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The Crusades

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Book Categories: Crusades, Crusader Kingdoms, Knights Templar, First Crusade, Second Crusade, Third Crusade, Saladin, Fourth Crusade, Fifth & Sixth Crusades, Ninth Crusade, Ottomans, Crusades DVDs, Byzantine Empire, Middle Eastern Royalty, European Royalty

The Crusades

The Crusades, C. 1071-C. 1291 by Jean Richard, translated by Jean Birrell. A concise, general history of the Crusades.

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades edited by Jonathan Riley-Smith. Written by a team of leading scholars, this book has over 200 illustrations.

The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf and Jon Rothschild. The author has combed the works of contemporary Arab chroniclers of the Crusades. He retells their story and offers insights into the historical forces that shape Arab and Islamic consciousness today.

Arab Historians of the Crusades edited by Francesco Gabrieli. Excerpts from general histories of the Muslim world; chronicles of cities, regions, and their dynasties; and other historical records.

Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands by Dan Jones. Illuminates centuries of war from the perspective of popes and kings, Arab-Sicilian poets, Byzantine princesses, Mamluk slave soldiers, Mongol chieftains, and more.

The Crusades, 1095-1204 by Jonathan Phillips. Includes a who's who, a chronology, maps, family trees, and numerous illustrations

Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors by Brian A. Catlos. This reconstruction of the Mediterranean world of 1050 to 1200 overturns the assumption that it was defined by religious extremism.

Armies of the Crusades by Terence Wise. From the Men-at-Arms series.

Deus Lo Volt! A Chronicle of the Crusades by Evan S. Connell. This fictional account of the crusades is a fascinating hybrid of scholarship and swordplay. (Review © Amazon.com)

Crusader Kingdoms

Crusader Castles by Hugh Kennedy. About the history and architecture of Crusader castles in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, County of Tripoli and Principality of Antioch between 1099 and 1291. Includes photographs, drawings, plans, and a comprehensive bibliography.

Crusader Archaeology: The Material Culture of the Latin East by Adrian J. Boas. Examines what life was like for the Crusaders in their territory, and how they were influenced by their new-found neighbors. Illustrated.

Queens of Outremer: The Christian Princesses of Medieval Palestine by Kate Lombard. In the Crusader states, women ruled, rebelled, and undertook architectural projects.


The Creation of the Principality of Antioch, 1098-1130 by Thomas S. Asbridge. The First Crusade culminated in the Frankish conquest of much of Syria and Palestine. This book is the first major study of the early history of one of these Latin settlements, the principality of Antioch.


Godfrey of Bouillon: Duke of Lower Lotharingia, Ruler of Latin Jerusalem, c. 1060-1100 by Simon John. Examines Godfrey's involvement in the First Crusade in the light of the careers of his ancestors and his own activities in Lotharingia.

Baldwin of Bourcq: Count of Edessa and King of Jerusalem (1100-1131) by Alan V. Murray. Biography of a minor French nobleman who became a king.

Melisende of Jerusalem: The World of a Forgotten Crusader Queen by Margaret Tranovich. Queen Melisende successfully ruled the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the 12th century even as her own husband and son fought her for control.

Defending the City of God: A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem by Sharan Newman. During the time of the Crusades, a group of sisters, daughters of the King of Jerusalem, held together fragile treaties and marriages among many different factions.

The Leper King and His Heirs: Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem by Bernard Hamilton. Argues that the young king, despite suffering from leprosy, presided over a vigorous society.

Emperor Frederick II and the Latin East by Guy Perry. How Holy Roman emperor Frederick II helped shape the fate of the kingdom of Jerusalem in the 13th century.

Kings and Lords in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem by Hans E. Mayer. A collection of 18 studies in German, English, and French published between 1982 and 1991.

Frankish Rural Settlement in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem by Ronnie Ellenblum. A study of the spatial distribution of Frankish settlement in the Latin Kingdom.

The Latin Empire of Constantinople

John of Brienne: King of Jerusalem, Emperor of Constantinople, c.1175-1237 by Guy Perry. Biographical study of a knight who became king, and emperor of the Latin Empire.

