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Descripción de editorial
The story of how a group of warriors, driven by faith, greed and wanderlust, carved out new Christian-ruled states in the Middle East is one of the most extraordinary of all epics. The crusaders' stunning initial success started a sequence of great Crusades, each with its own story, that fundamentally shaped the Christian and Muslim worlds for two centuries, until the last Crusader castles were finally expunged. The energy and commitment that sent army after army into the eastern Mediterranean also led to the invasion and conversion of Central and Baltic Europe, Spain, Portugal, the destruction of the Cathars in Provence and the settlement of America. Told with great verve and authority, God's War is the definitive account of a fascinating but also horrifying story.
‘We are still living with the images and legends of the crusades…Tyerman tells us how the Church set about preaching the crusades, exploiting the perennial pessimism and guilt of the European nobility of the Middle Ages. He shows how crusading ideology penetrated the religious sensibility of the period, as well as its secular fiction and poetry…Of all the modern histories of the crusades it is the shrewdest, the most reliable and the most complete.’ – The Spectator
This is likely to replace Steven Runciman's 50-year-old History of the Crusades as the standard work. Tyerman (England and the Crusades), lecturer in medieval history at Oxford University, demolishes our simplistic misconceptions about that series of ferocious campaigns in the Middle East, Muslim Spain and the pagan Baltic between 1096 and 1500. Abjuring sentimentality and avoiding clich s about a rapacious West and an innocent East, Tyerman focuses on the crusades' very human paradoxes: "the inspirational idealism; utopianism armed with myopia; the elaborate, sincere intolerance; the diversity and complexity of motive and performance." The reader marvels at the crusaders' inextinguishable devotion to Christ even while shuddering at their delight in massacring those who did not share that devotion. In the end, Tyerman says, what killed crusading was neither a lack of soldierly enthusiasm nor its failure to retain control of Jerusalem, but the loss of Church control over civil societies at home and secular authorities who felt that religion was not sufficient cause for war and that diplomacy was a more rational method of deciding international relations. God's War is that very rare thing: a readable and vivid history written with the support of a formidable scholarly background, and it deserves to reach a wide audience. 16 color illus.