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A History of the Crusades, Vol. II: The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Frankish East, 1100-1187

(A History of the Crusades #2)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  669 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Sir Steven Runciman's three volume A History of the Crusades, one of the great classics of English historical writing, is now being reissued. This volume describes the Frankish states of Outremer from the accession of King Baldwin I to the re-conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin. As Runciman says in his preface, 'The politics of the Moslem world in the early twelfth-century de ...more
Paperback, 538 pages
Published December 3rd 1987 by Cambridge University Press (first published 1951)
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Bryn Hammond
He may be the comfy old cardigan of Crusader studies now, but I’ve just read this Vol II in conjunction with Christopher Tyerman over these events, and Sir Steven, humane-minded, joying in the plural cultures that were the Holy Land, was rightly knighted, I say.
Olethros
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
-Erudición y entretenimiento no tienen que enfrentarse, al menos no necesariamente-.

Género. Historia.

Lo que nos cuenta. Desde la Primera Cruzada, con una mirada hacia atrás para entender el sustrato del Imperio Romano y su herencia, hasta la caída de San Juan de Acre, con una mirada hacia delante hasta Pio II para entender sus estertores, retrato pormenorizado y cronológico de los hechos, personajes y acontecimientos que construyeron el fenómeno conocido como Las Cruzadas.

¿Quiere saber más del
...more
Walter Mendoza
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The second volume: The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Frankish East; tells us the history of the princedoms, until the Battle of the Horns of Hattin and the defeat of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the reconquest by Saladyn.

An excellent narrative, and a masterpiece of scholarship accuracy and detail. The history of golden age of the Kingdom and Saladyn's rise to power and the complex interactions of the leaders. From the great statesman King Baldwin and the conflictman Reynald de Chatillon.

Finally I
...more
Alex Barry
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-crusades
The middle volume of Professor Runciman's meticulously researched history, dealing with the periods leading up to, and following, the abysmal Second Crusade. A challenging and difficult read, with character names among the Franks, the Byzantines, the Armenians, and the Arabs (among many others) that may seem to repeat and confuse, and many locations largely unknown to the modern western reader. The author's account is not always linear, moving back and forth in time as he recounts details of dif ...more
Michael O'Brien
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating study of the Crusader States and the period between the First and the Third Crusades. Although he does seem generally to hold an overall favorable view of the Byzantines, Steven Runciman resists the effort to engage in hagiography or demonizing, generally letting the facts speaks for themselves and letting the reader decide for themselves on the acts of the protagonists involved.

As in the case with the Volume I of this series, we get a picture of a 12th Century Middle East that is
...more
Andrada
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-ancient
In the second volume of his History of the Crusades, Steven Runciman uses the quote “They have begotten strange children” from Hosea V, 7 to open his chapter dealing with the offspring of the first crusaders. And that is a pretty good hint of how badly the history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem went for the Christian invaders. Few of the heirs of the first crusaders lived up to their parents’ renown and both heirs and heiresses made some pretty terrible choices both on and off the battlefield. The ...more
Joshua Neil
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LDM
May 13, 2019 added it
In this volume, Runciman takes us to the apex of Frankish power in the East and to its degringolade before the onslaught of Saladin. As in the previous volume, there is much killing and raiding and pillaging; much truce-breaking and betrayal and incestual child marriage; much intrigue and faction and assassination by dagger and poison. We see the back of Byzantium broken at Myriocephalon. The fall of the Egyptian Fatimids. The reconquest of Edessa and later all the Crusader holdings except Tyre, ...more
Christina
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was an excellent reference for the factual details of the period. But, unless you are very interested in the topic, it is dry and tough read because it is so full of the facts. I liked the fact that he got into a lot of the details about the political happenings in the arab world during the period. Over and over, you read and the arab disaray allowed the crusader states to stick around as long as they did. But, Runciman takes you through the issues that the arabs were facing during the ...more
Erik Van Linden
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Writing about a subject, which out of necessity includes a lot of dates, places, names and dynastic intrigues, is not easy.
But this book was not only very interesting but also engaging and fun to read. His style of writing is unique and superb. His reasoning is balanced, clear and engaging
A must read if you are interested in this period.
In my edition the sources were clearly noted on every page with an appendix of all principal sources used, extra details on the battle of Hattin and a bibliogr
...more
Ryan Campbell
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The second volume in Runciman’s wonderful trilogy from the crowning of Baldwin to Saladin’s reconquest of Jerusalem. Runciman does a fantastic job exploring how the Frankish kingdoms in Outremer fought amongst themselves while the Muslim powers became more unified under the gentleman solider Saladin.

