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HOW TO PLAN A CRUSADE: Religious War in the High Middle Ages
Bibliophile price: £8.00
The Oxford historian has written a spirited and sweeping account of religious war in the high Middle Ages, a story of conquest initiated by the First Crusade and its successors. The accounts move quickly from describing the Pope's calls to arms to the battlefield. Tyerman focusses on the overlooked, the massive, all-encompassing and hugely costly business of preparing for a Crusade. Thousands of men and women left their lands and families in western Europe and marched off to the Holy Land, called by the power of prayer, in a dynamic era of conquest. The narrative explores the diplomacy, communications, propaganda, medical care, equipment, voyages, money, weapons, wills, ransom and animals. Illustrations in the text include scenes from the Siege of Damietta 1912 including the floating siege-tower designed by the preacher Oliver of Paderborn and the defeat and captivity of French Crusaders at Gaza 1240. Knights are attacking Muslim cavalry and a cargo ship, protected by Christ. There are 29 plates including a 14th century map of Jerusalem, Louis IX of France taking the Cross on his sick bed 1244, Mongols depicted as cannibals, French prisoners released from Egypt 1241, shipbuilding and the building of a battlefield fort from the Bayeux Tapestry, and a grid map of the Holy Land. With four maps, 400pp, colour plates.

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