Post-classical history

God's War: A New History of the Crusades

God's War: A New History of the Crusades

God's War offers a sweeping new vision of one of history's most astounding events: the Crusades.

From 1096 to 1500, European Christians fought to recreate the Middle East, Muslim Spain, and the pagan Baltic in the image of their God. The Crusades are perhaps both the most familiar and most misunderstood phenomena of the medieval world, and here Christopher Tyerman seeks to recreate, from the ground up, the centuries of violence committed as an act of religious devotion.

The result is a stunning reinterpretation of the Crusades, revealed as both bloody political acts and a manifestation of a growing Christian communal identity. Tyerman uncovers a system of belief bound by aggression, paranoia, and wishful thinking, and a culture founded on war as an expression of worship, social discipline, and Christian charity.

This astonishing historical narrative is imbued with figures that have become legends--Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, Philip Augustus. But Tyerman also delves beyond these leaders to examine the thousands and thousands of Christian men--from Knights Templars to mercenaries to peasants--who, in the name of their Savior, abandoned their homes to conquer distant and alien lands, as well as the countless people who defended their soil and eventually turned these invaders back. With bold analysis, Tyerman explicates the contradictory mix of genuine piety, military ferocity, and plain greed that motivated generations of Crusaders. He also offers unique insight into the maturation of a militant Christianity that defined Europe's identity and that has forever influenced the cyclical antagonisms between the Christian and Muslim worlds.

Drawing on all of the most recent scholarship, and told with great verve and authority, God's War is the definitive account of a fascinating and horrifying story that continues to haunt our contemporary world.



Introduction: Europe and the Mediterranean

The First Crusade

Chapter 1. The Origins of Christian Holy War

Chapter 2. The Summons to Jerusalem

Chapter 3. The March to Constantinople

Chapter 4. The Road to the Holy Sepulchre

Frankish Outremer

Chapter 5. The Foundation of Christian Outremer

Chapter 6. The Latin States

Chapter 7. East is East and East is West: Outremer in the Twelfth Century

The Second Crusade

Chapter 8. A New Path to Salvation? Western Christendom and Holy War 1100–1145

Chapter 9. God’s Bargain: Summoning the Second Crusade

Chapter 10. ‘The Spirit of the Pilgrim God’: Fighting the Second Crusade

The Third Crusade

Chapter 11. ‘A Great Cause for Mourning’: The Revival of Crusading and the Third Crusade

Chapter 12. The Call of the Cross

Chapter 13. To the Siege of Acre

Chapter 14. The Palestine War 1191–2

The Fourth Crusade

Chapter 15. ‘Ehud’s Sharpened Sword’

Chapter 16. The Fourth Crusade: Preparations

Chapter 17. The Fourth Crusade: Diversion

The Expansion of Crusading

Chapter 18. The Albigensian Crusades 1209–29

Chapter 19. The Fifth Crusade 1213–21

Chapter 20. Frontier Crusades 1: Conquest in Spain

Chapter 21. Frontier Crusades 2: the Baltic and the North

The Defence of Outremer

Chapter 22. Survival and Decline: the Frankish Holy Land in the Thirteenth Century

Chapter 23. The Defence of the Holy Land 1221–44

Chapter 24. Louis IX and the Fall of Mainland Outremer 1244–91

The Later Crusades

Chapter 25. The Eastern Crusades in the Later Middle Ages

Chapter 26. The Crusade and Christian Society in the Later Middle Ages



Select Further Reading

Select List of Rulers