Road to Armageddon: The Last Years of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem

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The Third Crusade of Richard the Lionheart is well known but the build-up to it less so. Yet the years that led up to the Battle of Hattin in 1187 is resonant with intrigue, plot and counter-plot, and the abuse of power. This is the story of those events, involving the greatest of the military orders, the Templars and their key ally, the ruthless Reynald of Chatillon, and how they seized a throne, sought to rule a kingdom and eventually, as a result, lost it. In the 1180s the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem was ...

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Overview

The Third Crusade of Richard the Lionheart is well known but the build-up to it less so. Yet the years that led up to the Battle of Hattin in 1187 is resonant with intrigue, plot and counter-plot, and the abuse of power. This is the story of those events, involving the greatest of the military orders, the Templars and their key ally, the ruthless Reynald of Chatillon, and how they seized a throne, sought to rule a kingdom and eventually, as a result, lost it. In the 1180s the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem was ruled by a weak king, Guy of Lusignan. A puppet, placed on the throne by power-hungry 'hawks' Reynald of Chatillon and Templar Grand Master, Gerard de Ridfort, he was the worst possible ruler at this crucial time. Arrayed against the hawks was a group of 'doves', those who wished to have some form of accommodation with the Muslims. This infighting among the Christian forces, coupled with the rise of a Muslim leader of genius, Salah ed-Din Yusuf, Saladin, led almost inevitably to the fateful field of Hattin. Wayne Bartlett reveals the causes and the aftermath of one of the few battles that can truly be called decisive.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750945783
  • Publisher: The History Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

W. B. Bartlett is the author of Taming the Dragon, God Wills It! A History of the Crusades, An Ungodly War: The Sack of Constantinople and Fourth Crusade and Assassins: Medieval Islam’s Secret Sect, all published by Sutton. He is a management consultant, currently working in Mongolia.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgements     viii
Maps     ix
Prologue     xiii
In the Beginning     1
Hawks and Doves     25
Saladin     49
Dangerous Times     71
The Leper King     91
Coup d'Etat     117
The Tempest Looms     141
Eve of Battle     155
The Road to Armageddon     173
Requiem     191
Last Rites     213
The End of an Age     239
Notes     255
Select Bibliography     263
Index     265
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  • Posted December 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Muddy and Dry

    Interesting subject matter in a somewhat confusing account of the Christian Kingdom in Palestine that was existance from the first crusade and the fall of Jerusalem in 1099 to the end in the 1291. The high point of the book is the monumental battle of Hattin in 1187 which the author covers in relative detail. Before that the author covers the confusing power plays by the various kings, dukes, minor nobility, Templars, and Hospitaliers as Saladin and the armies of Islam loom ever nearer. The photo plates are fair and the 3 maps that are provided are poor. The movie "Kingdom of Heaven" with Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson is a somewhat similar account of this some period of history.

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