A very fine first hand account of warfare in what the crusaders called Outremer. Here’s a vivid excerpt showing the reality of hand to hand combat but also the surprisingly competent nature of combat surgery in the Islamic world.
‘There was in my service a man named Numayr al-‘Allaruzi. He was a footman, brave and strong. With a band of men from Shayzar, he set out to al-Ruj to attack the Franks. When still in our territory, they came across a caravan of the Franks hiding in a cavern, and each one began to say to the other, “Who should go in against them?”
“I,” said Numayr. And as he said it, he turned over to his companions his sword and shield, drew his dagger and went in against them. As he entered, one of them came to receive him, but Numayr stabbed him immediately with the dagger, overthrew him and knelt upon him to slay him Behind the Frank stood another one with a sword in his hand and struck Numayr. The latter had on his back a knapsack containing bread, which protected him. Having killed the man under him, Numayr now turned to the man with the sword, intent upon attacking him. The Frank immediately struck him with the sword on the side of his face and cut through his eyebrow, eyelid, cheek, nose and upper lip, making the whole side of his face hang down on his chest. Numayr went out of the cavern to his companions, who bandaged his wound and brought him back during a cold rainy night. He arrived in Shayzar in that condition. There his face was stitched and his cut was treated until he was healed and returned to his former condition, with the exception of his eye which was lost for good.’
From “AN ARAB-SYRIAN GENTLEMAN AND WARRIOR IN THE PERIOD OF THE CRUSADES. MEMOIRS OF USAMAH IBN-MUNQIDH.” Available on Archive.
See you again for another adventure in Historyland.