The Knights Templar

The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple by Malcolm Barber. A detailed account of the Templars' history.

The Tragedy of the Templars: The Rise and Fall of the Crusader States by Michael Haag. Conflicts and betrayals sent the Knights Templar spiraling from domination to condemnation. This book includes maps and photos.

The Templars and the Grail: Knights of the Quest by Karen Ralls. Examines beliefs and theories about the Knights Templar.

The Knights Templar: A New History by Helen Nicholson. Based on extensive research into surviving historical evidence.

The Templars: The Rise, Fall, and Legacy of a Military Religious Order edited by Jochen Burgtorf, Shlomo Lotan, and Enric Mallorquí-Ruscalleda. Case studies explore the order's rise to prominence, its fall, and its legacy.

The Templars by Piers Paul Read. A novelist's sweeping popular history of the Templars.

Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades by John J. Robinson. A popular account of the Templars' dramatic history.

More Books About the Knights Templar

The First Crusade

The First Crusade edited by Edward M. Peters. The chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and other source materials.

People of the First Crusade by Michael Foss tells the story of the First Crusade in the words of participants.

The First Crusade: Origin and Impact edited by Jonathan Phillips.

The Alexiad by Anna Comnena. The author of this classic history was the daughter of 12th century Byzantine emperor Alexius I. Her book covers her father's reign and the First Crusade.

The First Crusade: The Call from the East by Peter Frankopan. According to tradition, the First Crusade began at Pope Urban II's instigation. But what if the real catalyst was Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos?

The Second Crusade

The Second Crusade: Scope and Consequences edited by Jonathan Phillips and Martin Hoch. Essays examine the planning, execution, and consequences of the crusade for Western Europe, the Crusader States of the Holy Land, and the Muslim Near East.

The Second Crusade and the Cistercians by Michael Gervers.

Books About Eleanor of Aquitaine

The Third Crusade

Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade by James Reston Jr. The Third Crusade was overseen by two great leaders, Saladin and the Richard the Lionheart. Writing with a keen sense of historical detail and drama, Reston traces the complex path by which Saladin and Richard came to face each other on the field of battle. (Review © Amazon.com)

The Crusade of Frederick Barbarossa: The History of the Expedition of the Emperor Frederick and Related Texts translated by G. A. Loud. The first English translation of the main contemporary accounts of the Third Crusade and death of the German Frederick I Barbarossa (ruled 1152-90).

The Siege of Acre, 1189-1191 by John D. Hosler. Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the battle that decided the Third Crusade.

Books About Richard II

Saladin, Sultan of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, & Palestine

Saladin by Anne-Marie Eddé translated by Jane Marie Todd. Biography that presents a view of the Crusades from an Arab perspective.

Saladin: The Sultan Who Vanquished the Crusaders and Built an Islamic Empire by John Man. Biography of the 12th century ruler of Egypt and Syria who was a builder, literary patron, and theologian.

Saladin: The Sultan and His Times, 1138-1193 by Hannes Möhring, translated by David S. Bachrach. Follows the sultan's life from the rise of the Crusader states through the Third Crusade, and examines the legacy of his rule.

The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin by Jonathan Phillips. A fresh look at the triumphs, failures, and contradictions of one of the Crusades' most unique figures.

Saladin and the Saracens Armies of the Middle East, 1100-1300 by David Nicolle. About the weapons and armor of Saladin's warriors.

Saladin in Egypt by Yaacov Lev. Looks at Saladin's rise to power and the formation of his army in Egypt.

Hattin 1187: Saladin's Greatest Victory by David Nicolle. Tells the story of the campaign leading to the Muslim capture of Jerusalem after the disastrous Crusader defeat at Hattin, where, in a two-day battle on the waterless plateau, Saladin's troops destroyed the Christian army.

The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin translated by Donald S. Richards. This is a translation of Baha al-Din Ibn Shaddad's 12th-century account of his life and career. Ibn Shaddad was an admirer and close associate of Saladin.

Shadow of the Swords: An Epic Novel of the Crusades by Kamran Pasha. The 12th century sultan Saladin finds himself at war with King Richard the Lionheart and in love with a Jewish girl with a tragic past.

