The First Crusade: A New History
On the last Tuesday of November 1095, Pope Urban II delivered an electrifying speech that launched the First Crusade. His words set Christendom afire. Some 100,000 men, from knights to paupers, took up the call--the largest mobilization of manpower since the fall of the Roman Empire.
Now, in The First Crusade, Thomas Asbridge offers a gripping account of a titanic three-year adventure filled with miraculous victories, greedy princes and barbarity on a vast scale. Readers follow the crusaders from their mobilization in Europe (where great waves of anti-Semitism resulted in the deaths of thousands of Jews), to their arrival in Constantinople, an exotic, opulent city--ten times the size of any city in Europe--that bedazzled the Europeans. Featured in vivid detail are the siege of Nicaea and the pivotal battle for Antioch, the single most important military engagement of the entire expedition, where the crusaders, in desperate straits, routed a larger and better-equipped Muslim army. Through all this, the crusaders were driven on by intense religious devotion, convinced that their struggle would earn them the reward of eternal paradise in Heaven. But when a hardened core finally reached Jerusalem in 1099 they unleashed an unholy wave of brutality, slaughtering thousands of Muslims--men, women, and children--all in the name of Christianity.
The First Crusade marked a watershed in relations between Islam and the West, a conflict that set these two world religions on a course toward deep-seated animosity and enduring enmity. The chilling reverberations of this earth-shattering clash still echo in the world today.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Joe73 - LibraryThing
Mr. Asbridge is my favorite history writer next to Susan Bauer. Easy to read and gives you plenty of references to expand upon what you are reading. In the process brings across the depth needed to ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jerry-book - LibraryThing
Interesting. So old Pope Urban figured he would consolidate his power by preaching a crusade against the Muslims in order to solidify his position as Pope (which was on shakey grounds). He ... Read full review
HOLY WAR PROCLAIMED
AFIRE WITH CRUSADING FEVER
THE JOURNEY TO BYZANTIUM
THE FIRST STORM OF WAR
BEFORE THE WALLS OF ANTIOCH
TIGHTENING THE SCREW
TO THE EDGE OF ANNIHILATION
DESCENT INTO DISCORD
THE HOLY CITY
THE FALTERING PATH