An Illustrated HistoryBook - 2005
To modern minds, the Crusades conjure up heroic knights in shining armor galloping into battle. Although there is some truth to this image, the reality was much harsher. Thousands of poor foot soldiers and peasants who tagged along behind the knights died of malaria, dysentery, leprosy, war wounds, or sheer exhaustion. There were also terrible acts of treachery and savagery committed by both sides--such as the bloodbath when the Crusaders took Jerusalem in 1099 and slaughtered every man, woman, and child until the victors were reportedly literally wading through blood. Drawing on contemporary accounts, the fruits of up-to-date scholarship, and a wide range of full-color illustrations, The Crusades captures the excitement and drama of the battles, sieges, grueling marches, and surprise ambushes. It unravels the webs of politics and ever shifting alliances; and it conjures up the heroes and villains, and what life was really like for the thousands of Franks, for whom "Outremer" was not so much a foreign land as a home. With maps to pinpoint the routes and places, a glossary of the leading personalities, and a chronology of events, The Crusades is the perfect one volume guide to the wars that became a legend.