By: George William Cox (1827-1902)
The Crusades were a series of religious wars fought between 1096 and 1272 to recover the Holy Land from Islamic rule. According to the Latin Church, Crusaders were penitent pilgrims whose sins were forgiven. British historian, George Cox, writes of the churchmen, great and small, who inspired the Crusades, of the warriors who left families and lands behind, of the wily Venetian merchants and Byzantine emperors who exploited the knights, and of the valor of the Saracens. Here are accounts of sublime sacrifice and bestial ferocity, of dynastic conflict within the Crusader States, of sieges, starvation, pestilence, and ambush, and of the clash and interpenetration of two cultures. - Summary by Pamela Nagami, M.D.