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The Great Saracen

From the April 2020 Print Edition

In 1187, Pope Urban III received news so startling that he died from hearing it. Across the Mediterranean, in the Crusader-­controlled Kingdom of Jerusalem, a great battle had been fought between Christian knights and the forces of the Muslim leader, Saladin. On a rocky plain formed by an extinct . . . . Continue Reading »

Review of Saint Louis

From the April 2010 Print Edition

Saint Louis by Jacques Le Goff translated by Gareth Evan Gollrad University of Notre Dame,1016 pages, $75 Louis IX had one goal: to be a perfect Christian king. Judging from his press, even in this critical age, he appears to have achieved it. Historical revisionism has left the reputation of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Fighting the Good Fight

From the December 2006 Print Edition

God’s War: A New History of the Crusades by christopher tyerman belknap, 1,040 pages, $35 Not too many years ago, single-volume histories of the Crusades were a rarity. Bookstores were crowded with volumes on the Civil War or World War II, but there was little on medieval battles fought in . . . . Continue Reading »