God's War: A New History of the Crusades

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Harvard University Press, 2006 - History - 1023 pages
31 Reviews

God's War offers a sweeping new vision of one of history's most astounding events: the Crusades.

From 1096 to 1500, European Christians fought to recreate the Middle East, Muslim Spain, and the pagan Baltic in the image of their God. The Crusades are perhaps both the most familiar and most misunderstood phenomena of the medieval world, and here Christopher Tyerman seeks to recreate, from the ground up, the centuries of violence committed as an act of religious devotion.

The result is a stunning reinterpretation of the Crusades, revealed as both bloody political acts and a manifestation of a growing Christian communal identity. Tyerman uncovers a system of belief bound by aggression, paranoia, and wishful thinking, and a culture founded on war as an expression of worship, social discipline, and Christian charity.

This astonishing historical narrative is imbued with figures that have become legends--Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, Philip Augustus. But Tyerman also delves beyond these leaders to examine the thousands and thousands of Christian men--from Knights Templars to mercenaries to peasants--who, in the name of their Savior, abandoned their homes to conquer distant and alien lands, as well as the countless people who defended their soil and eventually turned these invaders back. With bold analysis, Tyerman explicates the contradictory mix of genuine piety, military ferocity, and plain greed that motivated generations of Crusaders. He also offers unique insight into the maturation of a militant Christianity that defined Europe's identity and that has forever influenced the cyclical antagonisms between the Christian and Muslim worlds.

Drawing on all of the most recent scholarship, and told with great verve and authority, God's War is the definitive account of a fascinating and horrifying story that continues to haunt our contemporary world.

  

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Review: God's War: A New History of the Crusades

User Review  - Ivan - Goodreads

Extremely detailed, and uneasy to read at times due to the details of surrounding events. One is almost certain to forget quite a few details by the end of this monumental piece of research. Of course ... Read full review

Review: God's War: A New History of the Crusades

User Review  - Joel - Goodreads

This book provides a thorough overview of the crusades from the late-11th through 16th centuries. This is not the kind of book that makes you hear the clashing of swords through vividly described ... Read full review

Contents

The Origins of Christian Holy War
27
The Summons to Jerusalem
58
The March to Constantinople
92
The Road to the Holy Sepulchre
124
Frankish Outremer
165
The Foundation of Christian Outremer
167
The Latin States
185
East is East and East is West Outremer in the Twelfth Century
212
The Fourth Crusade Diversion
524
The Expansion of Crusading
562
The Albigensian Crusades 120929
563
The Fifth Crusade 121321
606
Frontier Crusades 1 Conquest in Spain
650
Frontier Crusades 2 the Baltic and the North
674
The Defence of Outremer
713
Survival and Decline the Frankish Holy Land in the Thirteenth Century
715

The Second Crusade
241
A New Path to Salvation? Western Christendom and Holy War 11001145
243
Gods Bargain Summoning the Second Crusade
268
The Spirit of the Pilgrim God Fighting the Second Crusade
304
The Third Crusade
339
A Great Cause for Mourning The Revival of Crusading and the Third Crusade
341
The Call of the Cross
375
To the Siege of Acre
402
The Palestine War 11912
448
The Fourth Crusade
475
Ehuds Sharpened Sword
477
The Fourth Crusade Preparations
501
The Defence of the Holy Land 122144
736
Louis IX and the Fall of Mainland Outremer 124491
770
The Later Crusades
823
The Eastern Crusades in the Later Middle Ages
825
The Crusade and Christian Society in the Later Middle Ages
875
Conclusion
917
Notes
923
Select Further Reading
986
Select List of Rulers
991
Index
996
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Christopher Tyerman has been a Research Fellow in medieval hChristopher Tyerman has been a Research Fellow in medieval history at the University of Oxford, and is now Lecturer in Mistory at the University of Oxford, and is now Lecturer in Medieval History at Hertford College, Oxford, and the Head ofedieval History at Hertford College, Oxford, and the Head of History at Harrow School, Middlesex. History at Harrow School, Middlesex.

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