The word ‘hostage’ might immediately bring to mind hostile situations: the entrapment of a wealthy businessman’s daughter in exchange for money, a terrorist incident (1) or a manifestation of domestic abuse.(2) However, the meaning of hostageship has undergone many transformations over time, some of which are brought under the microscope Profe
In comparison with the many recently published one-volume histories of the crusade movement, Malcolm Barber has undertaken a relatively modest task: a history of the crusader states from the time of the First Crusade (1096–1109) to the end of the Third (1187–92).
It is interesting that well into the 21st century two books written by Turkish authors belonging to the historiography of the Armenian Genocide should be so vastly different in argument.
Early in his single-term presidency, Jimmy Carter dismissed as ‘just semantics’ a flap that arose after he extemporaneously echoed Israel’s position that any peace settlement with its neighbours required ‘defensible borders’.(1) In fact, as his aides quickly clarified, Carter had actually meant a return to Israel’s pre-1967 borders with minor adjustments for s
Before opening this collection of 11 articles originally published elsewhere, attentive readers may have noticed the absence of a categorisation usually employed in studies on the Eastern Mediterranean between the 11th century and the 14th century.
The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands: From the Rise of Early Modern Empires to the End of the First World War / Alfred Rieber
The comparative history of empires has become a very popular subject in recent years, provoking interesting debates on the origins of the globalization process and on the future of post-Cold War international relations.(1) The focus on empires has also provided a constructive way to reassess the role of Europe in world history, going beyond the traditional great narrat
The main aim of this book is to answer the following question: how does one account for the speed with which the Arab empire was built? The period covered extends from the rise of Islam down to the middle of the eighth century.
The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution and the Making of the Modern Middle East, 1908-1923 / Sean McMeekin
This is a curate’s egg book, good in parts but distinctly not in others.
The Mercenary Mediterranean: Sovereignty, Religion and Violence in the Medieval Crown of Aragon / Hussein Fancy
Why would a hardened band of foreign jihādi warriors agree to work for a self-proclaimed leader of the Christian world – especially one militantly opposed to Islam, who kept his own Muslim citizens under close surveillance? And why would such a ruler choose to keep that particular type of professional killer in his personal employ?
Despite their presence in the popular imagination and their undoubted importance in the narrative of medieval history, the Crusades have for a long time sat apart from mainstream medieval historiography. Traditionally, the Crusades themselves are as peripheral in the minds of historians of Europe as they were geographically.