Sir Steven Runciman's three volume A History of the Crusades, one of the great classics of English historical writing, is being reissued. This volume deals completely with the First Crusade and the foundation of the kingdom of Jerusalem. As Runciman says in his preface: 'Whether we regard the Crusades as the most tremendous and most romantic of Christian adventures, or as the last of the barbarian invasions, they form a central fact in medieval history. Before their inception the centre of our civilization was placed in Byzantium and in the lands of the Arab caliphate. Before they faded out the hegemony in civilization had passed to western Europe. Out of this transference modern history was born.'