Morton, “The Field of Blood”


Here is a new book by historian Nicholas Morton (Nottingham Trent University), whose work we have noted before, that shows that the city of Aleppo in Syria has been the scene of great carnage before now: The Field of Blood: The Battle for Aleppo and the Remaking of the Medieval Middle East. Aleppo has survived disaster in the past, and will no doubt survive again. The publisher is Basic Books; here is a description from the website:

A history of the 1119 Battle of the Field of Blood, which decisively halted the momentum gained during the First Crusade and decided the fate of the Crusader states

In 1119, the people of the Near East came together in an epic clash of horses, swords, sand, and blood that would decide the fate of the city of the Aleppo–and the eastern Crusader states. Fought between tribal Turkish warriors on steppe ponies, Arab foot soldiers, Armenian bowmen, and European knights, the battlefield was the amphitheater into which the people of the Near East poured their full gladiatorial might. Carrying a piece of the true cross before them, the Frankish army advanced, anticipating a victory that would secure their dominance over the entire region. But the famed Frankish cavalry charge failed them, and the well-arranged battlefield dissolved into a melee. Surrounded by enemy forces, the crusaders suffered a colossal defeat. With their advance in Northern Syria stalled, the momentum of the crusader conquest began to evaporate, and would never be recovered.

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