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Fighting for Christendom: Holy War and the Crusades

Fighting for Christendom: Holy War and the Crusades Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The image of the Crusaders--chain-mailed knights on horseback, bearing crosses on banners, fighting for their faith under an alien sun--occupies a familiar niche in modern western culture. Yet despite their powerful hold on our imaginations, the Crusades remain obscured and distorted by time.

In Fighting for Christendom, Christopher Tyerman picks his way through many myths and misconceptions to present a vivid portrait of the Crusades, both the historical events themselves and their posthumous role in Western and Middle Eastern thought. Were the Crusaders motivated by spiritual rewards, or by greed for power and wealth? Was the papacy imposing order and uniformity on Christendom, or defending itself from the infidel enemy? Were the Crusades an experiment in European colonialism, or a manifestation of religious persecution or ethnic cleansing? To answer these questions, Tyerman examines the many military operations between 1095 and 1500 that fall under the heading of Wars of the Cross. Beginning with Pope Urban II's dramatic appeal in 1095, Tyerman ranges from the First Crusade--a campaign unrivalled in impact--to the massive expedition lead by Frederick Barbarossa (which ended suddenly when he drowned crossing a river), to the crusade that pitted King Richard I of England against Saladin. Tyerman also discusses lesser expeditions, including the Peasants', Children's, and Shepherds' Crusades. Throughout the book, he clarifies issues of colonialism, cultural exchange, economic exploitation, and the relationship between past and present.

The Crusades are among the most dramatic mass movements in world history. Fighting for Christendom illuminates these remarkable events with uncommon flair and originality.

Review:

"In this excellent popular history, medieval historian Tyerman offers a short introduction to the Crusades, touching on the most salient features and helping readers understand why it's so important to ferret out from all the lore what really happened. While it's a tall order to present more than four centuries of wars spanning three continents, Tyerman rises to the task with aplomb, noting early on that 'much of what passes in public as knowledge of the Crusades is either misleading or false.' The Crusades were not, he says, solely wars against Islam, and their main purpose wasn't to impose Western economic or political leadership, especially since 'there existed no strategic or material interest for the knights of the west to campaign in Judea.' As the book's second half makes clear, the Crusades need to be understood as religious holy wars conducted by individuals who were infused by utter certainty that their actions aligned wholly with God's plan. Tyerman writes engagingly, and numerous maps and illustrations help to support his story — especially since, as he tells us, 'iconography is never innocent.' A sharply opinionated concluding essay traces the impact of the Crusades through the Protestant Reformation, Enlightenment and 19th-century romanticism to the present, arguing that Bush and bin Laden are 'co-heirs to the legacy of a 19th-century European construct' of the Crusades." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Even today, to invoke the Crusades is to stir deep cultural myths, assumptions and prejudices. This title picks its way through the many debates to present a clear and lively discussion of the Crusades; bringing together issues of colonialism, cultural exchange, economic exploitation, and the relationship between past and present.

About the Author

Christopher Tyerman is Lecturer in Medieval History at Hertford College and New College, Oxford. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he has published extensively on crusading History, including The Invention of the Crusades and England and the Crusades.

Table of Contents

Preface


Acknowledgements


List of Maps


List of Illustrations


Introduction


1. Definition and Scope


2. Sources and Perspectives


3. Holy War


4. Holy lands


5. The Business of the Cross


Conclusion


Further Reading


Product Details

ISBN:
9780192803252
Subtitle:
Holy War and the Crusades
Author:
TYERMAN, CHRISTOPHER
Author:
Tyerman, Christopher
Author:
Null, Christopher
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Location:
N
Subject:
Medieval
Subject:
History, World | British | Medieval
Copyright:
Publication Date:
December 2004
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 halftones, 8 maps
Pages:
264
Dimensions:
196 x 129 in.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Medieval

Fighting for Christendom: Holy War and the Crusades
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 264 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780192803252 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this excellent popular history, medieval historian Tyerman offers a short introduction to the Crusades, touching on the most salient features and helping readers understand why it's so important to ferret out from all the lore what really happened. While it's a tall order to present more than four centuries of wars spanning three continents, Tyerman rises to the task with aplomb, noting early on that 'much of what passes in public as knowledge of the Crusades is either misleading or false.' The Crusades were not, he says, solely wars against Islam, and their main purpose wasn't to impose Western economic or political leadership, especially since 'there existed no strategic or material interest for the knights of the west to campaign in Judea.' As the book's second half makes clear, the Crusades need to be understood as religious holy wars conducted by individuals who were infused by utter certainty that their actions aligned wholly with God's plan. Tyerman writes engagingly, and numerous maps and illustrations help to support his story — especially since, as he tells us, 'iconography is never innocent.' A sharply opinionated concluding essay traces the impact of the Crusades through the Protestant Reformation, Enlightenment and 19th-century romanticism to the present, arguing that Bush and bin Laden are 'co-heirs to the legacy of a 19th-century European construct' of the Crusades." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Even today, to invoke the Crusades is to stir deep cultural myths, assumptions and prejudices. This title picks its way through the many debates to present a clear and lively discussion of the Crusades; bringing together issues of colonialism, cultural exchange, economic exploitation, and the relationship between past and present.
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