Crusader Castle Research Paper

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As I have been arguing, one of the major aspects of crusader castles is the control over the landscape, but why is land so important other than the fact that it makes one a landowner and thus powerful? Land is especially important in the Levant due to the scarcity of resources and its arid environment. Successful agriculture and the ability to sustain oneself would have been of primary importance to the Frankish people who for a few centuries were able to cling onto the land they had against all odds. Much like European society, good farming land that was plentiful with resources would have been highly contested. We have already seen the example of Saphet castle which enabled the crusaders to farm previously unusable land due to the danger …show more content…

In order to ensure both the safety of people and agricultural land it was essential that it was in close proximity to one of the many crusader fortification. The ability to retreat behind castle walls was important, but the psychological effect of an impending castle looming over a settlement may have been just useful in the crusades. What better way to defend off raids by an enemy than to make they think that it was no longer worth it? “When the people of Ascalon saw that their city was encircled by impregnable forts, they began to feel less confidence than usual in their situation.” William of Tyre records that the construction of crusader fortification around the city psychologically impacted them. He later writes that the Ascalonites dispatched messengers to Egypt in order to receive reinforcements for fear that Ascalon would soon be lost. William of Tyre may have been biased against the Muslims, but if they had reached out for help, it implies that they were no longer feeling as secure about their own strength and ability to fight. This would in turn, make them more reluctant to go out raiding against the crusaders as it would have been more dangerous due to the risk of losing fighting men. This in turn would have increased the safety of nearby Frankish settlements and would allow them to prosper without fearing Muslim

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