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The Crusader's Kingdom: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages

The Crusader's Kingdom: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages

Paperback

By (author) Joshua Prawer

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  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson History
  • Format: Paperback | 624 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 214mm x 54mm | 780g
  • Publication date: 1 June 2001
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 184212224X
  • ISBN 13: 9781842122242
  • Illustrations note: 16 B/W Photo\Illu(s)

Product description

Interposed between the fall of the Roman Empire and the great Age of Discovery, the Crusades represented the opening chapter of European expansionism and were forerunners to the colonial movement that changed the course of world history. Professor Prawer focuses on the principal achievement of the crusaders - the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. In so doing he presents in-depth descriptions of what a twelfth and thirteenth century colony looked like and shows how it functioned and developed as a colonial establishment. He identifies the ideological premises of the Crusades and the organization and achievements of the European establishments in the Levant. In considering all aspects of the social and political organisation, economic and cultural developments, the arts, religion, the role of the military and the impact of the Crusades on the conquered peoples, Joshua Prawer throws new light on the origins of colonialism and the nature of a colonial empire. A provocative and fascinating account of a dramatic period of history.

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Author information

Joshua Prawer was an internationally recognised authority on the Crusades. He was Professor of Medieval History at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a member of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. His two volume study Histoire du Royaume Latin du Jerusalem was awarded the Prix Gustav Schlumberger of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, and he received a Rothschild Prize for the research which went into this book.

Editorial reviews

Interposed between the fall of the Roman Empire and the great Age of Discovery, the Crusades represent the opening chapter in the history of European expansionism. They were in effect the forerunners of the late 15th/early 16th-century colonial movement which was to change the course of world history. Professor of Medieval History at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, Joshua Prawer was an internationally recognized authority on the Crusades, and The Crusader's Kingdom, which was first published in 1972, remains a benchmark of its kind, unparalleled in its breadth of knowledge and attention to detail, a comprehensive - even exhaustive - exploration of every aspect of Christian life in the Holy Land. It spans four crusades, from 1095, when the armies of the First Crusade assembled, to 1204, when the Fourth Crusade ended, ignominiously, with the conquest and subjugation of Christian Constantinople. But Prawer focuses less on the vainglorious military aspects of the crusades than on the more prosaic organization of Crusader society as it was constructed around the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. This is a painstakingly in-depth description of how a 12th- and 13th-century colony functioned and developed. Prawer identifies the ideological premises of the Crusades, and describes the machinery of church and government, economic and cultural life, the role of pilgrims, whose sufferings on and off ship make fascinating reading, and the military orders, who found, in the Crusades, a way to reconcile warfare with spirituality and in so doing create the ascetic warrior monks of the Knights Templars. Finally, Prawer considers the impact of the Crusades on the conquered peoples, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, and the lasting legacy of the epoch. When he wrote, he was throwing valuable new light on the origins of colonialism and the nature of colonial empire. Now, perhaps, we can read it and understand Christianity's enduring fear of and obsession with Islam. (Kirkus UK)