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‘Beneath the battle’? Miners And engineers as ‘mercenaries’ in the Holy Land (XII–XIII siècles)

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Chapter Summary

Recent works on the ideology of crusade have focused mainly on the gap between Christian and Muslim during the crusades and have generally omitted the possibility of diplomatic or pacific exchanges. The importance of fortification in the crusading context and the high frequency of siege assaults provided a fertile ground for the genesis of a new social class. Before starting to reflect upon the military engineer and miner as mercenary figures in Frankish and Muslim armies in the Crusades context, this chapter introduces two main groups whose technical knowledge seemed to have played a significant part in the science of poliorcetic. In the second place, it tries to analyze more deeply the reasons for their expertise and the different mechanisms for the recruitment of these individuals or communities.

Keywords: Armenian technicians; mercenary; Middle Ages



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