Best books on the crusades

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best books on the crusades

Justin Cartwright's best books on the Crusades - Telegraph

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Published 03.02.2019

Thomas F Madden, Ph D ~ The Crusades Then and Now

Butchers and Saints

I have to use foreign names and I am compelled to describe in detail a mass of events which occurred in rapid succession; the result is that the main body of the history and the continuous narrative are bound to become disjointed because of interruptions. Let us go on. Many of them are leading scholars in the field. Hopefully, it will be a useful resource for both students and interested readers. Also, check back in the future for additional contributions that will be added over time.

We don't really know what the message was but can pretty safely guess that it asked them to travel to the East in order to "liberate" Jerusalem by force. Image after Illuminated manuscript. After the Christians conquered Jerusalem in CE, massacring many of the inhabitants, the task of understanding why they'd been successful and what it all meant fell to the historians. Histories about the journey to the East spread like wildfire, with a first wave written by people who seem to have been participants, then a second wave by monks in Europe.

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There are any number of books about the Crusades, but Steven Runciman provided the beautifully written and standard 20th-century view in his three-volume History of the Crusades The impulses and motives of the crusaders are shown to be far more complex than in the accounts of earlier times, which painted them as good against evil.

The villains of history seem relatively easy to understand; however awful their deeds, their motives remain recognizable. But the good guys, those their contemporaries saw as heroes or saints, often puzzle and appall. They did the cruelest things for the loftiest of motives; they sang hymns as they waded through blood. Nowhere, perhaps, is this contradiction more apparent than in the history of the Crusades. In fact, their faith was as pure as their savagery. But the same fervor that led to horrific butchery, on both the Christian and the Muslim sides, also inspired extraordinary efforts of self-sacrifice, of genuine heroism and even, at rare moments, of simple human kindness.



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