The Crusades: A History of Armed Pilgrimage, and Religious Holy War

Overview

"Many people saw the Crusades as pilgrimages, many believed they were doing the will of God, and many too went for the booty. This was an institution that for more than five centuries punctuated European history, troubled Christian consciences and embittered Muslim attitudes towards the West, Geoffrey Hindley takes us from the Middle East and Muslim Spain to the pagan Baltic when 'Crusaders' reclaimed or extended Europe's frontiers, and offers lively portraits of major personalities who took part, from Godfrey of Bouillon, the first Latin ruler ...
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Overview

"Many people saw the Crusades as pilgrimages, many believed they were doing the will of God, and many too went for the booty. This was an institution that for more than five centuries punctuated European history, troubled Christian consciences and embittered Muslim attitudes towards the West, Geoffrey Hindley takes us from the Middle East and Muslim Spain to the pagan Baltic when 'Crusaders' reclaimed or extended Europe's frontiers, and offers lively portraits of major personalities who took part, 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 aspects rarely considered, Hindley's penetrating study sheds light on some of the most pressing issues of religious division and shows how the Crusades helped to shape Europe, the modern world and relations between Christian and Muslim countries to this day.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These timely volumes trace centuries of conflict between Christians and the followers of other faiths, including Islam. Medievalist Hindley (The Shaping of Europe) concentrates on the best-known aspect of the Crusades: the struggle between Islam and the West for control of the Holy Land. But he also looks at other crusading ventures, e.g., the northern crusades against the pagan peoples of the Baltic coast and the destruction of the Cathars, followers of a heretical dualist form of Christianity, which decimated Provence over several decades and brought it under French control. Harris (Byzantine studies, Royal Holloway, Univ. of London) focuses on the interplay between the crusaders and their ostensible allies, the Byzantines, taking a fresh look at events that in little more than a century led to the sack of Constantinople by crusaders pledged to battle Islam and recapture the cities of the Holy Land. The capture of the greatest city of Christendom by fellow Christians has been broadly interpreted as either the result of a clash of civilizations or an accident-a fatal chain of events leading to an unforeseen tragedy. Harris advances a third view-that the key lies in the ideology informing the political elite of the Eastern Roman Empire, who held that the Eastern Roman Empire was a continuation of the Roman Empire, that the new nations of Western Europe were occupying Roman lands, and that the Byzantine emperor had been set over all Christians, not just his immediate subjects. The subsequent misunderstanding and resentment led to the sack of Constantinople. Well written and convincingly presented, these volumes are valuable additions to the study of the crusades and of Byzantium. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-Robert J. Andrews, Duluth P.L., MN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A capable if undramatic overview of the four-century war between medieval Christianity and Islam. Hindley, an English writer of popular histories, is working in a crowded field dominated largely by compatriots such as Steven Runciman, whose work on the Crusades is indispensable. This one is not, but Hindley does a generally competent job in outlining the historical currents that were flowing through Western Europe when the good knights of France decided that the liberation of the Holy Land from its Arab conquerors would be a worthy pursuit. Their cross-blazoned banners, whence crusade, occasioned a shift in meaning of the Arabic word jihad, which, Hindley writes, had formerly meant "the effort to advance Islam in one's own life by striving for religious virtue," but in the 11th century, as today, came to denote striving in warfare to free the world of infidels-and particularly the "Franks," as the warriors of Islam called all Europeans, mostly because the crusading enterprise was dominated by French and Anglo-Norman lords such as Robert Giscard and Richard Lionheart. The foot soldiers of the Crusades, Hindley writes, made up of elements from many nations, were well aware of the differences among themselves: the French considered themselves to be superior, the Germans disliked the French, the Danes were happy to keep to themselves and drink themselves silly, and "everybody despised the wily, schismatic Greeks." The attendant disunity, as much as disease and Saladin's hard-fighting soldiers, caused many a disastrous defeat. Usefully, Hindley extends his discussion of the Crusades to embrace holy war against not just Muslims, but also the non-Christian peoples of the Baltic, who rightlyterrified the crusaders: "Where Catholic Christendom burnt its heretics," he cheerily observes, "the pagan Lithuanians burnt their prisoners of war on ritual pyres." Sketchy but readable: somewhat worthwhile in a time of renewed strife between the Western and Islamic spheres.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786711055
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/22/2003
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.64 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Illustrations
Maps
Chronology of Jihad and Crusade
Introduction: What's in a Name? 1
1 Beginnings 632-1095 9
2 The First Crusade 1095-1099 25
3 Life and Politics in a Multicultural World 51
4 The Second Crusade: Disaster on the Road to Damascus 71
5 Turk and Kurd: Heroes of Islam 87
6 Women and an Alternative Feudalism 107
7 Loss of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade 1187-1192 121
8 The Fourth Crusade: The Latin Conquest of Constantinople and the Scandal of Christendom 143
9 Heathen, Heretics and Children 159
10 Triumphs of an Excommunicated Emperor 177
11 The Failures of a Saint 195
12 Acre and After 209
13 Chivalry in Action and Nicopolis 'The Last Crusade' 225
14 The Lingering Decline of a Flawed Ideal 237
Epilogue: The Aftermath 255
App. I The Popes, from Gregory VII to Sixtus V 261
App. II Rulers of the Kingdom of Jerusalem 267
App. III Ayyubid Dynasty - Rulers of Egypt 270
App. IV Byzantine Emperors at the Time of the First Crusades 272
App. V Ottoman Princes and Sultans 1300-1566 274
App. VI Western Emperors 1056-1555 276
Notes 281
Select Bibliography 288
Index 292
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2003

    Infidels, Heathen and Others Beware

    If you need one book about Crusades or crusades, this book will do nicely. The author covers Crusades official and not. As a descendant of the heathen Baltic tribes, this crusade is discussed. Why did I rate this book 4 stars instead of 5? Well, I did not expect to see the use of 'ethnic cleansing' or Lloyd Webber. I also felt the author was trying to be modern by this chapter: 'Women and an Alternative Feudalism.' The inclusion of a Chronology was an excellent touch.

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