Crusades: Christendom * Islam * Pilgrimage * War
The Crusades were a centuries-long series of military campaigns in a violent struggle between the Christian and Islamic worlds. Such wars were fought ... Show synopsis The Crusades were a centuries-long series of military campaigns in a violent struggle between the Christian and Islamic worlds. Such wars were fought not only against Islamic empires in Asia Minor, the Holy Land and throughout the Mediterranean region, but also within Europe against heretics, pagans and opponents of the Church. "Crusades" traces these major expeditions and focuses on key episodes such as the titanic struggles over Jerusalem and Constantinople. War, however, is not the whole story: the encounter between East and West opened the eyes of Europeans to the world outside, stimulating trade and the exchange of ideas. The legacy of the Crusades is most evident today in castles, churches and Moorish architecture, but more surprising is its contribution to developments in areas such as banking, science, engineering, medicine and philosophy.With an authoritative and accessible text by a team of specialist historians, this book not only provides a narrative of the major crusades but also looks at the complex background to events, including the divisions within the major religions - Latin and Orthodox Christians, Shia and Sunni Muslims. Beautifully illustrated throughout, "Crusades" brings history vividly to life. Anyone who wishes to probe the historical roots of 21st-century tensions between Islam and the West, or simply to learn about one of the most fascinating phenomena of the Middle Ages, will find this book endlessly informative and enriching.