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Beschreibung des Verlags
From a New York Times-bestselling author, a stirring account of the siege of Acre in 1291, when the last Christian stronghold fell to the Muslim army
The 1291 siege of Acre was the Alamo of the Christian Crusades -- the final bloody battle for the Holy Land. After a desperate six weeks, the beleaguered citadel surrendered to the Mamluks, bringing an end to Christendom's two-hundred year adventure in the Middle East.
In The Accursed Tower, Roger Crowley delivers a lively narrative of the lead-up to the siege and a vivid, blow-by-blow account of the climactic battle. Drawing on extant Arabic sources as well as untranslated Latin documents, he argues that Acre is notable for technical advances in military planning and siege warfare, and extraordinary for its individual heroism and savage slaughter. A gripping depiction of the crusader era told through its dramatic last moments, The Accursed Tower offers an essential new view on a crucial turning point in world history.
Drawing on eyewitness accounts, Latin and Arabic historical records, and archaeological findings, Crowley (Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire) delivers an accessible and multiangled chronicle of the 13th-century siege and capture of Acre, the last Christian Crusader stronghold in the Middle East. Crowley sketches the rise of Turkish Mamluk mercenary forces in Egypt and Syria and their repulsion of Mongol invaders, the establishment of the Mamluk Sultanate in Cairo, and the defeat of the Crusader state of Antioch in 1289. He details Mamluk siege tactics, including catapult bombardment and tunneling, and quotes from a 14th-century Arabic source that describes Muslim soldiers using "iron horse pegs, tethers, and halters" to climb citadel walls. In April 1291, Mamlak sultan al-Ashraf Khalil laid siege to Acre with an estimated 70,000 horsemen and 150,000 foot soldiers. The city's defenders included 700 to 800 mounted knights of the Templar, Hospitaller, and Teutonic orders, and 13,000 infantry. Crowley skillfully captures the intense fighting between these mismatched armies, and describes how "fires raged and screams rang" and the Mediterranean Sea "was reddened with the bodies of the slain" after the city fell. Shifting back and forth between Muslim and Christian perspectives, this entertaining history serves as a satsifying introduction to the end of the Crusades.