Crusader Castles in Cyprus, Greece and the Aegean 1191-1571 by David Nicolle

By David Nicolle

Crusader castles and different fortifications in Cyprus, the south-western coast of Turkey, and Greece are the most effective examples of overdue medieval army structure to be obvious in Europe. those very important fortifications, erected by means of the Hospitallers throughout the fifteenth century to stand the growing to be Ottoman Turkish danger, range significantly from these within the center East. regardless of there being many obvious continues to be of fortifications in Cyprus, Greece, and the Aegean, few reports exist of those components in comparison to the fortifications of the Holy Land.

Providing quite a few architectural plans, maps, and colour illustrations, this publication seeks to redress this imbalance and supplement the former bestselling remedies of Crusader fortifications within the castle sequence.

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Additional info for Crusader Castles in Cyprus, Greece and the Aegean 1191-1571 (Fortress, Volume 59)

Example text

Many became meeting places for Christian pirates from all over the Mediterranean. Such pirates also had bases on the mainland coasts, and operating from here, or arriving as naval landing forces, they raided deep inland, sometimes capturing peasants for ransom or enslavement. In a more peaceful vein the Crusader and Italian commercial outposts served as recruitment centres for local and foreign oarsmen seeking employment in the galleys. Skilled local pilots would also be available, while the ports themselves supplied food to passing ships, wine from Tenedos (probably sweet and red, like modern Mavrodafne), and dried figs from Foça (Phocea).

They demolished the upper floor of what had been a library or abbot’s residence at the western end of the church, and added defensive battlements. The Ottoman Sultan returned the monastery to Greek Orthodox monks in 1458, and it is unclear whether the fortified curtain wall dates from this or from the Crusader occupation. Where Crusader fortresses were used as residences, they could be remarkably comfortable. In Cyprus the mountain-top castle of Kyrenia may have been used as a summer retreat from the sultry lowlands.

During the initial invasion of Greece a small fort was erected at Pendeskouphi in the Crusader siege of 1205–10, but the primary role of castles was consolidation rather than conquest. Thereafter, wars between the Crusader States and the rival Byzantine rulers mostly consisted of raids, naval skirmishes, and small-scale sieges, with few major battles. Bases for offensive operations Girne (Kyrenia, Cyprus), known to medieval western Europeans as Cerina, showing the castle, inner harbour and the Turkish old town as they appeared in the 1950s.

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