Children's Books About Saladin

Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam by Diane Stanley. For children ages 9 to 12.

Saladin: Sultan of Egypt And Syria by Richard Worth. Biography for children ages 9 to 12.

Saladin and the Kingdom of Jersusalem: The Muslims Recapture the Holy Land in AD 1187 by Lee Hancock. For children ages 9 to 12.

Saladin by John C. Davenport. Nonfiction account of the 12th century sultan, for young adult readers.

The Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople by Jonathan Phillips. In 1202, western crusaders descended on Constantinople, wreaking devastation. They raped and massacred thousands, plundered churches, and torched the lavish city. This book is based on vivid accounts from knights and commoners, monastic chroniclers, troubadours, survivors, and even Pope Innocent III.

The Fourth Crusade 1202-04: The Betrayal of Byzantium by David Nicolle, illustrated by Christa Hook. The Fourth Crusade was preached (from 1198 onwards) as a campaign against Ayyubid Egypt, but the crusading army attacked the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, capturing it in 1203.

The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople by Donald E. Queller. Proceeding no further than Constantinople, the Crusaders sacked it and installed a Latin ruler on the throne of Byzantium.

The Conquest of Constantinople by Robert De Clari, translated by Edgar Holmes McNeil. An eyewitness account of the fourth crusade from a French knight.

Chronicles of the Crusades by Geoffrey De Villehardouin and Jean De Joinville, translated by Margaret R. Shaw. Accounts written by two soldiers who took part in the wars. Geoffrey de Villehardouin fought in the Fourth Crusade. Jean De Joinville writes about the Seventh Crusade.

The Capture of Constantinople by Gunther of Pairis, edited by Alfred J. Andrea. A contemporary history of the crusade, written by a monk.

Contemporary Sources for the Fourth Crusade by Alfred J. Andrea.

An Ungodly War: The Sack of Constantinople & the Fourth Crusade by W. B. Bartlett.

The Fifth & Sixth Crusades

The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace by Paul Moses. An examination of the little-known meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik Al-Kamil (nephew of Saladin).

Saint Francis and the Sultan: The Curious History of a Christian-Muslim Encounter by John Tolan. In September 1219, Francis of Assisi went to Egypt to preach to Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil. This book examines artistic responses to their brief but symbolic meeting.

Books About the Byzantine Empire
Books About the Ottoman Empire

The Seventh & Eighth Crusades

The Last Crusade: The Seventh Crusade and the Final Battle for the Holy Land by W. B. Bartlett. In 1249, the greatest Crusading expedition ever to set out from the West for the Holy Land was launched. Spectacular triumph was to be followed by complete disaster.

The Seventh Crusade, 1244-1254: Sources and Documents by Peter Jackson. The Seventh Crusade, led by Louis IX of France, was the last major crusade to reach the Near East. This volume comprises translations of documents and narrative sources.

The Ninth Crusade

The Accursed Tower: The Fall of Acre and the End of the Crusades by Roger Crowley. Account of the 1291 siege that ended Christendom's two-hundred year adventure in the Middle East.

Documentaries and Movies

These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.

The Crusades: Crescent & The Cross. History Channel documentary with "breathtaking CGI-enhanced visuals, heart-pounding reenactments, and stunning footage from rarely seen locations."

The Crusades. Monty Python's Terry Jones hosts this irreverent and illuminating look at the knights, faith, and Holy Wars that changed history. Four-volume set.

History's Mysteries: The Children's Crusade. Discover one of the saddest and most shocking stories of the Crusades.

Christianity. Chronicles Christianity's first 2,000 years, including the Crusades. Includes commentary from scholars and visits to the sites where history was made.

In Search of History: The Knights Templar. Unravel the extraordinary story of the legendary Knights who some say survived their execution at the end of the Crusades and have preserved their order to this day.

Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut) starring Orlando Bloom. Movie in which a blacksmith becomes a knight in Jerusalem between the Second and Third crusades. Royal characters include King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem (played by Edward Norton) and the legendary Muslim leader Saladin (played by Ghassan Massoud).

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