Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Crusades: A History” as Want to Read:
The Crusades: A History
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Crusades: A History

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In this masterly work, Robert Payne brings to life the Crusade battalions that founded vast kingdoms nearly a thousand years ago. It is an exquisitely wrought saga of the medieval world that tells of the clash between East and West at a time when religious fervor was widespread and the possession of an ancient sepulchre mattered most in the lives of men.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by Robert Hale (first published January 1st 1984)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Crusades, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Crusades

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 258)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The first book I read about the period, I was fascinated by it. Especially since I live in Israel the subject is significant to me- one can draw a lot of parallels between the situation Israel is in today to that of the Crusaders (putting aside of course the fact that they slaughtered many a Jew in and on their way to the Holy Land).

The book is a good introduction and the author obviously has a great passion for the subject which is infectious to the reader. You'll need other books for a deeper
History is filled with remarkable stories but none that I have come across tells of such an incredible adventure as the Crusades. For over 200 years starting in 1098 CE, Europeans attempted to take and hold the Holy Land from those who they considered the infidel - the Muslims. Just when you would think they'd give up, the effort would be renewed, including an absurd "children's crusade" led by a fifteen year old that hoped to see Muslims abandon Jerusalem at the sight of thousands of pious unar ...more
Superb, excellent writing, excellent information and eye opening. Great introduction to the Crusades as a whole. Definitely recommended for those just getting into the Crusades who will continue to read more after this book or for those just wanting to gain knowledge on the basic overview. Either way cannot go wrong with this book.
Of all the accounts of the Crusades I've read, this one strikes the best balance between being comprehensive and being readable. Oldenbourg goes into more detail, Mackay's long chapter in Extraordinary Popular Delusions is written with more humour but Payne has been most successful in educating me.
I read this book when I was about twelve years old, and forever fell in love with the story of the Crusades. I am now much older than that and am still learning lessons and re-understanding material I learned from this read! Payne takes the narrative approach and explores the personalities that formed the well-known and less-known events from 1097 to about 1250 (terminating with the sacking of Constantinople). Additional documentation and correspondences brought to light by Payne reveal personal ...more
Good history is good story telling. This author does that very well.

I appreciated that he stuck to facts, and not imagination. Especially in reference to Richard III of England.
Perfect history in that you don't have the luxury of having a favorite; at any time, either the "Muslims", the Byzantine Empire, or the "Franks" are doing things so contrary to their religions and espoused moralities that they engender disgust and contempt in all but the worst apologists.

The book paints with equal accuracy the beauty, opulence, and decadence of the East and the brutality, inhumanity, and cruelty of those who would control that beauty. Essentially, the story of the Crusades is, s
It is not often I can call a history text like this a "page turner" but Payne keeps the reader engrossed for nearly the entire book. Towards the end he appears tired, and pace and editing are not as strong as in the beginning, but still very much worth reading if you enjoy medieval history. A nice addition to any library.
Zachary Rawlins
Probably my favorite history book, certainly the best on the crusades. Thoughtful, narrative, and comprehensive, this is a wonderful book for anyone who wants to take a hard, in depth look at one of the formative events in modern society.
Amy Wolf
Really really good history of the Crusades. The authors point out the absurdity of the Europeans embarking to The Holy Land to free an empty tomb. The tone is even-handed, and fair to both sides.
Title in German:
Die Kreuzzüge. Zweihundert Jahre Kampf um das Heilige Grab
John Kurtz
A superb and surprisingly readable history of the Crusades.
Better works on the crusades are available.

Bob Stuhlsatz
It was kind of disjointed but very interesting.
too broad of a subject for one volume, but it is well written and a fair primer as an introduction to the topic.
Wendy Bertsch
Wendy Bertsch marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2015
Missi marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2015
Mel marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2015
Daniel Thomas
Daniel Thomas marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2015
Steven Chang
Steven Chang marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2015
Matt marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
Daphne marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2015
Matthew Maldonado
Matthew Maldonado marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2015
William marked it as to-read
Aug 07, 2015
Fivewincs marked it as to-read
Aug 07, 2015
Bryant marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2015
Neil marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
Alexander widrow
Alexander widrow marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
Jordan marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Tragedy of the Templars: The Rise and Fall of the Crusader States
  • God's War: A New History of the Crusades
  • Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse
  • The Crusades
  • God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World
  • Conspirator: Lenin in Exile
  • The Crusades: A History (Yale Nota Bene)
  • The World's Most Evil People
  • Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography
  • Himmler's Crusade: The Nazi Expedition to Find the Origins of the Aryan Race
  • The Russian Anarchists
  • Strange Histories: The Trial of the Pig, the Walking Dead, and Other Matters of Fact from the Medieval and Renaissance Worlds
  • Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades
  • Arab Historians of the Crusades
  • Caligula: A Biography
  • Invisible Romans
  • Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades
  • The First Crusade: A New History
Pierre Stephen Robert Payne (4 December 1911 – 3 March 1983), was a novelist, historian, poet, and biographer.
Born in Cornwall, the son of an English naval architect, and with a French mother. He worked as a shipbuilder and then for a time with the Inland Revenue. In 1941 he became an armament officer and chief camouflage officer for British Army Intelligence at Singapore. In the summer of 1946, P
More about Pierre Stephen Robert Payne...
The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler Ivan the Terrible The Life and Death of Lenin The Gold of Troy Ancient Rome

Share This Book