"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chronicles of the First Crusade

Book Review
Chronicles of the First Crusade
Christopher Tyerman -
(2012  -  Penguin Classics)

By Gary;

The Middle East has been a boiling cauldron of war, religion and hate almost from day one of man's history.  The Middle East is the gift that just keeps giving.

I ran across this book at the local Barnes & Noble.  It is not for the faint of heart.  But it is a beautiful book for anyone with a real interest in history, politics and war.

The Chronicle is not a standard history.  It is a collection of mostly first person accounts of those who actually witnessed or marched with the First Crusade on their epic journey to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim rule.

There are number of main accounts of the Crusades. 

- - - Gesta Francorum (Deeds of the Franks) written in 1101 AD. 

- - - Flucher of Chartres' Historia Hierosolymitana written in 1105.

- - - Raymond of Historia Francorum written in 1105.

- - - Historia by Peter Tudebode a Crusade veteran who lost two brother on the campaign wrote his book in 1111.

- - - Albert of Aachen's Historia written in 1102.

- - - Princess Anna Comnena's history Alexiad was published in the 1140s.  As the daughter of of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos of the Eastern Roman Empire she is perhaps the only female historian until modern times.  Her account of the Crusaders is valuable from the Roman-Greek point of view.

Each chapter of the book covers a portion of the Crusade.  The editor will set the historical stage with a brief passage and then you will read the accounts of what happened by those who were there to see it themselves.

The Crusade is covered from the beginning to the end.  Pope Urban's call to defend Eastern Christians from murder and slavery by Muslims; first person accounts of the Crusaders butchering Jews in central Europe on their way to the Holy Land; the Crusader's violent journey to the gates of Constantinople; details of attacks on Nicaea, Antioch and Jerusalem itself.

You are dealing with are original accounts written in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic.  We have been given a beautifully translated account of the events in a highly readable 21st century English.

Anyone with even a modest interest in Middle Eastern history would find this a great read.

To order this book visit:  Amazon.com - Chronicles First Crusade

The First Crusade
The Crusader-Roman victory at Nicaea had captured the capital of the Seljuk Turks. The Crusader forces then poured into central Anatolia taking the battle to the Turks. The Roman forces of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos fanned out behind the Crusaders re-capturing towns and lands in western Anatolia from the Muslims.
The push into Western Asia and the Holy Land by the Crusaders provided the Roman Empire a much needed breathing spell to regroup and reorganize.

See our article:  The Crusader-Byzantine Siege of Nicaea



Owner the Site said...

Dear Gary that is great work. Thanks. For more information bout the first crusade that is a small but informative paper: http://crusades-medieval.blogspot.com/2007/10/first-crusade.html

Owner the Site said...

And about the first crusade route across Asia minor: http://crusades-medieval.blogspot.com/2010/04/map-of-routes-of-first-crusade.html

Gary said...

Nice article on the Crusades.