The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Corpus. Vol. IV: The Cities of Acre and Tyre with Addenda and Corrigenda to Volumes I-III

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The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Corpus. Vol. IV: The Cities of Acre and Tyre with Addenda and Corrigenda to Volumes I-III. By Denys Pringle. Illustrated by Peter E. Leach. (New York: Cambridge University Press. 2009. Pp. xviii, 321. $195.00. ISBN 978-0-521-85148-0.)

The present volume concludes an enormous project to publish a corpus of all church buildings in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Reflecting work stretching from 1979 to the present, Denys Pringle has systematically surveyed, recorded, described, and analyzed the archaeological, historical, and architectural evidence for 489 churches together with extensive documentation; by contrast, Camille Enlart included fewer than fifty churches in Les monuments des croisés dans le royaume de Jérusalem: architecture religieuse et civile (Paris, 1925-28). In volume IV, 121 churches are presented, including eighty-two from Acre and twenty-five from Tyre, the two most important port cities in the Latin Kingdom.

The entries for each church provide the fullest possible information, with a number of churches covered here for the first time; up-to-date archaeological details also are featured. Some churches are referred to only in written sources, but all of the churches for which there are archaeological remains are given photo documentation with newly prepared drawings based on careful fieldwork. Major churches receive appropriately large entries (St. John's church and hospital in Acre cover pp. 82-1 14; the cathedral in Tyre covers pp. 182 -2 04). Among the great benefits of Pringle's presentations are his historical discussions based on exhaustive sources along with pre- and postcrusader history. Pringle's command of crusader ecclesiastical history is encyclopedic. For major entries, other material such as epigraphy and relics are discussed, and all entries give complete references for primary sources, maps, and secondary sources.

Pringle covered seventy-one churches in Historic Acre as a Living City (Acre, 2003); here, he documents eighty-two, second only to Jerusalem (with eighty-seven) in the Kingdom. Pringle states that his survey is offered as a further contribution to the development of a more clearly defined picture of medieval Acre. Without a doubt, his contribution marks a gigantic step forward both in terms of his identifications and documentation on the individual churches and his presentation of a reconstruction of medieval Acre overlaid on a map of the modern city (pp. …