The Medieval Crusades (World History) (Library Binding)
By the end of the eleventh century, about two-thirds of the ancient Christian world had been conquered by Muslims, including Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Anatolia. In response, western European Christians organized and launched the Crusades, a series of violent expeditions meant to check Islamic expansion, formally regain control over Christian areas of the Holy Land, and seize pagan regions. Not strictly political in nature, participating in a crusade was considered a means of redemption and cleansing of one's sins. Heroes sprang up along the way, such as Saladin and Richard the Lionheart, and the exploits of such figures are as astonishing in fact as they are in fiction. This compelling edition examines the significant events that characterized the medieval Crusades, organized into comprehensive chapters designed to facilitate student discussion and research.