Crusades Books

  • BHAPW
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    The Knights Templar were the wealthiest, most powerful - and most secretive - of the military orders that flourished in the crusading era. Their story - encompassing as it does the greatest international conflict of the Middle Ages, a network of international finance, a swift rise in wealth and influence followed by a bloody and humiliating fall - has left a comet's tail of mystery that continues to fascinate and inspire historians, novelists and conspiracy theorists.
  • BMRWT
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    There are many books about the Knights Templar, the medieval military order which played a key role in the crusades against the Muslims in the Holy Land, the Iberian peninsula and elsewhere in Europe. What is seldom explored is the military context in which they operated, and that is why Paul Hill s highly illustrated study is so timely, for he focuses on how this military order prosecuted its wars. The order was founded as a response to attacks on pilgrims in the Holy Land, and it was involved in countless battles and sieges, always at the forefront of crusading warfare. This absorbing study examines why they were such an important aspect of medieval warfare on the frontiers of Christendom for nearly two hundred years. Paul Hill shows how they were funded and supplied, how they organized their forces on campaign and on the battlefield and the strategies and tactics they employed in the various theatres of warfare in which they fought. Templar leadership, command and control are examined, and sections cover their battles and campaigns, fortifications and castles.
  • BMMCZ
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    Whilst Richard I is one of medieval England's most famous kings he is also the most controversial. He has variously been considered a great warrior but a poor king, a man driven by the quest for fame and glory but also lacking in self-discipline and prone to throwing away the short-term advantages that his military successes brought him. In this reassessment W. B. Bartlett looks at his deeds and achievements in a new light. The result is a compelling new portrait of `the Lionheart' which shows that the king is every bit as remarkable as his medieval contemporaries found him to be. This includes his Muslim enemies, who spoke of him as their most dangerous and gallant opponent. It shows him to be a man badly let down by some of those around him, especially his brother John and the duplicitous French king Philip. The foibles of his character are also exposed to the full, including his complicated relationships with the key women in his life, especially the imposing contemporary figure of his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and his wife, Berengaria, with whom he failed to produce an heir, leading to later suggestions of homosexuality. This is a new Richard, one for the twenty-first century, and a re-evaluation of the life story of one of the greatest personalities of medieval Europe.
  • AUOFF
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    In 2010, a parcel bomb was sent from Yemen by an al-Qaeda operative with the intention of blowing up a plane over America. The device was intercepted before the plan could be put into action, but what puzzled investigators was the name of the person to whom the parcel was addressed: Reynald de Chatillon - a man who died 800 years ago. But who was he and why was he chosen above all others? Born in twelfth-century France and bred for violence, Reynald de Chatillon was a young knight who joined the Second Crusade and rose through the ranks to become the pre-eminent figure in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem - and one of the most reviled characters in Islamic history. In the West, Reynald has long been considered a minor player in the Crusades and is often dismissed as having been a bloodthirsty maniac. Tales of his elaborate torture of prisoners and his pursuit of reckless wars against friends and foe alike have coloured Reynald's reputation. However, by using contemporary documents and original research, Jeffrey Lee overturns this popular perception and reveals him to be an influential and powerful leader, whose actions in the Middle East had a far-reaching impact that endures to this day. In telling his epic story, God's Wolf not only restores Reynald to his rightful position in history but also highlights how the legacy of the Crusades is still very much alive.
  • AVWJW
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    The Knights of St John evolved during the Crusades from a monastic order providing hostels for Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. The need to provide armed escorts to the pilgrims began their transformation into a Military Order. Their fervour and discipline made them an elite component of most Crusader armies and Hospitaller Knights (as they were also known) took part in most of the major engagements, including Hattin, Acre and Arsuf. After the Muslims had reconquered the Crusader Kingdoms, the Order continued to fight from a new base, first in Rhodes and then in Malta. Taking to the sea, the Hospitallers became one of the major naval powers in the Mediterranean, defending Christian shipping from the Barbary Pirates (and increasingly turning to piracy themselves as funding from their estates in Europe dried up). They provided a crucial bulwark against Islamic expansion in the Mediterranean, obstinately resisting a massive siege of Malta by the Ottoman Turks in 1565. The Order remained a significant power in the Mediterranean until their defeat by Napoleon in 1798.
