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Author Topic: The Crusades - some questions  (Read 1570 times)

Offline glenning

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 58
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2022, 07:59:04 PM »
Awesome stuff - very inspiring!

Offline Maniac

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 266
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2022, 08:15:11 PM »
I've done both myself.   Here are my vikings, and you can see some units use a unified color scheme and others without.



I've got a green/white unit, with a stag motif, a red/white unit with a bird motif, black/white/red with a dragon motif, blue/yellow with bears, blue/white with whales, and a couple random units

Also for my Normans:



There mostly patterned on known heraldry of early medieval folks or towns near where I lived in England.  Then also a red/white unit based on the coat of arms for the town we lived in.

I've currently got a black/white unit in progress, and eventually may do a yellow/red or other unit.
On time, on target, or the next one's free

Offline gregmita

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 108
    • My Gaming Blog
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2022, 09:30:05 PM »
There are some great paintjobs being displayed here! I think the key is to not get too obsessed with uniform colours, but have a good variety within the known boundaries of what the colours could be.

Quote
Also the podcast "History of the Crusades" is golden.
I'm not sure if we listened to the same one, but are you talking about the podcasts by Sharyn Eastaugh? That one is kind of weird, since in the background description leading up to the crusades, she missed the Seljuk invasion of the Eastern Empire. In fact, she spent more time talking about Arianism (?!) than things like the Battle of Manzikert.

Offline Tonhel

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 484
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2022, 10:44:00 AM »
@Gregmita, jup, I am talking about that one. To be fair the real meat of the podcast starts with the preparing of the first crusade. The events before, that causes the first crusade, are only talked about in one episode or so.

I can only say, that I love it. I am now at episode 106, the fall of Tripoli.

Offline gregmita

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    • My Gaming Blog
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2022, 08:50:58 PM »
Okay, I guess I'll keep going with it, to see if she has good details. The problem is that without some of the background, she tends to present the whole thing as "suddenly, the Christians attacked for no reason", which ignores the complexity of the actual situation.

@Gregmita, jup, I am talking about that one. To be fair the real meat of the podcast starts with the preparing of the first crusade. The events before, that causes the first crusade, are only talked about in one episode or so.

I can only say, that I love it. I am now at episode 106, the fall of Tripoli.

Offline Maniac

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 266
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2022, 05:08:14 AM »
Okay, I guess I'll keep going with it, to see if she has good details. The problem is that without some of the background, she tends to present the whole thing as "suddenly, the Christians attacked for no reason", which ignores the complexity of the actual situation.

I've always liked Terry Jones' 'The Crusades'.  Yes it is slightly anti crusader, but it is rather funny while being full of good info.  I think, while Jones implies it a bit farcically, that the crusades were very much motivated by faith.  Entire towns don't just get up and walk to the Levant from Germany/France looking for wealth, not in the middle ages.  I will say the book is not as good as the tv series, which was very well done.

Also try God's Battalions.  It's a pretty good take on the crusades.  It acknowledges all of the muslim conquests of the Levant, Africa, Spain, etc.  It doesn't run from crusader brutality, but is fair on why it happened.  I found it rather refreshing, not flawless, but still...

Offline glenning

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 58
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2022, 07:34:45 AM »
Great answers and great looking minis so far - very inspiring!

Perry's Muslim soldiers(mainly the Arab militia and command) seems to be painted like a rag tag bunch as well - would it be historically correct to paint Arab militia in off-white robes for a whole unit but with mixed shield design/motifs?

Offline Atheling

  • Elder God
  • Posts: 11018
    • Just Add Water Wargaming Blog
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2022, 11:45:59 AM »
Perry's Muslim soldiers(mainly the Arab militia and command) seems to be painted like a rag tag bunch as well - would it be historically correct to paint Arab militia in off-white robes for a whole unit but with mixed shield design/motifs?

That would wholly depend on where the milita was mustered. If from a affluent city then it's safe to assume they would turn out on nicer clothing. The opposite for poorer settlements.

Offline Cubs

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4641
  • "I simply cannot survive without beauty ..."
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2022, 12:54:30 PM »
I've always liked Terry Jones' 'The Crusades'.

