Cover image for Crusaders : the epic history of the wars for the holy lands
Title:
Crusaders : the epic history of the wars for the holy lands
ISBN:
9780525428312
Physical Description:
xxxvii, 425 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations, maps ; 26 cm.
General Note:
"First published in hardcover in Great Britain by Head of Zeus, Ltd London, in 2019"--Title page verso.
Contents:
The Count and the Imam -- Poets and Party Kings -- Empire Under Siege -- Deus Vult -- The Preachers' Tale -- March of the Princes -- The Longest Winter -- Jerusalem -- Dividing the Spoils -- Sigurd Jerusalemfarer -- Fields of Blood -- A New Knighthood -- Melisende the Magnificent -- The Swords of our Fathers -- Converted or Deleted -- History Repeating -- The Race for Egypt -- Because of Our Sins -- Lionesses and Lionhearts -- Consumed by Fire -- Enemies Within -- The River of Paradise -- Immutator Mundi -- Khans and Kings -- The Enemy From Hell -- Fragments and Dreams -- Brave New Worlds.
Summary:
For more than one thousand years, Christians and Muslims lived side by side, sometimes at peace and sometimes at war. When Christian armies seized Jerusalem in 1099, they began the most notorious period of conflict between the two religions. Depending on who you ask, the fall of the holy city was either an inspiring legend or the greatest of horrors. In Crusaders, Dan Jones interrogates the many sides of the larger story, charting a deeply human and avowedly pluralist path through the crusading era. Expanding the usual timeframe, Jones looks to the roots of Christian-Muslim relations in the eighth century and tracks the influence of crusading to present day. He widens the geographical focus to far-flung regions home to so-called enemies of the Church, including Spain, North Africa, southern France, and the Baltic states. By telling intimate stories of individual journeys, Jones illuminates these centuries of war not only from the perspective of popes and kings, but from Arab-Sicilian poets, Byzantine princesses, Sunni scholars, Shi'ite viziers, Mamluk slave soldiers, Mongol chieftains, and barefoot friars. Crusading remains a rallying call to this day, but its role in the popular imagination ignores the cooperation and complicated coexistence that were just as much a feature of the period as warfare. The age-old relationships between faith, conquest, wealth, power, and trade meant that crusading was not only about fighting for the glory of God, but also, among other earthly reasons, about gold. In this richly dramatic narrative that gives voice to sources usually pushed to the margins, Dan Jones has written an authoritative survey of the holy wars with global scope and human focus. --
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Summary

Summary

A major new history of the Crusades with an unprecedented wide scope, told in a tableau of portraits of people on all sides of the wars, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Templars .

For more than one thousand years, Christians and Muslims lived side by side, sometimes at peace and sometimes at war. When Christian armies seized Jerusalem in 1099, they began the most notorious period of conflict between the two religions. Depending on who you ask, the fall of the holy city was either an inspiring legend or the greatest of horrors. In Crusaders , Dan Jones interrogates the many sides of the larger story, charting a deeply human and avowedly pluralist path through the crusading era.

Expanding the usual timeframe, Jones looks to the roots of Christian-Muslim relations in the eighth century and tracks the influence of crusading to present day. He widens the geographical focus to far-flung regions home to so-called enemies of the Church, including Spain, North Africa, southern France, and the Baltic states. By telling intimate stories of individual journeys, Jones illuminates these centuries of war not only from the perspective of popes and kings, but from Arab-Sicilian poets, Byzantine princesses, Sunni scholars, Shi'ite viziers, Mamluk slave soldiers, Mongol chieftains, and barefoot friars.

Crusading remains a rallying call to this day, but its role in the popular imagination ignores the cooperation and complicated coexistence that were just as much a feature of the period as warfare. The age-old relationships between faith, conquest, wealth, power, and trade meant that crusading was not only about fighting for the glory of God, but also, among other earthly reasons, about gold. In this richly dramatic narrative that gives voice to sources usually pushed to the margins, Dan Jones has written an authoritative survey of the holy wars with global scope and human focus.


Author Notes

Dan Jones is the New York Times bestselling author of The Templars, The Plantagenets, Wars of the Roses, and Magna Carta . He wrote and presented the popular Netflix series Secrets of Great British Castles and appeared alongside George R.R. Martin in the official HBO film exploring the real history behind Game of Thrones.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Popular historian Jones (The Templars) looks in this accessible and thoroughly researched work at the medieval crusaders who, with the authorization of the Pope, took up arms to advance the causes of the Catholic church. This group included leaders and kings who led the well-known Middle Eastern crusaders, such as Richard the Lionhearted; crusaders who fought on the Iberian Peninsula and against northern European pagans; and the major Islamic opponents, such as the leader Saladin. Jones relates the story as much as possible through the words of surviving accounts from the period. The early chapters examine the motivation and strategy behind the first crusade, culminating with the capture of Jerusalem; the middle of the book describes the buildup of crusader power and culminates with its destruction at the Battle of Hattin and the loss of Jerusalem to Islamic forces under Saladin; and the final part of the book documents the slow demise of crusader power in the Middle East and the extermination of the last crusader stronghold at Acre in 1298. Jones paints a vivid and accurate picture of the culture, politics, and personalities of the crusading period, covering vast swaths of history and many personalities with aplomb. The general reader of history and those interested in a deeper understanding of relations between Islam and the West will find this work engaging and informative. (Oct.)