As with the first book in the series Runciman’s writing style makes this a pleasure to read. For example:

The gay, gallant trappings of life in Outremer hung thinly over anxiety, uncertainty and fea
...more
Antonis Nicolopoulos
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The second chapter is another great read of this magnificent story that was the Crusades. All medieval players are presented fairly in their greed, piety and utter folly. Not surprisingly, it is Saladin, the tolerant and gentle Kurd, who united the Moslems, that emerges as the real hero of that period. Runciman writes with authority, balances his sources and delivers an amazing (if somewhat over-detailed) history of what - surely - became a template for the Game of Thrones writers
Andy Smith
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The more I teach this period, the less reliable a guide Runciman seems. Yet, nearly a century on, his writing remains elegant and engaging, particularly his assessment of individuals and their characters.
Dimi Tsioumbris
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, in this book we see the creation of the order of the assassins and the rise of Saladin, and how successful he was! Just read it
Jeroen Van de Crommenacker
A classic in history literature. Just as good as Sicilian Vespers.
Matt Hayes
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A little less inspired than first volume, but still fascinating.
Joe
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although this was published in the 1950s the three volumes are still a very serviceable introduction to the Crusades. This is a top down narrative history mostly taken-up with dynastic struggles between Crusaders and Byzantines, Crusaders and Muslims, Muslims and Byzantines, Muslims and Muslims, Mongols and Muslims, and Crusaders and Crusaders

The success of the first Crusade was quite astonishing. A not very well organised group of competing noblemen managed to march their army via Byzantium int
...more
Ken
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"The Kingdom of Jerusalem" is a far better read than Vol. I "The First Crusade". It is still a substantial amount of information to take in. By now though, thanks to the foundation gained by reading Vol. I the names and places are more familiar. This History is better documented than the previous book and the personalities on all sides are delved into a bit deeper. You gain a better understanding of the establishment of the Kingdom, it's princes petty jealousies and Islam's ultimate triumph over ...more
Stosch
Nov 26, 2013 rated it liked it
its rated highly by most readers but i think it lacks focus and doesnt progress right. it also reads alot like the bible. he rattles off a l0ng list of people and their relatives, marriages, then the name of territory. perhaps 7 or 8 relationships with very little detail. reminds me of sections of the old testament. then when theres action its flat. i really wanted to like it. library had the hardcover 3 vol set. i read about 150 pages of each vol and its all the same structure. not fun to read ...more
Unni krishnan
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
amazing ... traces the tragi-comic accounts of the second crusades ,aftereffects of the first crusades..an illuminating account of the rise of zengi,Nur ed din and of course the Sultan... salah ed din otherwise known as saladin...the deference to detail , the geopolitical detail in this book as in first is amazing...
Fran
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Okay, so I mainly read the bits about Balian of Ibelin because I have a serious crush on the guy, but Runciman's history book is the best I've ever read. I don't even like non-fiction all that much, but I've gone back and reread bits of this multiple times.
David
Jun 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
A must for anyone who wants to be truly out of date
rati
Jul 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
FS ed.
Thomas Harlan
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Put this one back on the shelf. Too depressing.
David
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A King's Scholar at Eton College, he was an exact contemporary and close friend of George Orwell. While there, they both studied French under Aldous Huxley. In 1921 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge as a history scholar and studied under J.B. Bury, becoming, as Runciman later commented, "his first, and only, student." At first the reclusive Bury tried to brush him off; then, when Runciman ment ...more

Other books in the series

A History of the Crusades (3 books)
  • A History of the Crusades, Vol. I: The First Crusade and the Foundations of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
  • A History of the Crusades, Vol. III: The Kingdom of Acre and the Later Crusades

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