Image Credit: The Battle of Montgisard, 1177, by Charles-Philippe Larivière (Château de Versailles)

The Crucible of Innovation

It is an inconvenient fact—and one studiously neglected by proponents of unrestricted global migration—that the main military participants in the politically incorrect and toxically masculine medieval Crusades were migrants. Nubian infantry, Egyptian cavalry, Armenian Turcopoles, European knights, and Turkic horsemen from the Eurasian steppes all migrated to the Levant during the High Middle Age period covered in Steve Tibble’s new book.

Within a generation of the First Crusade, intermarriage yielded new natives to the Eastern Mediterranean. The blood of Greeks, Syrians, Armenians, and Western European Christians mixed and helped form a distinctive Frankish culture in the crusader states of Antioch, Tripoli, Jerusalem, and Edessa. And, perhaps to a different degree, a similar mixing occurred amongst the Muslim Arabs, Anatolian Turks, Armenians, Turcomans, and Egyptians.

The Levantine East had always been a crossroads of continents. Ancient trade routes carried merchants, goods, ideas, and religions to all points east and west, north and south. For centuries, cities like Aleppo, Homs, and Edessa were cultural and religious melting pots. The arrival of European crusaders, therefore, should be seen as part of a continuum rather than as a destructive irruption upon a homogenous culture.

It is a testament to the willful ignorance of the media and political elites that historians of the Crusades continue...

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