Talk:Siege of Acre (1189–1191)

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Poor article[edit]

It is inevitable that as far as Military History is concerned, the English language wikipedia is getting hijacked left, right and centre. There is just too much bias and opinion to merit this as a reliable source, or indeed, most other articles that have two nationalities or religions fighting each other. Ban it all I say and encourage an academic and impartial appreciation of what happened as defined by the numerous historiographical books and journal articles out there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 13 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This article is so poorly written it isn't even clear who was 'besieging' and who was 'under siege'. First the Crusaders are besieging, then the Saracens are facing Acre. Which is it?


Well, the German Wikipedia had a much better article, so I've attempted to translate it. I hope it makes more sense now. Adam Bishop 20:10, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

What does this mean: "it was the first time in the history of the crusades that the king was compelled to personally see to the defense of the Holy Land"? Why don't Godfrey's victory at Ascalon or Baldwin's victory at Mont Gisard, among many other actions, count? Srnec 02:58, 5 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know, I think I just absent-mindedly translated that from German (and probably very poorly so). I think it means the first time the kingdom was on the verge of absolute destruction, not the first time the king was at the head of an army - if Baldwin had lost at Montgisard, that would have been equivalent to Hattin, but the kingdom was still intact at that point. If Godfrey lost at Ascalon, there wouldn't have been a kingdom in the first place, but then, he wasn't really "king" anyway :) That sentence would not be missed if it were removed, though. Adam Bishop 03:26, 6 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Latin" Kingdom?[edit]

Isn't "Latin" a reference to Romans or modern Central Americans? Maybe you should refer to the "Crusader" kingdoms.—Preceding unsigned comment added by BeingDs (talkcontribs)

The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Acre are often referred to as the "Latin Kingdom", if the crusader context is obvious (which it should be here). The Roman Kingdom is never called that, and are there any Latin American kingdoms? What is the problem? Adam Bishop 00:11, 29 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Several Points&Suggestions[edit]

Here are a few things that I noticed, that may help the article develop.

1) “but also compelled Saladin to bring in so many more troops that he was able to surround both the city and the crusade camp in two separate sieges.” Here it seems as if Saladin was besieging his own city. Saladin was actually sieging the Crusader camp, which was in turn sieging the city. I'm sure you meant to say that, but the sentence does not come off right.

2) “so that he could replace the exhausted defenders with a new garrison; otherwise the old garrison would have all died of disease.” I have read in many places that this is only one side of the story. Some sources argue that this is the actual cause of the fall of Acre, because Saladin could replace the 10,000 battle hardened men with only about 4,000 raw recruits. The numbers are of course controversial, but the argument has some merit. (see Lionhearts: Regan, Geoffrey. "Richard 1, Saladin, and the Era of the Third Crusade.")

3) “On July 31, Philip also returned home, to settle the succession in Vermandois and Flanders, and Richard was left solely in charge of the Christian expeditionary forces.” I think this part should also mention the power-politics going on between Richard and Louis. Nothing very big mind you, but the fact that Richard could rally more support among the factions of the Crusade and assumed de-facto control of the campaign played a large role in Louis' departure. (The whole dispute between the House of Capet and the House of Plantagenet may be mentioned too very briefly, because it might help explain why Louis could not accept a role secondary to Richard)

Hope this helps, MehmetC (talk · contribs)

Primary meaning?[edit]

