Denys Pringle (Cardiff University)
Friday, 10. November 2017, 19:00-21:00
The talk traces the history and archaeology of the order of Knights Templar in Syria and the Holy Land from the point of their foundation in Jerusalem in the early twelfth century until the surrender of Acre and Sidon to the Mamluks in 1291. The themes to be explored include: the changes that the Templars made to the al-Aqsa mosque and the buildings around it to serve as their headquarters in the twelfth century; their role in protecting pilgrims on the roads to Jerusalem and to the River Jordan and in defending the kingdom of Jerusalem and the other Frankish states to the north; the design of their castles, churches and settlements; and their move to Acre after 1191, where their castle was the last strongpoint to fall to the Mamluks a century later.
Denys Pringle is recognized internationally as the foremost specialist on the archaeology of the Crusader period in the Near East. In 2001 he was appointed as Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University where he took a leading role in the Centre for the Study of the Latin East. He has authored more than 200 publications, mainly on the subject of the archaeology and history of the Latin East, including The Red Tower (al-burj al-ahmar): Settlement in the plain of Sharon at the time of the Crusaders and Mamluks A. D. 1099-1516 (London 1986); Secular Building in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: An archaeological gazetter (Cambridge 1997) and Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Land: 1187-1291 (Farnham 2012). His four-volume The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (Cambridge 1993-2009) forms the crowning achievement of a career studying the written sources and material remains relating to the areas that came under the control of the rulers from the West in the 12th and 13th centuries.
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