Crusaders' castles-the fourth generation: Reflections on Frankish castle-building policy during the 13th century

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Abstract

This paper examines Frankish castle-building policy during the 13th century through two case studies, Château Pèlerin and Montfort. During this period, castles were built mainly by the military orders, in the same locations as, or very close to, existing fortifications. Furthermore, these activities often coincided with the presence of a crusade in the region. In the two case studies the initiators of the projects had reasons other than military to execute them. The main conclusion of this paper is that during the 13th century castles were not built in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem for strategic reasons or according to a well defined programme, but in order to meet a series of religious, moral, social as well as economic and political considerations. This conclusion may imply that this was the case also during the 12th century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to thank Professor Michel Balard of the Centre d’Études d’Histoire et Civilisation Byzantines et du Proche Orient Médiéval, Université de Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne for his comments on this paper. MICHAEL EHRLICH is an instructor in the Martin (Szusz) Department of the Land of Israel and Archaeology, in Bar-Ilan University, and Chairperson of the Israeli section of Amnesty International (1999–2000). His doctorate, supervised by Dr Yvonne Friedman, focused on the inland towns in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century. He works on the historical geography of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, medieval pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and a comparative study of Frankish settlement activities in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem and the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Keywords

  • Castles
  • Crusades
  • Knights Templar
  • Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

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