  • AKKTR
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    In 1099, when the first crusaders arrived triumphant and bloody before the walls of Jerusalem, they carved out a Christian European presence in the Islamic world that remained for centuries, bolstered by subsequent waves of new crusades and pilgrimages. But how did medieval Muslims understand these events? What does an Islamic history of the Crusades look like? The answers may surprise you. In The Race for Paradise, we see medieval Muslims managing this new and long-lived Crusader threat not simply as victims or as victors, but as everything in-between, on all shores of the Muslim Mediterranean, from Spain to Syria. This is not just a straightforward tale of warriors and kings clashing in the Holy Land - of military confrontations and enigmatic heros such as the great sultan Saladin. What emerges is a more complicated story of border-crossers and turncoats; of embassies and merchants; of scholars and spies, all of them seeking to manage this new threat from the barbarian fringes of their ordered world. When seen from the perspective of medieval Muslims, the Crusades emerge as something altogether different from the high-flying rhetoric of the European chronicles: as a diplomatic chess-game to be mastered, a commercial opportunity to be seized, a cultural encounter shaping Muslim experiences of Europeans until the close of the Middle Ages - and, as so often happened, a political challenge to be exploited by ambitious rulers making canny use of the language of jihad.
  • ASQMP
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    Malcolm Lambert investigates the histories of Christianity and Islam to trace the origins and development of crusade and jihad. In a narrative that brims with larger than life characters - among them, Richard Lionheart, Nur al-Din, Saladin, Baybars and Ghengiz Khan - he describes the fiercely fought struggles to control the sacred places of the Middle East between the seventh and thirteenth centuries. Crusade and jihad are often reckoned two sides of the same coin but this simple opposition, the author shows, conceals crucial differences and similarities. From the outset jihad reflected tensions within as much as outside Islam. Jihad also described the struggle between good and evil in the souls of believers. Calls for crusade and jihad disguised ambitions for power and plunder, but they also equally inspired acts of chivalry and heroism. Malcolm Lambert then moves to the more recent history of jihad and crusade. In nineteenth-century France he finds imperialism configured as a crusade to enlighten the barbarians. Meanwhile in Britain one of the crusading orders transformed itself into the St John Ambulance Brigade. More recently in the USA crusade has been evoked in the war on terror while jihad is now the rallying cry for Islamic extremists round the world. Yet, Dr Lambert notes, it still retains its peaceful spiritual dimension. Crusade and Jihad is a vivid, balanced account of two of the most powerful forces of history.
  • APLTJ
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    On 4 July 1187 the legendary Muslim leader Saladin destroyed the Crusader army of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem with a terrible slaughter at the battle of Hattin - and went on to restore the Holy City of Jerusalem to Islamic rule. The carnage at Hattin was the culmination of almost a century of religious wars between Christian and Muslim in the Holy Land. It had enormous consequences for the whole medieval world because it produced an intensification of holy war between Islam and Europe for over another century - and in retrospect marked the beginning of the end for the Crusader presence in the Middle East. In the 20th century memory of the battle was revived as a symbol of Arab hope for liberation from Crusader-Imperialism, and in the 21st it has become a rallying cry for radical Muslim fundamentalists in their struggle for the soul of Islam. In this new volume in the Great Battles series, John France analyses the origins and course of this pivotal battle, illuminating the roots of the bitter hatred which underlay it, and explains its significance in world history - from medieval times to the present.
  • BOLLT
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    The bloody Albigensian Crusade launched against the Cathar heretics of southern France in the early thirteenth century is infamous for its brutality and savagery, even by the standards of the Middle Ages. It was marked by massacres and acts of appalling cruelty, deeds commonly ascribed to the role of religious fanaticism. Here, in the first military history of the whole conflict, Sean McGlynn tells the story of the crusade through its epic sieges of seemingly impregnable fortresses, desperate battles and destructive campaigns, and offers expert analysis of the warfare involved, revealing the crusade in a different light - as a bloody territorial conquest in which acts of terror were perpetrated to secure military aims rather than religious ones. The dramatic events of the crusade and its colourful leading characters - Simon de Montfort, Louis the Lion, Innocent III, Peter of Aragon, Count Raymond of Toulouse - are brought to life through the voices of contemporary writers who fought and experienced it.
