God's War: A New History of the Crusades
God's War offers a sweeping new vision of one of history's most astounding events: the Crusades.
From 1096 to 1500, European Christians fought to recreate the Middle East, Muslim Spain, and the pagan Baltic in the image of their God. The Crusades are perhaps both the most familiar and most misunderstood phenomena of the medieval world, and here Christopher Tyerman seeks...more
One of the strengths of this book is Tyerman’s expert use of contemporary sources, both Christian and Muslim ...more
In the prologue to this book, Tyerman compares himself disfavorably to this historian (I gu ...more
In his preface he discusses the historian's perspective:
My perspective is western European... A history of the Crusades could be very different in structure if composed from the viewpoint of medieval Syrian, Egyptian or Andalusian Muslims, or European or Near Eastern Jews, or Balts, Livs or Prussians. However, the essential contours of the subject would, if observed dispassionately, look much the same, because t ...more
Read it in a thick and cumbersome paper back weighing in at 1023 pages.
Diving deep into the rabbit hole with an engrossing, detailed, events, causes, and outcomes of the premier activity in regards to and concerning the theatres of the Levant, Modern Spain, and Modern Eastern Europe/Western Russia from 1080AD to the death throws and eventual end of the Crusades loosely around 1500AD. Tyerman is considered a British Medieval Historian and a fellow of both Hertford Coll ...more
One insight: the Teutonic Knights conquered and ruled Prussia as an independent state. This explains why the tradition of the military was so strong in that region, reflected in mod ...more
All this spiced up with Tyerman is not mentioning Croats at all, as if it was only Greek, Bulgarians, Serbs... fighting the Turks.
(Let me put it in persp ...more
first child was sandwiched between the start and finish), I felt an enormous sense of pride
(and a little relief!) when I finally completed it.
The scope, breadth and depth of the research involved here is staggering. It covers
500 years in Christian (specifically Roman Catholic) ideology, and it discusses the causes, reasons and implications of what each of the Crusades to the Levant and/or Egypt meant for Eu ...more
Very dense, very informative. Needs careful reading to avoid mixing up all the Normans (during the 1st Crusade they are mainly called Roger, Robert, or Raymond...other works have done this better).
It tends to stutter with the chronology, nipping back and forth a few years here and there, then falling back on track. Dry in bits then without warning very interesting. Littered with typos, but with the occasional nugget or viewpoint that I'd not considered before.
All in a ...more
In the humanity of it all, responds Tyerman. He remarks that "sentimentality will not do" in explaining why so many, men and women, lay and clergy, noble and common, embarked on long, s ...more
Of course writing about five centuries of various tribulations and intermittent wars accompanying the Crusades is quite difficult. Tyerman managed to create a clear, understandable yet undiluted and unaligned description of the most complex and arguably most misunderstood series of events, formative to the p ...more
I liked the discussion of how the crusades were marketed and how they appear in literature. Information was also provided on the impact of crusading on the family members who were left behind.
Still, and especially if you are still reading this pithy review, enthusiastically recommended.
I'd definitely recommend it as required reading for any history buff or undergrad.