First Crusader: Byzantium's Holy Wars

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Sutton, 2001 - 280 pages
Traditionally, the Crusades refer to the wars begun by the West in the late 11th century to recover the Holy Land from Muslim domination. In this work, the author argues that the first true crusaders came from the east several centuries before, starting with the struggle between the Christian Byzantine empire and its infidel invaders. It begins in the seventh century with the defeat by the Persians of much of the Byzantine empire; Jerusalem itself was seized, the Holy Sepulchre destroyed, and the True Cross, its most important relic, was taken back to Persia. At this moment of crisis a hero, the emperor Heraclius, came from Africa to save the empire and Christianity. He overthrew the power of the Persian empire, regained the True Cross and and carried it as a penitent into the recently regained Jerusalem in one of the greatest scenes of the ancient world and of Christian history. However, Heraclius had regained the Holy Land only to lose it to the Muslim Arabs for the next 200 years. The first full account in English of these first crusaders, this book reveals stories of adventure which easily match those of the better known western crusades.

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User Review  - Gordopolis - LibraryThing

I found this was the kind of history book that delivers fact with the readability of fiction. The facts were well conveyed and plentiful but it was the author's narrative that took me along on Emperor ... Read full review

First crusader: Byzantium's holy wars

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Remembered as an exemplar of cold-blooded realpolitik, the Byzantine Empire actually pioneered the combination of military and religious fervor known as holy war, according to this colorful history ... Read full review


Two The Christian Empire
Three The New David
Four The Wild Boar

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About the author (2001)

Geoffrey Regan lives in Surrey, England.

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