Hello all! My friend Dana Cushing has just published a major new critical edition of De Itinere Navali, an eyewitness German chronicle of the naval expedition that departed North Germany in 1189. While known and occasionally published before now, we have lacked a truly critical edition of this chronicle, and have certainly lacked one prepared by someone with Dana’s expertise in the physical world of 1189. Her knowledge of the physical conditions of ship travel and the military and cultural realities that shape the narrative is remarkable, and her knowledge of Arabic gives her a major advantage in analyzing the crusaders’ participation in the siege of Silves in Portugal. People who read this work will also come away with food for thought about crusader strategic thought and concepts, siege operations, and the mobilization of the Sacrum Imperium for Emperor Frederick’s crusade. You can find out more about the book here, and note that Dana has very kindly had an ebook version produced as well (if only more people were as considerate!!!).
I’m really happy that Germany’s participation in the Third Crusade is seeing more and more attention in recent years. Dana’s published this great book, Graham Loud has translated some of the chronicles relating to the Emperor Frederick’s army, Alan Murray is working on crusade material, Dan Webb at St. Louis is working on Henry VI’s crusade, and I have a couple articles in mostly-complete form that I’ll be getting out in the spring. To name a few of us… In a subject SO overshadowed by Richard I of England, he of the lion’s heart, it’s good to remember that the Third Crusade was far larger than just that monarch, and that a full understanding of it can only come when we widen our view.