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By Kenneth M. Setton, Harry W. Hazard

The six volumes of A background of the Crusades will stand because the definitive heritage of the Crusades, spanning 5 centuries, encompassing Jewish, Moslem, and Christian views, and containing a wealth of data and research of the heritage, politics, economics, and tradition of the medieval global.

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Extra resources for A History of the Crusades, Vol. III: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

Sample text

Gentlemen from France, England, Hainault, and Flanders hastened to enlist under the ducal banner. John Centurione Oltramarino was appointed admiral of the fleet and was accompanied by one thousand arbalesters and two thousand men-at-arms in addition to four thousand mariners from Genoa. The French embarked from Marseilles, and the foreign contingents took to the sea from Genoa. After an uneasy voyage, the ships reassembled at the islet of Conigliera, sixteen leagues off the African coast, and within reasonable reach of Mahdia.

Again, Philip preaches peace and goodwill among all Christians of the west, and he advises the duke of Burgundy, the kings of France and England, and all good Catholics to join forces to avenge their humiliation in the east and restore the birthplace of Christ to Rome. But Philip of Mezieres was, to use his own words, an old dreamer- a voice from the past in a world of change. The crusade of Nicopolis was the last serious attempt by western Europe at united offensive action of the traditional kind in the history of the holy war against Islam.

Later, Bayazid was startled when he realized his own losses, estimated at "thirty thousand," and his wrath was demonstrated in the treatment of the three thousand Christian prisoners on the morrow of the day of the ba ttle. Stripped of their clothes and tied together with ropes, the captives were led before the sultan in groups to be decapitated in cold blood. Bayazid discovered among them a certain James of Helly, whom he had previously employed in his eastern campaigns and who knew Turkish. It was through his mediation that the French and Burgundian nobility escaped the rank and flle's grim fate; their lives were spar ed for the heavy ransom of 200,000 gold florins.

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