Synopses & Reviews
The individual narratives brought together here reveal insight into the two hundred year struggle for possession of Jerusalem, in the words of two soldiers who participated first-hand in the bloody campaigns. Geffroy de Villehardouin (1150-1212?) was an appointed marshal of Champagne, France, whose Conquest of Constantinople recounts the controversial Fourth Crusade of 1204, against Eastern Christians in the Latin empire of Constantinople. Jean de Joinville (1224-1317) inherited the office of seneschal of Champagne at a young age, and wrote Life of Saint Louis after having accompanied King Louis IX on his first crusade and later living as a friend in his court. These accounts, originally composed in Old French, are considered to be some of the most accurate portrayals of the Crusades, and give fascinating insight into the religious and political fervor that sparked centuries of brutal battles and the struggle for holy conquest.