  • AVNWM
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    In 1099, when the first crusaders arrived triumphant and bloody before the walls of Jerusalem, they carved out a Christian European presence in the Islamic world that remained for centuries, bolstered by subsequent waves of new crusades and pilgrimages. But how did medieval Muslims understand these events? What does an Islamic history of the Crusades look like? The answers may surprise you. In The Race for Paradise, we see medieval Muslims managing this new and long-lived Crusader threat not simply as victims or as victors, but as everything in-between, on all shores of the Muslim Mediterranean, from Spain to Syria. This is not just a straightforward tale of warriors and kings clashing in the Holy Land - of military confrontations and enigmatic heroes such as the great sultan Saladin. What emerges is a more complicated story of border-crossers and turncoats; of embassies and merchants; of scholars and spies, all of them seeking to manage this new threat from the barbarian fringes of their ordered world. When seen from the perspective of medieval Muslims, the Crusades emerge as something altogether different from the high-flying rhetoric of the European chronicles: as a diplomatic chess-game to be mastered, a commercial opportunity to be seized, a cultural encounter shaping Muslim experiences of Europeans until the close of the Middle Ages - and, as so often happened, a political challenge to be exploited by ambitious rulers making canny use of the language of jihad.
  • BFOQY
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    The Third Crusade of Richard the Lionheart is well known but the build-up to it less so. Downfall of the Crusader Kingdom is a story of intrigue, plot and counter-plot, and the abuse of power culminating in the most decisive battle of the medieval epoch, the Battle of Hattin in 1187. Hattin is one of the few battles in history that can truly be called decisive, and it was a catastrophe for the Crusaders. The leading men of the kingdom of Jerusalem, including the Knights Templar and the Hospitallers, were trapped in an arid wasteland, without water and surrounded by hostile forces. The battle ended with thousands of them being taken prisoner. It was the culmination of a series of events that had been progressively leading the kingdom of Jerusalem down the road to oblivion. It was partly the resurgence of the Muslim Middle East and the rise of Saladin that led to the loss of Jerusalem, but there was another equally dangerous element at work - the enemy within. W.B. Bartlett brings to life the bitter infighting and political battles which ultimately led to the disaster at Hattin and the downfall of the Crusader kingdom.
  • BFKRH
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    The extraordinary character and career of Saladin are the keys to understanding the Battle of Hattin, the fall of Jerusalem and the failure of the Third Crusade. He united warring Muslim lands, reconquered the bulk of Crusader states and faced the Richard the Lion Heart, king of England, in one of the most famous confrontations in medieval warfare. Geoffrey Hindley's sympathetic and highly readable study of the life and times of this remarkable, many-sided man, who dominated the Middle East in his day, gives a fascinating insight into his achievements and into the Muslim world of his contemporaries. Geoffrey Hindley is a distinguished medieval historian who has written widely on many aspects of the period. He has made a special study of medieval warfare and of sieges in particular. His previous books include Castles of Europe, Medieval Warfare, England in the Age of Caxton, Under Siege, Tourists, Travellers and Pilgrims, The Book of Magna Carta and The Crusades. His most recent publications are is A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons and Medieval Siege and Siegecraft.
  • BFECD
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    'O day so ardently desired! O time of times the most memorable! O deed before all other deeds!' The fall of Jerusalem in the summer of 1099 to an exhausted and starving army of Western European soldiers was one of the most extraordinary events of the Middle Ages.It was both the climax of a great wave of visionary Christian fervour and the beginning of what proved to be a futile and abortive attempt to implant a new European kingdom in an overwhelmingly Muslim world.The legacy of these events continues to be argued over more than nine centuries later.This remarkable collection of first-hand accounts brings to life the First Crusade in all its cruelty and strangeness.
  • AGDOT
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    "The First Crusade" is one of the best-known and most written-about events in history but in this new book Dr Peter Frankopan asks vital questions that have never been posed before. This is the only book to address the history of the "First Crusade" from the perspective of the east, examining the role of the Byzantine Empire and its ruler, Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Peter Frankopan's focus on the imperial city of Constantinople and events in Asia Minor is the result of a major reinterpretation of eastern sources which reveal the crucial role of Byzantium in the "Genesis" and execution of the "First Crusade". Frankopan's revelation of a close cooperation between the pope in Rome and the emperor in Constantinople constitutes an important revision and brand new evidence of the history of the Church. This book questions the traditional view that the Catholic and Orthodox churches had broken definitively in 1054. Rather than viewing the Crusades as a conflict between Christianity and Islam, the book reveals a complex triangular relationship between the west, Byzantium and the Muslim world. So, "The First Crusade" constitutes a paradigm shift - it radically re-shapes our understanding of the aims, expectations, and long-term implications of the "First Crusade" and the Crusades as a whole. Most importantly it answers why was there a "First Crusade"?
