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Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Church History > 0521646030
  1. The First Crusaders, 1095-1131
    The First Crusaders, 1095-1131
    The First Crusaders, 1095-1131
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  2. The First Crusaders, 1095-1131

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (6 reviews)
    Price R1375.00

Additional Information

Much has been written about the crusades, but very little about the crusaders. What moved them to go? What preparations did they need to make? How did they react to their experiences? This book comes up with detailed answers to these questions, and offers the first systematic reading of a large cache of contemporary source material. The author identifies family clusters of crusaders across Europe, whose collective commitment manifested itself in support for the new settlements in the East.

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Brand: Cambridge University Press
Used Book in Good Condition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This book, first published in 1997, is a remarkable and original piece of scholarship because it focuses on the First Crusaders from 1095 to 1031, rather than on the First Crusade and its subsequent events. It answers a number of fundamental questions such who were they? Where did they come from? What were their motivations? How did they prepare for such a major endeavour as a Crusade expedition? What happened if and when they came back? (and what happened when they didn't). Finally, the last chapter is an illustrative example: that of the Monthlérys family and its history of crusading.

Jonathan Riley-Smith, in what is a masterpiece and with his usual enthusiasm, has used all available sources but above all the numerous charters which have survived, shifting through them to find answers to the questions above.

His fist point is to show to what extent the First Crusade was a revolutionary event. His second is to show that the impact of the radical ideas of... Read more
This book provides a balanced and very well researched account of the men and women who participated in the First Crusade. From the amount of information that Riley-Smith includes in this work, it is clear that he really knows his stuff. Sometimes the detailed accounts of the crusader's lives is a little hard to slog through, but it definitely helps support his argument. I would have liked a more general overview of the First Crusade towards the beginning of the work. I don't know much about the history of the Crusades, and I had to piece together the sequence of events as Riley-Smith mentioned them throughout his work. But besides this complaint, the book was a good read.
Jonathan Riley-Smith's writing style exhibits a degree of militancy that makes one wonder if the Crusades themselves have not influenced his prose. On numerous occasions throughout The First Crusaders, 1095-1131, he switches to the first person in order to embolden his declarations, making statements such as "I have records of over forty other families in each of which at least two members took the cross for the First Crusade," as if anticipating that the reader will ask him to produce these records immediately. The eagerly persuading element of his personality, which Terry Jones' 1995 documentary The Crusades captured on film, emerges in the text of this work.

Yet his rather pugnacious style does not overshadow the effectiveness of his argument and methods. Those records which one can imagine him waving at an interlocutor are primarily a large number of charters relating to property exchanges arising from preparations for early crusades. Using letters and narratives when... Read more
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