The Crusades in 100 Objects (Kindle)
The Great Campaigns of the Medieval World
For half a millennium, throughout almost the entire medieval period, the Catholic church sanctioned military campaigns against what it perceived as its enemies. The rise of Islam and its spread across large parts of the Middle East, Asia, North Africa and even the peripheries of Europe, saw Muslim warriors seize the Holy Land, occupy Jerusalem and threaten Constantinople. In response, Pope Urban II advocated a crusade to retake the Holy Land – the first of nine military campaigns that stretched over the succeeding 200 years.
Other, lesser-known crusades were subsequently mounted with the aim of Christianising the more remote regions of northern and north-eastern Europe, as well as against the Cathars in southern France. The advance of the Ottomans into the Balkans saw further crusades to halt the Muslims in Bosnia and Serbia, and the re-conquest of Spain from the Muslim Moors.
Such diverse theatres of conflict have resulted in an equally diverse number of relics still to be found in a score of countries. From magnificent castles, swords, artillery and coats of arms, to Crusader-struck coins and even the brass pen box used by Muslim writers to spread the word of Islam, this remarkable collection of artefacts and structures tells the story, much of it largely forgotten, of the conflicts which shaped the nature of the Western World known today, both in spiritual and geographical terms.
Beautifully illustrated and written by acknowledged period expert James Waterson, The Crusades in 100 Objects opens a window into the past as never seen before.