Post-classical history

Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades

Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades

From an internationally renowned expert, here is an accessible and utterly fascinating one-volume history of the Crusades, thrillingly told through the experiences of its many players—knights and sultans, kings and poets, Christians and Muslims. Jonathan Phillips traces the origins, expansion, decline, and conclusion of the Crusades and comments on their contemporary echoes—from the mysteries of the Templars to the grim reality of al-Qaeda. Holy Warriors puts the past in a new perspective and brilliantly sheds light on the origins of today’s wars.

Starting with Pope Urban II’s emotive, groundbreaking speech in November 1095, in which he called for the recovery of Jerusalem from Islam by the First Crusade, Phillips traces the centuries-long conflict between two of the world’s great faiths. Using songs, sermons, narratives, and letters of the period, he reveals how the success of the First Crusade inspired generations of kings to campaign for their own vainglory and set down a marker for the knights of Europe, men who increasingly blurred the boundaries between chivalry and crusading. In the Muslim world, early attempts to call a jihad fell upon deaf ears until the charisma of the Sultan Saladin brought the struggle to a climax. Yet the story that emerges has other dimensions—as never before, Phillips incorporates the holy wars within the story of medieval Christendom and Islam and shines new light on many truces, alliances, and diplomatic efforts that have been forgotten over the centuries.

Holy Warriors also discusses how the term “crusade” survived into the modern era and how its redefinition through romantic literature and the drive for colonial empires during the nineteenth century gave it an energy and a resonance that persisted down to the alliance between Franco and the Church during the Spanish Civil War and right up to George W. Bush’s pious “war on terror.”

Elegantly written, compulsively readable, and full of stunning new portraits of unforgettable real-life figures—from Richard the Lionhearted to Melisende, the formidable crusader queen of Jerusalem—Holy Warriors is a must-read for anyone interested in medieval Europe, as well as for those seeking to understand the history of religious conflict.

INTRODUCTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter 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