In 1095 Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade to recover Jerusalem from the Seljuq Turks. Tens of thousands of people joined his cause, making it the single largest event of the Middle Ages. The conflict would rage for over 200 years, transforming Christian and Islamic relations forever.
Andrew Jotischky takes readers through the key events, focussing on the experience of crusading, from both sides. Featuring textboxes with fascinating details on the key sites, figures and battles, this essential primer asks all the crucial questions: What were the motivations of the crusaders? What was it like to be a crusader or to live in a crusading society? And how do these events, nearly a thousand years ago, still shape the politics of today?
“Crisp and accessible. Clever comparisons across time and place bring a sharp focus to the analysis. Jotischky draws out the bigger picture and shows us how and why we should try to understand the Crusades today.”
– Jonathan Phillips – Professor of Crusading History, Royal Holloway, University of London
“A concise, lucid, and well-informed introduction to one of the most notorious and debated episodes of medieval history.”
– Christopher Tyerman – Senior Research Fellow and Tutor in History, University of Oxford