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Authors: Jonathan Phillips

Holy Warriors

BOOK: Holy Warriors
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BY THE SAME AUTHOR

Defenders of the Holy Land: Relations Between
the Latin East and the West, 1119–1187
(1996)

The First Crusade: Origins and Impact
(1997, editor)

The Second Crusade: Scope and Consequences
(2001, coeditor)

The Crusades, 1095–1197
(2002)

The Experience of Crusading: Volume 2
(2003, coeditor)

The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
(2004)

The Second Crusade:
Extending the Frontiers of Christendom
(2007)

For my parents

CONTENTS

     
Illustrations and Maps

     
Introduction

  1 
“DEUS VULT!”
The First Crusade and the Capture of Jerusalem, 1095—99

  2 
“MAY GOD’S CURSE BE UPON THEM!” Relations Between Muslims and Franks in the Levant, 1099—1187

  3 
“A WOMAN OF UNUSUAL WISDOM AND DISCRETION” Queen Melisende of Jerusalem

  4 
THE “BLESSED GENERATION” Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and the Second Crusade, 1145—49

  5 
SALADIN, THE LEPER KING, AND THE FALL OF JERUSALEM IN 1187

  6 
“NOWHERE IN THE WORLD WOULD EVER TWO SUCH PRINCES BE FOUND” Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, and the Third Crusade

  7 
“AN EXAMPLE OF AFFLICTION AND THE WORKS OF HELL” The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, 1204

  8 
FROM “LITTLE FOXES IN THE VINES” AND THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE TO THE GREATEST CHURCH COUNCIL OF THE AGE

  9 
“STUPOR MUNDI”
—THE WONDER OF THE WORLD Frederick II, the Fifth Crusade, and the Recovery of Jerusalem

10  
“TO KILL THE SERPENT, FIRST YOU MUST CRUSH THE HEAD” The Crusade of Louis IX and the Rise of the Sultan Baibars

11  
FROM THE TRIAL OF THE TEMPLARS TO FERDINAND AND ISABELLA, COLUMBUS, AND THE CONQUEST OF THE NEW WORLD

12  
NEW CRUSADERS? From Sir Walter Scott to Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush

     
Conclusion: In the Shadow of the Crusades

     
Acknowledgments

     
Notes

     
Primary Bibliography

     
Secondary Bibliography

INTRODUCTION

C
hristianity versus Islam; crusade against jihad. Blood and dust; withering, shimmering heat; the ring and scrape of metal on metal: some of the sights, sounds, and sensations we imagine to represent the age of the crusades, an epic clash between two of the world’s great religions and a struggle in which men and women fought and died for their faith. Yet this familiar tale does not tell the complete story. This book, which is aimed squarely at the general reader or those looking for an overview of the subject, will, of course, explore this conflict of ideas, belief, and culture. But it will also show the myriad contradictions and the diversity of holy war: friendships and alliances between Christians and Muslims; triumphs of diplomacy rather than the sword; the launch of crusades against Christians, and calls for jihads against Muslims. Taken as a whole, this rich, multifaceted relationship has the capacity to produce a more evocative and insightful account than the usual tales of Christian–Muslim bloodshed alone.

More than nine hundred years ago, Pope Urban II triggered the First Crusade—one of history’s great turning points. On November 27, 1095, he urged the knights of France to regain Jerusalem from Muslim hands in return for a spiritual reward. In doing so, Urban unleashed religious warfare on an unprecedented scale and propelled these two great faiths into a conflict of unimagined intensity, the repercussions of which are still felt today. Four years after this speech, the crusaders slaughtered their way into Jerusalem and took possession of the holy city. The conquerors set up the Crusader States in the Near East, but in 1187 Saladin led the armies of the jihad, the Muslim holy war, to victory and drove the Christians back to the eastern Mediterranean coast; just over a hundred years later, the Mamluks of Egypt completed his work and finally ejected the crusaders from the mainland. In the meantime, however, the idea of crusading, that is, fighting to liberate Christian lands and Christian peoples for a spiritual reward, had—in tandem with myriad other influences—experienced a dramatic geographical and ideological expansion, and this, as we shall see, enabled it to survive in a variety of forms for centuries to come.

Large sections of this book are character-driven. Like many readers, I suspect, the irresistible allure of one of history’s great double acts, Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, drew me into the subject as a student and from this developed an interest in the motives and the ideologies of the protagonists. Evidence from contemporary writings, such as chronicles, songs, sermons, travel diaries, letters, financial accounts, and peace treaties, along with visual material from art, architecture, and archaeology, provides a profusion of voices and images that enables us to reconstruct the age of the crusades. Although there is a narrative thread here, this is not a detailed, chronological history of the subject: that is one purview of the academic textbook.

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