4 or 5 noble men are kn ow n to ha ve escaped with their lives. Of th e 424 .0 00 Frankish inf antry present
~I u n t a n e r cla ims that 20 ,000 wer e killed .
Therea fter the Duch y of Alb en s bec ame a Calala n st ate , ....hich lasted down to 1379.

116

APPENDIX 3 SE LECT BIBLIOGR APH Y


T he fo llo wing is a list o f th ose hooks which I fo u nd to be th e most useful du ring th e co u rse o f m y resea rch.
It is fair ly e x te nsive bu t st ill a long way fr om being co mpre hensive, and th ose who wish to d e lve deeper
still are recommended to co ns ult t he bibliograp hies and foll o w up th e refere nces th at ma ny o f th ese
incl ude , as I d id . T he bibliogr a phy in ' Ar mies of Feu d al Eur op e' shou ld also be co nsul ted . Wher e it is no t
clear from the title o f a mo d ern tra nslati on wh ich so u rce it is tha t has bee n tr a nslated t he nam e o f t he
o riginal au th or(s) is given in b rac kets a fte rwards. T ranslated passages in th e main te xt a re base d largely o n
th ese mo de m t ra nslat ions.
Alien, w. E. D. ' His to ry o f the Geor gia n Peo ple' 1932
Ango ld, Michael. ' A Byzant ine G o vern ment in Exile ' 19 75
Arche r, T. A. 'The Crusa de of Richard 1 1189-1 19 2' (ex t ract s fr om vario us co n te m po ra ry so urces) 1888
- an d Kingsfo rd, Char les Le thbridge. 'T he Cru sade s: The St o ry of th e Latin Kingdom o f Jeru sale m' 1894
Ayalon , David. 'The Wafi di ya in t he Mamlu k Kingdom ' Isla mic Culture XXV , 195 1
- 'St ud ies on t he St ru c tu re of t he Mamluk Arm y' Bulleti n o f th e British Schoo l o f Orie n tal and African
Studi es XV, 1953 and XVI, 1954
Baldw in , Marsh all Whit hed . ' Ray mond 111 o f T ri po lis and t he Fall o f Jerusale m (1 140-1 187)' I 936
Barth ol d, W. 'T ur kestan do wn to t he Mo ngo l Invasion ' 19 28
Beeler , J ohn 11. ' Warfa re in Feu dal Europe 730 1200' 1971
Be nve nisti, Mer o n. 'The Cru saders in t he Ho ly Lan d ' 197 0
Ber r y, Virginia G. {trans j. ' De Profectio ne Ludc vici VII in Ortcrucm' (Od e o f Dcuill 194 8
Blondel, S. ' Na bit es th e v arangian' Classica et Media evalia 11 , 19 39
Boase, T. S. R. 'K ingdo ms and Stron gho lds o f th e Crusa de rs' 197 1
Brad fo rd, Emle . 'The Shi e ld a nd t he Swo rd - T he Knigh ts of St Jo hn' 1972
- 'T he Grea t Betra yal: Co nsta nti no ple 1204' 19 74
- 'T he Sw o rd and the Sci mit a r: T he Saga o f th e Crusade s' 1974
Brand , Char le s M. ' Byzan t ium Confro nts the West 118Q.1204' 1968
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Buchthal, lI ugo. ' Miniature Painting in t he Lat in Kingdo m o f Je rusalem ' 1957
Buck le r, Georgina G. ' An na Co mnena : A Study' 192 9
Budge, Em est A. Wallis ( t ran s). 'T he Chrono grap h y o f Gre gory Abu'J Far aj' ( Bar lI e braeus ) 1932
Cahe n, C taud e. ' La Cam pagne de Ma n t ziker t d 'a pres les Sources Musulma nes' Byzan tic n IX, 1934
' Un T rait e d ' Arm urerie Compose pou r Sa lad in' ( Murda al-Tnrt usi, in Fre nch ) Bulle tin d'Etudes
O rien talcs XII , 1948
' Pre-O rto rnan T ur ke y. A G enera l Su rvey o f the Mater ial and Spiri t ual C ultu re and Histor y,
c. 107 1-1330' 1968
T he Ca m bridge Med ieval Histor y (8 vol u mes) 19 11-1 936
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Cha bo l, 1.B . (tran s). 'Chroniq ue de Michel le Syri en ' {Michae l the Syria n, in F renc h) 1905
Ctrac Est opa han, Se bastian . ' Sky llit zes Ma t ntensis, To mo I Re pro d uciones Y Minia tu ras" 196 5
Co nde r, C. R. 'T he Kingd o m o f J erusale m 1099-129 1 AD' 189 7
Dawk ins, R. M. 'T he Late r Hist o ry o f t he Varan gia n G uard : So me No te s' J ou rna l o f Ro man Stu dies
XXXVII ,1 94 7
Do novan , 1. P. ' Pelagius an d th e Fift h Crusa de' 19 50
Encycl o paed ia o f Isla m (4 vo lum es) 19 13 192 9 , sec o nd e d itio n 1960- (in pro gress )
Finlay, Geo rge. 'H isto ry of t he Byza n tine and G reek Emp ires from 7 16 10 1453' ( 2 vo lu mes ) 1853- 1854
Folda , Ja roslav. 'Cru sader Manuscr ipl lll u minat ion a t Sai n t-Jea n d ' Acre 1275-1291 ' 19 76
Ga b rieli. P ra ncesco ( t ra ns]. ' Arab Histo ria ns o f th e Crusades ' ( e x trac ts from variou s contem po ra ry
so u rces ) 1969
Gar d ner , Alice. 'T he Lascarid s o f Nicaea : T he St o ry o f an Em pire in Ex ile' 19 12
G eanakoplos, D. J. 'G raeco- La un Re lat io ns o n th e Eve o f th e Byzant ine Resto ra tio n: T he Bail ie of
Pelago nia 1259 ' Du m bar ton O aks Pa pe rs VII, 1953
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G ibb , H. A. R. (t rans). 'The Damascus Ch ro nicle o f t he Crusa des' (l b n al-Qala nisi) 19 32
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G lub b, J o hn Bagot . 'The Co u rse o f Em pire : Th e Ar abs an d th eir Successo rs' 19 65