  • AZIIS
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    'Wonderfully written and characteristically brilliant' Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads 'Elegant, readable ...an impressive synthesis ...Not many historians could have done it' - Jonathan Sumption, Spectator 'Tyerman's book is fascinating not just for what it has to tell us about the Crusades, but for the mirror it holds up to today's religious extremism' - Tom Holland, Spectator Thousands left their homelands in the Middle Ages to fight wars abroad. But how did the Crusades actually happen? From recruitment propaganda to raising money, ships to siege engines, medicine to the power of prayer, this vivid, surprising history shows holy war - and medieval society - in a new light.
  • BMNAY
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    The Templars by Dan Jones is an eye-opening history book all about the Knights Templar - the wealthiest, most powerful and most secretive of military orders.

    Heading back to the crusading era Middle Ages, their story encompasses international conflict, finance and a swift rise in wealth and influence that was quickly followed by a sharp and humiliating fall.

    Jones looks beyond the mysteries that continue to fascinate and inspire writers of both fiction and non-fiction.
  • ADLNN
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    In the eleventh century, a vast Christian army, summoned to holy war by the pope, rampaged through the Muslim world of the eastern Mediterranean, seizing possession of Jerusalem, a city revered by both faiths. Over the two hundred years that followed this First Crusade, Islam and the West fought for dominion of the Holy Land, clashing in a succession of chillingly brutal wars, both firm in the belief that they were at God's work. For the first time, this book tells the story of this epic struggle from the perspective of both Christians and Muslims, reconstructing the experiences and attitudes of those on either side of the conflict. Mixing pulsing narrative and piercing insight, it exposes the full horror, passion and barbaric grandeur of the crusading era. One of the world's foremost authorities on the subject, Thomas Asbridge offers a vivid and penetrating history of the crusades, setting a new standard for modern scholarship. Drawing upon painstaking original research and an intimate knowledge of the Near East, he uncovers what drove Muslims and Christians alike to embrace the ideals of jihad and crusade, revealing how these holy wars reshaped the medieval world and why they continue to echo in human memory to this day.
  • AARPS
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    In his remarkable book, Jonathan Phillips explores the conflict of ideas, beliefs and cultures and shows both the contradictions and diversity of holy war. He draws on contemporary writings - on chronicles, songs, sermons, travel diaries and peace treaties - to throw a brilliant new light on people and events we thought we knew well. Although the notion of fighting for one's faith fell into disrepute in the Enlightenment, Phillips traces the crusading impulse from the bloody conquest of Jerusalem in the First Crusade and the titanic struggle between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin up to the present day - to George W. Bush's characterisation of the war on terrorism as a crusade.
  • BGPIX
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    Set within the dramatic tableau of the medieval Crusades, this story of initiation, adventure, and romance follows members of the Knights Templar and Assassins as they discover a mystical tradition with the potential to unify, protect, and liberate humankind--the very heresy for which the Knights Templar were later condemned. The tale begins with a young Persian student, Sinan, as he witnesses his teacher deliver the heretical Qiyama proclamation, seeking to abolish Islamic religious law in favor of a more mystical approach to spirituality. After completing his initiation into the revolutionary doctrines and practices of the Assassins--also known as the Nizari Ismailis or Hashishim--Sinan is appointed head of the Nizaris in Syria. Years later, after Sinan has become a wise and respected leader, he encounters Roland de Provence, a young member of the Knights Templar. Impressed by his courage and intelligence, Sinan selects him for initiation into the Nizari tradition. As readers follow Sinan and Roland through the process, they experience firsthand the transmission of these secret teachings and the paranormal, even magical powers of the Assassin adepts. Roland braves hashish journeys, mystical rituals, and divine epiphanies, as well as sexual awakening at the hands of Sinan's beautiful consort Aisha. When Roland completes his education with Sinan, he vows to share the Nizari teachings with his fellow Templars. However, he is met with strong opposition from his Templar commander, and factions within the Order quickly arise. As we follow Roland to southern France, we witness how he blends the Cathar and Nizari traditions to form the core of the "heresy" for which the Templars were later arrested and condemned. Now an outlaw, hunted by his Templar brethren, Roland is forced to choose between the beliefs with which he was raised and the realizations of his own personal truths. Bringing to life the historical truths of his expertly researched bestseller The Templars and the Assassins, James Wasserman artfully traces the evolution of the Western Esoteric Tradition during the fertile cultural interactions of the Crusades. His story also sheds light on the modern conflict between Islam and the West--which began a thousand years ago--and offers a natural path of reconciliation between our disparate cultures.
