Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

How to Recover the Holy Land. the Crusade Proposals of the Late Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

How to Recover the Holy Land. the Crusade Proposals of the Late Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries

Article excerpt

How to Recover the Holy Land. The Crusade Proposals of the Late Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries. By Antony Leopold. (Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate. 2000. Pp. x, 231. $79.95.)

By the third quarter of the thirteenth century it was becoming increasingly apparent that Jerusalem, lost by the crusaders in 1187 and reoccupied for just a few years after 1229, was not going to be won back easily. Indeed, the continued threat to the Christian presence in the Levant and the loss of territory, especially after 1260, convinced most western observers that only a major military effort could re-establish Christian rule in the Holy Land. It was against this background that a number of authors drew up proposals for how this might be done. Many of these texts have long been in print and have been considered by previous writers such as Atiya and Schein. Dr. Leopold's study, however, makes a significant advance. He rightly stresses that these texts do not form a homogeneous genre but vary considerably depending on the circumstances in which they were written. Several authors were responding to requests for advice from the popes, notably Nicholas rV and Clement V, others were writing unsolicited advice for particular rulers who were known to have been interested in planning a crusade. Only rarely were the treatises themselves written as crusade propaganda. The authors were men of differing backgrounds and had contrasting degrees of information and experience of conditions in the East. Accordingly some were more practical than others. …

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