Yeah, that was probably my first taster and got me interested in the Crusades. It's very much made for entertainment, with Terry Jones' wry commentary to the fore, so perhaps gives something of a skewed vision, but it's a good read and gave me a hunger to learn more. In a complete reverse of older texts, more recent (as in, the last 30 yrs!) works on the Crusades do seem to paint the Crusaders as cruel invaders and Muslims as innocent victims, which is perhaps a weighted bias to counter previous perspectives. I enjoy the Thomas Asbridge books for quite honestly shrugging and admitting no-one really knows what motivations were at work with each individual (everyone was human), but there was certainly a very literal and powerful faith element, as in all aspects of medieval life, along with the very visceral ambitions of some to get out from under the shadows of their liege lords and carve out a kingdom in the east. The aggressive expansion of Islamic territories around the Levant, Turkey, North Africa and Spain would certainly have reinforced the 'them and us' attitudes necessary when European leaders tried to motivate people for war, along with the usual fanciful rumours of baby eating and whatnot. Let us not forget the Pope's ambitions to strengthen the political power of Rome (and maybe draw the Byzantine church closer to the Latin church) by diverting a lot of restless, troublesome warlords away from Europe and essentially making them someone else's problem!

So lots of different people would have had lots of different reasons, but when you get people en masse geared up for violence, the original motivations get warped very easily and it's hard to understand why decisions were made after the fact.
'Sir John ejaculated explosively, sitting up in his chair.' ... 'The Black Gang'.

Paul Cubbin Miniature Painter

Offline gregmita

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 108
    • My Gaming Blog
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2022, 04:30:28 AM »
There are a number of period painting that show Arab infantry in various colours of robes, from both Byzantine and Muslim sources. I think it depends on how colourful you want your army, since there is quite a range of plausible colours.
For example:



In general, I recommend that site for historical illustrations.

http://warfare.tk/index.htm

Quote from: glenning
Perry's Muslim soldiers(mainly the Arab militia and command) seems to be painted like a rag tag bunch as well - would it be historically correct to paint Arab militia in off-white robes for a whole unit but with mixed shield design/motifs?
That would wholly depend on where the milita was mustered. If from a affluent city then it's safe to assume they would turn out on nicer clothing. The opposite for poorer settlements.

Offline gregmita

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 108
    • My Gaming Blog
Re: The Crusades - some questions
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2022, 04:44:14 AM »
I'm old enough to have watched the Terry Jones show on TV at the time as a teenager. It was... definitely entertainment. :)
It was kind of funny when he referred to the rising Mamelukes in the collapsing Ayyubid dynasty as "a group of revolutionary soldiers fighting back" with inspirational music playing in the background. Even back then, I knew the Mameluke leaders, when jockeying for power, were whacking each other like characters in a Warner Brothers cartoon.
The negative view of the Crusades is a lot older than 30 years. Even back in the time of Runciman, it was already the horrible fanatical barbarians attacking superior civilizations. More recent books actually tend to be much better - e.g. Asbridge, Tyerman, Riley-Smith, etc. They actually have far more Muslim sources to draw on too, which interestingly makes the narrative much more balanced in favour of the crusaders! This newer batch of books introduced me to ibn al-Athir, which has really improved my understanding of Muslim history.

Quote from: Maniac
I've always liked Terry Jones' 'The Crusades'.
Yeah, that was probably my first taster and got me interested in the Crusades. It's very much made for entertainment, with Terry Jones' wry commentary to the fore, so perhaps gives something of a skewed vision, but it's a good read and gave me a hunger to learn more. In a complete reverse of older texts, more recent (as in, the last 30 yrs!) works on the Crusades do seem to paint the Crusaders as cruel invaders and Muslims as innocent victims, which is perhaps a weighted bias to counter previous perspectives. I enjoy the Thomas Asbridge books for quite honestly shrugging and admitting no-one really knows what motivations were at work with each individual (everyone was human), but there was certainly a very literal and powerful faith element, as in all aspects of medieval life, along with the very visceral ambitions of some to get out from under the shadows of their liege lords and carve out a kingdom in the east. The aggressive expansion of Islamic territories around the Levant, Turkey, North Africa and Spain would certainly have reinforced the 'them and us' attitudes necessary when European leaders tried to motivate people for war, along with the usual fanciful rumours of baby eating and whatnot. Let us not forget the Pope's ambitions to strengthen the political power of Rome (and maybe draw the Byzantine church closer to the Latin church) by diverting a lot of restless, troublesome warlords away from Europe and essentially making them someone else's problem!

So lots of different people would have had lots of different reasons, but when you get people en masse geared up for violence, the original motivations get warped very easily and it's hard to understand why decisions were made after the fact.

 

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