The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinopleby Jonathan Phillips
In 1202, zealous Western Christians gathered in Venice determined to liberate Jerusalem from the grip of Islam. But the crusaders never made it to the Holy Land. Steered forward by the shrewd Venetian doge, they descended instead on Constantinople, wreaking terrible devastation. The crusaders spared no one: They raped and massacred thousands, plundered churches, and torched the lavish city. By 1204, one of the great civilizations of history had been shattered. Here, on the eight hundredth anniversary of the sack, is the extraordinary story of this epic catastrophe, told for the first time outside of academia by Jonathan Phillips, a leading expert on the crusades. Knights and commoners, monastic chroniclers, courtly troubadours, survivors of the carnage, and even Pope Innocent III left vivid accounts detailing the events of those two fateful years. Using their remarkable letters, chronicles, and speeches, Phillips traces the way in which any region steeped in religious fanaticism, in this case Christian Europe, might succumb to holy war.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.60(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.89(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 - 17 Years
Meet the Author
Jonathan Phillips, a senior lecturer in medieval history at Royal Holloway, University of London, is the author of a number of books on the crusades, including Defenders of the Holy Land and The Crusades: 1095–1197. Phillips’s articles have appeared in BBC History, History Today, and the Independent. Phillips is a frequent guest on Radio 4 and BBC World Service, as well as England’s Channel 4, the BBC, The History Channel, and PBS.
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One year ago I was enrolled in a medieval European class at the university I attend, and found out that I would have to write a big research paper on a medieval event. My professor gave the class a list of topics we could choose, but none of them interested me. I was walking through Barnes and Noble, trying to find a topic that would interest me, when I saw Phillips' book about the fourth crusade. I picked it up, read the back of the book and bought it. My professor agreed that the fourth crusade was an event worth researching, so I went to work studying the subject, and devouring Phillips' book. The book was great! I really enjoyed the narrative and thought it was easy to follow and exciting enough to keep my attention. I love history but often find myself putting a history book down and picking up a historical fiction instead, but Phillips' book was engaging the whole way. I wasn't familiar with the fourth crusade until reading this book - now I think it is the most interesting of the crusades since it didn't ever reach the Holy Land. Enough said. Great book!
I thought the author conveyed the true atmosphere of what the 4th crusade was all about. I am a student of history, and very often I find some books vry dry, not this on though. Highly recommended