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Why did the medieval Church bless William of Normandy's invasion of Christian England in 1066 and authorise cultural genocide in Provence? How could a Christian army sack Christian Constantinople in 1204? Why did thousands of ordinary men and women, led by knights and ladies, kings and queens, embark on campaigns of fanatical conquest in the world of Islam? The word 'Crusade' came later, but the concept of a 'war for the faith' is an ancient one. Geoffrey Hindley instructively unravels the story of the Christian military expeditions that have perturbed European history, troubled Christian consciences and embittered Muslim attitudes towards the West. He offers a lively record of the Crusades, from the Middle East to the pagan Baltic, and fascinating portraits of the major personalities, from Godfrey of Bouillon, the first Latin ruler of Jerusalem, to Etienne, the visionary French peasant boy who inspired the tragic Children's Crusade. Addressing questions rarely considered, Hindley sheds new light on pressing issues surrounding religious division and shows how the Crusades have helped to shape the modern world and relations between Christian and Muslim countries to this day.
Chronicles the long, bloody history of the Crusades and demonstrates how this three-hundred-year-long struggle to control the Middle East changed Europe, and the world, forever.
In the late fall of 1095 Pope Urban II gave a speech in Clermont, France and set all of Europe into motion. As many as a hundred and fifty thousand people eventually responded to the call, leaving everything they knew behind to undertake what appeared to be a fool’s mission: marching several thousand miles into enemy territory to reconquer Jerusalem for Christendom. Against all odds they succeeded, creating a Christian outpost in the heart of the Islamic world that lasted for the better part of two centuries. Perhaps no other period in history is as misunderstood as the Crusades, and in this fast-paced account, bestselling author Lars Brownworth presents the entire story, from the first clash of Christendom and Islam in the dusty sands of Yarmouk, to the fall of the last crusader state. Along the way he introduces the reader to an exotic world peopled by mighty emperors, doomed Templars, grasping generals, and ambitious peasants. Some of the most famous names of the Middle Ages - Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the legendary Prester John - illuminate this era of splendor, adventure, and faith.
The Crusades are revealed as both bloody political acts and a manifestation of a growing Christian communal identity in this account of a story that continues to haunt the contemporary world in terms of the relationship between the Muslim and Christian worlds.
This book provides a history of the political relations between the states founded by Crusaders and the Islamic states with which they waged war.
Much has been written about the Knights Templar in recent years. A leading specialist in the history of this legendary medieval order now writes a full account of the Knights of the Order of the Temple of Solomon, to give them their full title, bringing the latest findings to a general audience. Putting many of the myths finally to rest, Nicholson recounts a new history of these storm troopers of the papacy, founded during the crusades but who got so rich and influential that they challenged the power of kings.
Crusading fervor gripped Europe for more than 200 years, creating one of the most extraordinary episodes in world history. But were the Crusades the first steps in European colonialism, an attempt at ethnic cleansing, a manifestation of religious zeal--or all three? Bringing together issues of colonialism, cultural exchange, and economic exploitation, scholar Christopher Tyerman challenges our assumptions about the Crusades and encourages us to re-evaluate the relationship between past and present.

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