Kirkus Review

The centuries of campaigning to reclaim the Holy Land retain their fascination, as demonstrated by this expert mixture of cutthroat politics, battlefield fireworks, and mass murder.Bestselling British historian Jones (Templars: The Rise and Fall of God's Holy Warriors, 2017) reminds readers that Christians had been warring against Islam since its warriors burst out of Arabia in the seventh century and advanced well into Europe. By the 11th century, when the author begins the narrative, Spain and Sicily were already battlegrounds. Matters were critical further east where the Byzantine Empire was fending off attackers on all sides, most significantly from the Turks, who had advanced perilously close to the capital at Constantinople. In 1095, its emperor requested military aid from Pope Urban II. For many reasons, not all admirable, Urban responded enthusiastically. Jones does his best to explain, but historians still scratch their heads over the fanatic response. Masses of the poor slaughtered local non-Christians (i.e., Jews) and then walked east in the thousands; most died. Soon after, armies under French and Norman leadership marched the entire distance, more than 2,000 miles, capturing much of Palestine, including Jerusalem, in 1099 after a bloody campaign. The result was a kingdom of Jerusalem and several other Christian principalities that spent the next two centuries fighting, ultimately unsuccessfully, for survival. At intervals, European leaders organized vast, expensive, poorly organized expeditions (crusades) that trundled toward the Holy Land, sometimes reached it, wreaked havoc, and suffered horribly. Readers may recall the Third Crusade's epic clashes between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. Jones does not neglect officially sanctioned, bloody crusades against Muslims in Spain, pagans in northern Europe, and religious heretics at home. As usual, the author has done his homework, laboring mightily to recount century after century of gruesome warfare between profoundly religious cultures with apparently no inhibition against lying and profound cruelty. Two appendices list the kings and queens of Jerusalem and the popes.Readers may not sort out the innumerable Baldwins, Rogers, Fredericks, or battles, but they will keep the pages turning. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Jones' sweeping coverage of a conflict of three centuries' duration hews to the highest standards of popular history. It is literate, thoroughly engaging, and serious, without condescension towards either its matter or its readers. Jones cites and quotes primary sources only, inserting just the occasional demurrer about such matters as inflated casualty figures in the original histories. While the focus is on the West liberating the Holy Land, Jones cites Muslim sources whenever they sharpen that focus, and he profiles big players on both sides of the fray. All along, he tracks the Western theater of crusader activity, Spain, where Christians fought to drive out Muslim rule. Crusades in which Germans attacked pagan Slavs in the Baltic and heretics, such as the Cathars, in France are less fully reported; but then, they weren't Christians-versus-Muslims affairs. Instead of a time line, a 17-page chronological list of Major Characters precedes the text; from Roger of Sicily to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, all are characters, indeed! The scope of the Crusades alone encourages regarding their story as an epic, an account that defines the collective spirits of the civilizations that clashed in them.--Ray Olson Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal Review

The medieval Crusades have long fascinated readers, and as Jones (Templars) explains, they still have the power to compel action. The author's choice to make the people doing the action rather than the act as the focus is insightful. For example, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine was probably the most famous woman to go on crusade and there are many accounts of her experience, but the author also cites the actions of ordinary women whose stories have come to be told, such as that of Margaret of Beverley who survived the siege of Jerusalem in 1187 and recounted her experience to her monk brother. Likewise, we learn about not only famous Muslim leaders such as Saladin but also lesser-known sultans, advisers, and military leaders whom the European crusaders fought. Furthermore, the sources include contemporary and retrospective histories. The title also boasts descriptions of the many times crusades were declared against destinations and peoples besides Muslims in the Holy Land, such as pagans in the Baltic, Cathers in France, and even the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. VERDICT An entertaining and informative look at a potent historical phenomenon whose echoes are still being felt today. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/19.]--Cate Schneiderman, Emerson Coll., Boston


Table of Contents

List of Mapsp. xiii
Major Charactersp. xv
Introductionp. xxxiii
Part I Trial by Ordeal
1 The Count and the Imamp. 3
2 Poets and Party Kingsp. 11
3 Empire Under Siegep. 21
4 Deus Vult!p. 30
5 The Preacher's Talep. 42
6 March of the Princesp. 54
7 The Longest Winterp. 68
8 Jerusalemp. 82
9 Dividing the Spoilsp. 97
Part II Kingdom of Heaven
10 Sigurd Jerusalemfarerp. 109
11 Fields of Bloodp. 121
12 A New Knighthoodp. 134
13 Melisende the Magnificentp. 146
14 The Swords of Our Fathersp. 158
15 Converted or Deletedp. 168
16 History Repeatingp. 182
17 The Race for Egyptp. 196
18 Because of Our Sinsp. 210
Part III The Harvest of the Earth
19 Lionesses and Lionheartsp. 227
20 Consumed by Firep. 243
21 Enemies Withinp. 262
22 The River of Paradisep. 278
23 Immutator Mundip. 295
24 Khans and Kingsp. 311
25 The Enemy from Hellp. 326
26 Fragments and Dreamsp. 342
27 Brave New Worldsp. 354
Epilogue: Crusaders 2.0p. 366
Appendicesp. 373
Notesp. 379
Bibliographyp. 401
Indexp. 411