  • AAQBC
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    A vivid account of the life and times of the medieval knight, an examination of the code of chivalry, and a detailed history of the crusades
  • ADATY
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    The crusades of 1200-1588 in Palestine, Spain, Italy and Northern Europe, from the Sack of Constantinople to the crusades against the Hussites, depicted in over 150 fine art images. This title offers an evocative account of what are known as the Late Crusades: the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight and ninth crusades between 1200 and 1588. It explains the political and religious background to the struggles in Palestine, the Christian determination to regain Spain, and the rise of the Ottomans in Egypt. It includes the wars waged by fellow Christians with the papal campaigns against the Cathars and Hussites, as well as against the pagan tribes in the Baltic states. It features the brotherhoods of warrior monks, including the Knights of St John, and the Knights Templar. It includes special sections on the crusading knights, generals and princes of that time such as: Prince Edward of England, King Peter of Cyprus, and Grand Master Jacques de Molay. This title is richly illustrated throughout with over 150 images of the battles, fortresses and epic journeys of the crusaders. This expertly researched and vividly illustrated book details the fascinating later crusades, which were fought between 1200 and 1588. These began with the attempts to regain the city of Jerusalem, held by the Christians for two generations but lost to Saladin in 1187. Conflict soon spread to Egypt, Spain and Italy, and then beyond, as the Pope used his call to arms to invoke campaigns against European pagans and Christian heretics. Charles Philips succeeds in explaining this complex period of history, and examining how the crusades impacted on the religious, social and political aspects of life in that time.
  • AWFGS
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    The second volume of Steven Runciman's classic, hugely influential trilogy on the history of the Crusades 'There was magic about. Saladin himself was troubled by terrible dreams...' Steven Runciman's unrivalled history of the Crusades is a classic of learning and vivid, compelling storytelling, which brilliantly brings to life the personalities, battles, massacres, triumphs and follies of these epochal events. In this second volume of his trilogy Runciman tells the story of the foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the disastrous, bloody Second Crusade and the inexorable rise of the crusaders' nemesis, Saladin. 'The pre-eminent historian of the Byzantine Empire and of the Crusades ...a surefooted guide who could render the past visible and familiar' Daily Telegraph 'He tells his story plain ...always pleasurable to read' Gore Vidal
  • AWFHR
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    The third volume of Steven Runciman's classic, hugely influential trilogy on the history of the Crusades 'The whole tale is one of faith and folly, courage and greed, hope and disillusion' Steven Runciman's triumphant three-volume A History of the Crusades remains an unsurpassed account of the events that changed the world and continue to resonate today. This final volume of the trilogy begins with the glamorous Third Crusade and ends with the ruinous collapse of the crusader states and the degeneration of their ideals, which reached its nadir in the tragic destruction of Byzantium. 'When historical events are written about with this sort of command, they take on not only the universality of a fairy tale but also a certain moral weight. Runciman writes both seductively and instructively about the dignity and beauty of different religious beliefs and about the difficulties of their co-existence' Independent
  • BBNIF
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    For much of the twelfth century the ideals and activities of crusaders were often described in language more normally associated with a monastic rather than a military vocation; like those who took religious vows, crusaders were repeatedly depicted as being driven by a desire to imitate Christ and to live according to the values of the primitive Church. This book argues that the significance of these descriptions has yet to be fully appreciated, and suggests that the origins and early development of crusading should be studied within the context of the "reformation" of professed religious life in the twelfth century, whose leading figures (such as St Bernard of Clairvaux) advocated the pursuit of devotional undertakings modelled on the lives of Christ and his apostles. It also considers topics such as the importance of pilgrimage to early crusading ideology and the relationship between the spirituality of crusading and the activities of the Military Orders, offering a revisionist assessment of how crusading ideas adapted and evolved when introduced to the Iberian peninsula in c.1120. In so doing, the book situates crusading within a broader context of changes in the religious culture of the medieval West. Dr WILLIAM PURKIS is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Birmingham.