There have been five sieges of Acre, it is not obvious to me that this is the most important and the primary meaning. In particular, the 1291 siege has the longer article on Wikipedia. Does this siege seem more important than the 1291 siege because the Crusaders won the former but the Saracens won the latter? If so, a clear example of systemic bias, see WP:BIAS. If we do decide to move this, do we go for "Siege of Acre (1189)" or "Siege of Acre (Third Crusade)" or what? PatGallacher (talk) 18:58, 3 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's not really bias, it's just that this one happened to be created first, and no one has bothered to move it yet. The Siege of Antioch still has the same problem (for the same reason). (And actually disambiguating those two by year would be slightly more difficult because they lasted more than one year.) Adam Bishop (talk) 23:41, 3 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Page moved to Siege of Acre (1189–1191). Ucucha 05:47, 13 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Siege of AcreSiege of Acre (1189) — There have been five sieges of Acre in history, this is a case of no primary meaning, already the approach of the French and German Wikipedias. PatGallacher (talk) 09:26, 4 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Because of this move, there are now many links to the dab page Siege of Acre (see Special:Whatlinkshere/Siege of Acre). I fixed some, but perhaps some of the people here can also do a few. Ucucha 06:48, 13 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mostly done now, apart from a few that weren't clear from context. Several actually meant the 1291 or 1799 siege—a sign that this move was a good idea. Ucucha 12:02, 13 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Strength and Casualty Figures[edit]

There has been a lot of edit warring on the figures for the strengths and casualties. I'm just a recent edits patroller, but it is very apparent that someone needs to find a verifiable source and provide inline citations for the figures, as the various edits that have been made have extremely different figures. --Slazenger (Contact Me) 05:54, 8 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Who was sieging and who was under siege? Who ended up taking Acre? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 9 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with all the comments above re the poor quality of this article. Incomprehensible gibberish. I "gave up" with the astoundingly confused section "Acre". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 30 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 11:38, 18 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Content copied from Crusades[edit]

I have copied some content from the Crusades article to help improve this one. Will look at it again if I get the chance later. Norfolkbigfish (talk) 09:59, 18 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Israel/Palestine issue[edit]

Hopefully the recent problem is now settled - we don't really need to mention either Israel or Palestine here, since neither the State of Israel or the State of Palestine existed at the time. But there is also no need to edit war over the link, especially now that is now piped and invisible. The title of the Wikipedia article is "Acre, Israel", because Acre is currently unambiguously in Israel. The whole area was sometimes called "Palestine" during the crusades, but it was also called "Syria", and of course no one would think of changing the link to "Acre, Syria". Can everyone agree on that? Adam Bishop (talk) 21:30, 12 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The Double Siege section currently states (and has done for the past 13 years!) that "Sibylla's first husband had been Conrad's older brother William Longsword, which made a marriage between Isabella and Conrad incestuous under canon law."
If Isabella was Sybilla's (half-)sister, and Conrad was Humphrey's brother, then the situation was two sisters marrying two brothers un-related to them; how is that 'incestuous'? OTOH Isabella's article states that the objection under canon law was that the marriage would be adulterous (as they were both already married) which makes far more sense. Comments? Moonraker12 (talk) 23:41, 22 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's the impediment of affinity under medieval canon law. The immediate family of your husband/wife were considered your family as well, so your sister couldn't marry your brother-in-law, for example. I don't recall if that argument was made at the time (i.e., in addition to the much more important impediment that she was already married, as you say), but it would have been a problem if anyone had mentioned it. But not too big of a problem, since it could have easily been ignored with a papal dispensation. Adam Bishop (talk) 00:18, 23 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would question the relevance of the statement in regards to the Siege of Acre (1189–1191). AND, the The Later Crusades, 1189-1311, Vol. II, page 66, makes no mention of incest. If no reliable source can be provided that indicates that anyone thought the soon to be marriage was incestuous, I would removed said sentence.--Kansas Bear (talk) 01:22, 23 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was going to say that amazingly enough, Silverwhistle is still occasionally active and we could ask her, but I see you already have! Adam Bishop (talk) 01:48, 23 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adam: Thanks for replying. Seven degrees of affinity? Blimey! How did they ever find anyone they could legally marry in them days? Still, the notion of incest is a bit different these days, so mentioning it here without clarification is (IMHO) a bit confusing; is it worth re-wording it to say the marriage was questionable under the churches rules on affinity, rather than 'incestuous under canon law'? Moonraker12 (talk) 03:29, 25 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PS: I also take Kansas Bear's point that we should probably distinguish between a general observation made by us now, and an actual objection that was raised then. Moonraker12 (talk) 03:33, 25 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, 7 was unworkable, so they changed it back to 4 in 1215. In practice you could probably get away with marrying someone "within the prohibited degrees" if no one objected, or the pope could approve it if anyone did object. Papal approval would be subject to his whims and whether he liked you or not, but if no one brought it up, usually no one would notice/care. But if your marriage didn't work out politically, or didn't produce any male heirs, or whatever other reason, you could say, "oops, we were too-closely related after all!" and get an annulment. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:12, 25 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a built-in escape clause...I hadn't thought of that. I did wonder if it was a money-making scheme, to create a need for dispensations (and less awkward than some of the alternatives: " it may surprise you, after five children, to learn our marriage was never consummated..")
On the subject of re-wording, though, do you have any thoughts? Moonraker12 (talk) 23:53, 27 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we should just take it out, since I don't think any sources mention it. Adam Bishop (talk) 23:06, 28 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fair enough (unless it's worth waiting for Silverwhistle to comment): If we do take it out, perhaps we should do the same on Conrad's page, which makes the same observation. Moonraker12 (talk) 21:56, 29 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The precise wording doesn't matter, but it was regarded as the same thing: "within bounds of consanguinity" = "incest" as far as canon law was concerned. It is bizarre, how far it was taken. But it's why the Montferrat boys had to look for wives in the Latin Kingdom and Byzantine Empire. Both their grandmothers had married twice, had large families with both husbands, and as a result nearly everyone of sufficient status in Europe was too closely related by Church standards. Silverwhistle (talk) 21:39, 19 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

