The Later Crusades, 1274-1580: From Lyons to Alcazar

By Norman Housley | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE author of any general survey faces problems of style, but they are particularly troublesome in a book which covers as much terrain, chronologically and geographically, as this one does. I have attempted throughout to be accessible, sensible, and consistent, but I am aware that I have probably lapsed on all three counts. All proper names are transliterated into English, except those which are so well known in a different form that it would be silly to change them. When places have changed names, or had alternative names at the time described, I have placed the more familiar name first, with variants in brackets: I apologize if some readers object to the use of, for example, Danzig instead of Gdafisk. Apologies are also due to orientalists who find the absence of markings on Arabic and Turkish names jarring. As a complete non-orientalist, I thought the omission of all markings preferable to an attempt to devise a practice which might have been inaccurate, or at least inconsistent.

I have provided maps with the modest aim of showing simply where the events described took place. For a much more elaborate cartographic treatment of all the developments surveyed in the book, readers are referred to J. Riley-Smith (ed.), The Atlas of the Crusades ( London, 1991).

In a book of this kind it would be invidious to pick out the work of individual scholars for special mention, as all those whose books and articles are listed under Further Reading have made a contribution. But I willingly thank Peter Edbury, Colin Imber, Werner Paravicini, Michael Heath, Peter Holt, and Tom Scott, for help on specific issues and enquiries. The Inter-Library Loan staff of Leicester University Library have handled a continual flow of requests over several years with efficiency and forbearance. The British Academy and my University's Research Board are owed thanks for grants which made it possible to spend a month in the summer of 1986 reading in Cambridge University Library. Chapter 13 is a heavily revised version of a paper which I read at scholarly meetings in Edinburgh, Nottingham, and London, and incorporates useful criticisms made on those occasions. Individual chapters were read by Geraldine McKendrick and Peter Edbury, who weeded out many errors which would otherwise have proved embarrassing. The

-vii-

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