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Osprey Men-at-Arms 125 : The Armies of Islam : 7th-11th Centuries

During the Middle Ages Islam was Christian Europe's only civilised neighbour. Saracen and Turk were a perennial foe, their culture a fundamental rival, and as such they played a vital role in Western consciousness during Europe's most formative centuries. The culture with which the Crusades collided in the 12th century was highly developed, already possessing many distinctive characteristics; yet it was still busily absorbing new features and new peoples. Similarly, those tribesmen who erupted from the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century were not the uncultivated barbarians that they were once thought to be, although many of the lands they overran or now neighboured boasted civilisations in advance of their own. Muslim culture grew from a fusion of these differing traditions and continued to develop as Islam's frontiers broadened and its traders ventured further afield, drawing new peoples into the Muslim orbit. This eclecticism was, in fact, one of Islam's most obvious qualities. By the time the Frankish Crusaders reached the Middle East at the end of the 11th century Islam had already incorporated three major ethnic ingredients: Arabs, Persians and Turks, each of which contributed to the military field. David Nicolle explores the organisation, uniforms and equipment of the armies of Islam from the 7th to 11th centuries, backed by illustrations, museum photographs and eight full page colour plates by Angus McBride.

    Contents
  • Chronology
  • Introduction
  • The First Muslim Armies
  • The Successor States
  • European Influence in al Andalus
  • Tactics and Styles of Combat
  • The Plates

 

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