The First Crusade: The Call from the East

The First Crusade: The Call from the East

by Peter Frankopan
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674059948

ISBN-13: 9780674059948

Pub. Date: 04/01/2012

Publisher: Harvard

According to tradition, the First Crusade began at the instigation of Pope Urban II and culminated in July 1099, when thousands of western European knights liberated Jerusalem from the rising menace of Islam. But what if the First Crusade’s real catalyst lay far to the east of Rome? In this groundbreaking book, countering nearly a millennium of scholarship,

Overview

According to tradition, the First Crusade began at the instigation of Pope Urban II and culminated in July 1099, when thousands of western European knights liberated Jerusalem from the rising menace of Islam. But what if the First Crusade’s real catalyst lay far to the east of Rome? In this groundbreaking book, countering nearly a millennium of scholarship, Peter Frankopan reveals the untold history of the First Crusade.

Nearly all historians of the First Crusade focus on the papacy and its willing warriors in the West, along with innumerable popular tales of bravery, tragedy, and resilience. In sharp contrast, Frankopan examines events from the East, in particular from Constantinople, seat of the Christian Byzantine Empire. The result is revelatory. The true instigator of the First Crusade, we see, was the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, who in 1095, with his realm under siege from the Turks and on the point of collapse, begged the pope for military support.

Basing his account on long-ignored eastern sources, Frankopan also gives a provocative and highly original explanation of the world-changing events that followed the First Crusade. The Vatican’s victory cemented papal power, while Constantinople, the heart of the still-vital Byzantine Empire, never recovered. As a result, both Alexios and Byzantium were consigned to the margins of history. From Frankopan’s revolutionary work, we gain a more faithful understanding of the way the taking of Jerusalem set the stage for western Europe’s dominance up to the present day and shaped the modern world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674059948
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
04/01/2012
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
515,022
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations xi

Maps xiii

Preface and Acknowledgements xix

Author s Note xxiii

Introduction 1

1 Europe in Crisis 13

2 The Recovery of Constantinople 26

3 Stability in the East 42

4 The Collapse of Asia Minor 57

5 On the Brink of Disaster 71

6 The Call from the East 87

7 The Response of the West 101

8 To the Imperial City 118

9 First Encounters with the Enemy 138

10 The Struggle for the Soul of the Crusade 157

11 The Crusade Unravels 173

12 The Consequences of the First Crusade 186

Abbreviations 207

Notes 210

Further Reading 238

Index 247

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