1 17

- ' T he Lost Ce n turies: Fro m th e Muslim Em pires to the Re naissance of Euro pe 1 14 5 1453' 196 7
- ' So ldie rs o f Fortu ne: T he Story of the Mamlu kes' 19 73
lI ill, G. 'A lIi st or y o f Cyp rus' ( 3 vol umes) 19 40- 19 48
lI ill, J o h n Hugh and lIi1l, Laurit a l. (tr an s). ' Raymo nd d'Aguilcrs: lI isto ria Fra ncorum Qui Ceper un t
Iherusal em' 19 68
lI i1l, Rosa lind ( tra ns). 'T he Deeds of t he F ranks an d th e O t he r Pilgrim s to Jerusalem' (G esta
Fra ncoru m) 19 6 2
lI itt i, P. K. ( trans). ' An Ara b-Syri an Gentleman o f t he Cr usade s' [ Usa mah ihn Mu nq id h ) 19 29
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Hubert , Mert o n Jero me ( trans). 'T he Crusade of Richa rd Lion-Heart ' (A m bro ise ) 1941
King, Ed win Jarnes . 'T he Knight s lI ospita lle rs in th e: Ho ly La nd' 19 31
Ko mr o ff, Man ue1 [ tr ansj. 'C o n te m po raries o f Mar co Pol o ' (WiIlia m o f Ru brec k an d J oh n de Piano
Car pi ni} 192 8
Krey, A. C. a nd Babcock , E. A. (t ra ns). ' A Histo ry o f Deeds do ne Be yo nd th e Sea' (WilIiam o f T y re,
2 vo lu mes ) 19 43
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- ' A Histo ry of Egypt in th e Midd le Ages' 192 5
La tha m, J. D. ' No tes o n Maml u k Ho rse-archers' J ou rn al o f th e British School of Ori en tal an d Africa n
Studies XXXII, 196')
- and Pat erso n, W. F. ' Sar ace n Arch ery' 19 70
La t ha m, Ro na ld ( tran s). 'The Tr avels of Ma rco Po lo ' 19 74
Le vy, Reu bc n. 'T he Social Stru ctu re o f Islam ' 19 5 7
Le wis, lk rna rd. 'T he Assassins: A Rad ica l Sec t in Isla m' 1968
Lowe, Alfon so. 'T he Ca talan Ve ngea nce' 19 72
McE ved y, Co lin. ' T he Pengu in Atlas of Medie valH isto r y' 196\
Mc Neal. E. H. {uans). 'T he Conquest o f Con stan tinople' ( Robe rt de Clari) 193 6
Mar tin , 11 . Desmon d . 'T he Mong o l Arm y' J o u rnal of t he Ro yal Astat ic So cie ty 19 43, Par ts I a nd 2
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Mart in, Mich ae l E. ' An Adri atic Hasl ings, 1081 ' II islory Today XXV II , 1977
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J o in villc ) 190 8
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Maye rc L. A. 'Sa race n tc Herald ry : A Surv ey ' 19 3 3
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- ' Mamlu k Cost ume' 19 5 2
Miller , William. 'T he La tins in the: Leva n t: A lI isto ry o f F ra nkish Gre ece 1204-1 566 ' 19 08
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La Mo n te, J o hn L. ' Feudal Mo na rc hy in t he Lat in Ki ngd o m of Jerusalem 110 0101 29 1' 1932
- and Hu ber t. Mert o n Je ro mc [t ran s}. 'The Wars of Fred eric k 11 against t he Ibelins in Syria and
l'ypr.us' [ Philip o f Nova ra) 19 3 6
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Nich olson , Robert L. 'J osce ty n I. Prince of E de ~~a ' Illino is Studie s in the Social Sci ences XX XIV No. 4,
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118

Prawe r, J oshua. 'T he World of Ihe Crusaders' 1972


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F rankish, Gree k a nd Arme nian chro nicles an d so urc es) 184 1-190 6, facsim ile repr int 1969
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Rya n, Prances Rita (l ra ns). 'A History of the Exp edit ion to Jerusale m' ( Fuk her of Char tres) 1969
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