Defending the City of God: A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem
This book covers the period of the crusades that encompasses the reign of Queen Melisende and her father. It's a fascinating real-life Game of Thrones kind of story, and you will find it surprising just how interwoven the society around the Crusades became. It's not always about Infidels vs. Islam, there are far more complexities to it, even instances of Europeans and local populations working together. I have not spent a great deal of time reading about this period in history, but I did find my...more
Sharan Newman began Defending the City of God as a biography of Melesinde, the first hereditary Queen of Jerusalem, but expanded it to include the lives of her parents, siblings, in laws, more distant relatives, their enemies and the ‘many diverse peoples who lived in the Near East’. It’s a complex story and one that in Newman’s hands left me as baffled as a six year old in a sex education lesson. What on earth is going on?
It seems Melesinde, was born around 1105 in the city of Edessa, (in what ...more
Think of “the crusades” and you immediate imagine blades clashing, sworn oaths and the ultimate belief in acting on God’s will and procuring a permanent place in Heaven. But that’s only one side of the terribly convoluted conflict that took place time after time in the middle east. Newman reminds us that it wasn’t always black and white. That there were cross-cultural lives caught ...more
The turmoil then reflects the tensions that exist not only between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but most of the turmoil in our world. Whoever said we live in a stressful world could not imag ...more
Thrones. Originally intending to write a biography of the first queen of Jerusalem,
the author expanded the book when, during the course of her research, civil war
broke out in Syria. Attempting to draw parallels between the past and present,
the author gives a detailed picture of the convoluted politics of the time with its
many players, diverse cultures, and ever-changing factions.
With an eye toward reclaiming rightf ...more
Rather than teach, Newman chose to use her e ...more