Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for by Jay Rubenstein

By Jay Rubenstein

At Moson, the river Danube ran pink with blood. At Antioch, the Crusaders— their saddles freshly adorned with sawed-off heads—indiscriminately clogged the streets with the our bodies of japanese Christians and Turks. At Ma’arra, they cooked kids on spits and ate them. by the point the Crusaders reached Jerusalem, their quest—and their violence— had turn into enormously otherworldly: blood actually ran shin-deep in the course of the streets because the Crusaders overran the sacred city.
Beginning in 1095 and culminating 4 bloody years later, the 1st campaign represented a brand new form of conflict: holy, unrestrained, and apocalyptic. In Armies of Heaven, medieval historian Jay Rubenstein tells the tale of this cataclysmic occasion throughout the eyes of these who witnessed it, emphasizing the elemental position that apocalyptic concept performed in motivating the Crusaders. an exhilarating paintings of army and spiritual heritage, Armies of Heaven will revolutionize our knowing of the Crusades.

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So the Hunchback was found, blade in rectum, bleeding profusely, and, one would think, almost certainly dead. But he lingered for a week, and in his last moments named his teenage nephew Godfrey as heir. 7 The young Godfrey’s fortune, however, proved fleeting. Henry IV of Germany confiscated his ducal title and the lands that went with it and granted them instead to his own two-year-old son, Conrad. Godfrey had to content himself with the less significant title of Marquis of Antwerp. But he does not seem to have held a grudge.

5 None of these plans, in the 1070s and 1080s, would come to fruition. Reports of Byzantium’s imminent downfall proved to be exaggerated. The Turks’ expansion toward Constantinople slowed after the victory at Manzikert—they would not get there until 1453—and the Greeks got back to politics as usual, with backstabbings, palace coups, and confinement in monasteries of formerly prominent leaders. Yet the Turks remained a persistent threat. They had successfully claimed much of Asia Minor, taking Nicea as one of their capitals in 1078.

In the midst of this ongoing crisis, he heard rumors of the march on Jerusalem, relayed by emissaries of Pope Urban II. At least one of them, Abbot Jarento of the monastery of Saint-Bénigne in Dijon, offered to broker a peace between the duke and his brother William, without which Robert never would have dared leave his home. Nor could he have afforded to: Under the terms of the treaty, Robert ceded to William temporary control of the duchy in exchange for 10,000 marks of silver. It was still a risky 9780465019298-text_Layout 1 8/12/11 1:00 PM Page 40 40 | Armies of Heaven maneuver for Robert.

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