The Concise History of the Crusades (Critical Issues in World and International History)
Thomas F. Madden
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What is the relationship between the medieval crusades and the problems of the modern Middle East? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of Muslim jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance. Placing all of the major crusades within their medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments, Madden explores the uniquely medieval world that led untold thousands to leave their homes, families, and friends to march in Christ’s name to distant lands. From Palestine and Europe's farthest reaches, each crusade is recounted in a clear, concise narrative. The author gives special attention as well to the crusades’ effects on the Islamic world and the Christian Byzantine East.
peace. On October 3, 1518, the French and English were the first to sign Wolsey’s Treaty of London, which proclaimed an eternal peace throughout Christendom. Signatories agreed to attack in unison any other signatory that broke the general peace. The pope was overjoyed. In his ratification of the treaty, he proclaimed, “Be glad and rejoice, O Jerusalem, for now your deliverance can be hoped for!” Within a year, twenty-five princes had signed the peace treaty. In gratitude, Leo granted Cardinal
Translated by Janet Shirley. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1999. Gaposchkin, M. Cecilia, ed. and trans. Blessed Louis, the Most Glorious of Kings: Texts Relating to the Cult of Saint Louis of France. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2012. Jackson, Peter, ed. and trans. The Seventh Crusade, 1244–1254: Sources and Documents. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009. John of Joinville. The Life of St. Louis. Translated by Caroline Smith. New York: Penguin, 2009. Later Crusades Fudge, Thomas A., ed.
to take Damascus it strengthened the Christians’ greatest enemy, Nur ed-Din. It is no exaggeration to say that crusader states would have fared better had the crusade never been launched. When Louis returned to Europe, he proclaimed his firm intention to once again take up the cross and, with his Norman allies, crush the real enemy of Christ, the Christian Byzantine Empire. The pope did not support the plan, so it came to nothing, but the perception that the Byzantines were part of the problem
significant casualties in the attack, while the Byzantines had almost none. Throughout the camp, a wave of fear gripped the soldiers’ hearts. Despite the assurances of their clergy, it seemed clear that it was not God’s will for a crusade army to wage war on the greatest Christian city in the world. Most refused to have anything further to do with the attack and began to state openly that they wanted to leave Byzantium. Even among the leaders there was a strong desire to depart. Yet Boniface of
council of war. With one voice, the royal vassals, including Louis’s own brothers, proclaimed the obvious: the crusade was over. It was time to go home. Back in France, Blanche of Castile urged Louis to return and take up the reins of state. But the king was not yet finished in the East. If his vassals wished to go home, he could not gainsay it. Each had done all that could be expected of a crusader. He announced his intention to travel to the Holy Land and do whatever he could for the Christians