God's Own Catapult[edit]

ALthough there are plenty of French sources that mention Malevoisine (Bad Neighbour), I can't find any mention of "God's Own Catapult". The two sources cited here don't themselves cite their source, which makes the claim doubtful. See the source of sources: Ambroise, L'estoire de la guerre sainte: histoire en vers de la troisième croisade, translated by Gaston Paris, Imprimerie nationale, Paris, 1897, which is whence Malevoisine comes. Urhixidur (talk) 15:24, 15 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's on page 385 in your link - "la pierrière de Dieu". In the English translation (Ambroise, The History of the Holy War by Marianne Ailes), it's on page 98, but it's simply called "the Catapult of God". The other catapults are called "Bad Neighbour" and "Evil Cousin". Adam Bishop (talk) 00:32, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Coat of Arms[edit]

“Do not use the coat of arms of a person as a stand-in for a national, military, or other flag.”

From my understanding, this does not prohibit the use of Coat of Arms or flags for use in identifying medieval countries. Within the Infobox, especially when there are multiple countries listed, the use of the coat of arms makes the Infobox much easier to follow. I believe they should be added back. Digital Herodotus (talk) 22:32, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Manuscript depiction of the siege[edit]

Hi. The file from the manuscript mantioned as "Siege of Acre" (c.1280), is of the Siege of Antioch. See description of the original copy in the national library of Lyon:

It is mentioned the the manuscript was probably written in Acre hence the confusion. Noharsh (talk) 13:41, 21 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for pointing out this error - there's a bit of tidying to do as a result, but knowing that it needs sorting is a very good place to start! Richard Nevell (talk) 16:06, 21 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've started by removing the lead image and asking for the file to be renamed. There's more to do because that image is widely used, and I'm guessing mislabelled in other places too. Richard Nevell (talk) 16:09, 21 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. The image has been renamed
  2. The description in Commons has been corrected
  3. This article has a new lead image
  4. And I've gone through some other language editions of Wikipedia replacing the image. The file rename has made this harder as the file usage doesn't seem to be reflecting uses of the old title.
So there's more updating to do, but there's been good progress. Richard Nevell (talk) 22:13, 21 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]