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Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain…
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Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain (The Middle Ages Series) (2004. Auflage)

von Joseph F. O'Callaghan (Autor)

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Drawing from both Christian and Islamic sources, Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain demonstrates that the clash of arms between Christians and Muslims in the Iberian peninsula that began in the early eighth century was transformed into a crusade by the papacy during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Successive popes accorded to Christian warriors willing to participate in the peninsular wars against Islam the same crusading benefits offered to those going to the Holy Land. Joseph F. O'Callaghan clearly demonstrates that any study of the history of the crusades must take a broader view of the Mediterranean to include medieval Spain. Following a chronological overview of crusading in the Iberian peninsula from the late eleventh to the middle of the thirteenth century, O'Callaghan proceeds to the study of warfare, military finance, and the liturgy of reconquest and crusading. He concludes his book with a consideration of the later stages of reconquest and crusade up to and including the fall of Granada in 1492, while noting that the spiritual benefits of crusading bulls were still offered to the Spanish until the Second Vatican Council of 1963. Although the conflict described in this book occurred more than eight hundred years ago, recent events remind the world that the intensity of belief, rhetoric, and action that gave birth to crusade, holy war, and jihad remains a powerful force in the twenty-first century.… (mehr)
Mitglied:debgerish
Titel:Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain (The Middle Ages Series)
Autoren:Joseph F. O'Callaghan (Autor)
Info:University of Pennsylvania Press (2004), 344 pages
Sammlungen:Giveaways2
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Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain von Joseph F. O'Callaghan

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Covering the central period of the Reconquista - approximately 1050-1250 - O'Callaghan's book is a narrative history followed up with thematic chapters on military organization, war finance, and the ideology of crusade. It's all rather academic and dry.

O'Callaghan eventually followed this up with The Gibraltar Crusade covering the succeeding century. I read that book first, and liked it better, largely because it has more detail about individual campaigns and battles, making for less dry recital of dates. The reason for the difference, I think, is the sparser historical record for the earlier period rather than any difference in O'Callaghan's goals - just within this book, it's obvious how the narrative becomes more detailed later in the period.

O'Callaghan strongly stresses the crusading character of the Reconquista. The number of times he says something along the lines of it being reasonable to suppose that this king took a crusading vow before that campaign is rather alarming, and one suspects he's overstating his case, but that the religious angle was important cannot sensibly be denied (contra some politically correct accounts I've had the displeasure to read), nor the practical importance of popes allowing ecclesiastical incomes to be diverted towards the war effort.

The emphasis is very much on the Christian side, with internal Muslim developments dealt with only cursorily. Muslim chroniclers are often cited, but generally for what they said about their enemies rather than about their co-religionists. This is a bit disappointing since a big part of the story of the period is how the Peninsular Muslims twice called in Moroccan support to defend them against the Christians only to find themselves annexed by the successive Moroccan empires of the Almoravids and the Almohads. Still, O'Callaghan set out to write the story of Iberian crusade, not of jihad, so this has to be accepted as simply not what the book is about.

Solid rather than exciting, a book to be read to learn about Reconquista history rather than for reading enjoyment.
1 abstimmen AndreasJ | Sep 5, 2016 |
Joseph O’Callaghan’s book Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain provides readers with an overview of military action in the Iberian Peninsula from 1063-1248. He outlined the constant struggle between Islam and Christianity for dominion of the area and successfully showed the complexities and difficulties faced by the Christian kings and nobles. As in the Levant, occasionally a Christian king would ally with a Muslim leader if it was temporarily beneficial. Many truces and treaties were signed between enemies in attempts to stall war, they were not always honored.

The main theme of the book seemed to be that the reconquest was not just secular leaders trying to expand territory, but that it was very crusade based. Many crusade bulls are mentioned, and O'Callaghan really stresses the penitential aspect of crusade. He focused more on why the Iberian crusades were fought and successful, rather than on actual military engagements.

O’Callaghan made a differentiation between Reconquest and crusade. Reconquest efforts occurred by the Christian kings for centuries as they fought to regain lands that were under Muslim control. Officially crusades only occurred when there was clerical support and backing which granted the crusaders specific rewards. Crusade activity generally was considered Reconquest activity, but not all Reconquest activity had crusade status. To the Christian kings, the exact status might not have mattered; they were fighting for the sake of Christianity to defeat the Muslims and enlarge their kingdoms. To O'Callaghan crusading started in Spain, not in the Holy Land. He really wants the Spanish to get all the glory.

The genealogical tables for both the Christian and Muslim leaders provided in the book were a very good resource to have. O’Callaghan mentioned so many names, and the tables provided assistance in knowing who was who and when they ruled. Without the tables the reader is likely to get lost. The maps provided a good visual representation of where boundaries were and showed when territory changed hands.

O’Callaghan provides several chapters on general crusading issues as they related to the Iberian campaigns including warfare and tactics, the difficulty of financing crusades, and the involvement of the Church. The chapters provide an overview of the crusading process and would benefit readers new to the crusade era. However, more experienced readers may find these sections repetitive of other works. O’Callaghan closes each chapter with a brief summary, this seemed like a good way to pull the chapter together, restate the main themes, and prepare for the next chapter.

The final Muslim kingdom, Granada, fell in 1492. With its fall the Reconquest in Spain was finished and further expansion ideas were beyond Crusade goals. No new bulls were issued, but the Spanish and Portuguese still had strong Crusade mindsets. The peninsular Christians had spent 400 years fighting Muslims but finally were successful. In the Levant the Crusader kingdoms fell after a couple hundred years. In the end, the Iberian crusades proved to have brought about permanent changes and to have had the only lasting positive advances for Christendom.

Overall a bit tough to read, but full of good information. I got confused between the kings, but the family trees helped clarify. He has several chapters on general crusade history which would be good for readers new to the field. O'Callaghan helps shine some light on a topic which most other English speaking historians tend to avoid. It's a solid contribution to the crusade field. ( )
  kkunker | Apr 7, 2011 |
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Drawing from both Christian and Islamic sources, Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain demonstrates that the clash of arms between Christians and Muslims in the Iberian peninsula that began in the early eighth century was transformed into a crusade by the papacy during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Successive popes accorded to Christian warriors willing to participate in the peninsular wars against Islam the same crusading benefits offered to those going to the Holy Land. Joseph F. O'Callaghan clearly demonstrates that any study of the history of the crusades must take a broader view of the Mediterranean to include medieval Spain. Following a chronological overview of crusading in the Iberian peninsula from the late eleventh to the middle of the thirteenth century, O'Callaghan proceeds to the study of warfare, military finance, and the liturgy of reconquest and crusading. He concludes his book with a consideration of the later stages of reconquest and crusade up to and including the fall of Granada in 1492, while noting that the spiritual benefits of crusading bulls were still offered to the Spanish until the Second Vatican Council of 1963. Although the conflict described in this book occurred more than eight hundred years ago, recent events remind the world that the intensity of belief, rhetoric, and action that gave birth to crusade, holy war, and jihad remains a powerful force in the twenty-first century.

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