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In 1202, zealous western Christians gathered in Venice determined to liberate Jerusalem from the grip of Islam. But the crusaders never made it to the Holy Land. Steered forward by the shrewd Venetian doge, they descended instead on Constantinople, wreaking devastation so terrible and inflicting scars so deep that as recently as 2001 Pope John Paul II offered an apology to the Greek Orthodox Church. The crusaders spared no one: They raped and massacred thousands, plundered churches, and torched the lavish city. A prostitute danced on the altar of the ravaged Hagia Sophia. And by 1204, barbarism masquerading as piety had shattered on of the great civilizations of history. Here, on the eight hundredth anniversary of the sack, is the extraordinary story of this epic catastrophe, told for the first time outside of academia by Jonathan Phillips, a leading expert on the crusades. Knights and commoners, monastic chroniclers, courtly troubadours, survivors of the carnage, and even Pope Innocent III left vivid accounts detailing the events of those two fateful years. Using their remarkable letters, chronicles, and speeches, Phillips traces the way in which any region steeped in religious fanaticism, in this case Christian Europe, might succumb to holy war.
Title: The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople with a New Preface
Publisher: Penguin Books: 2005-03-29
ISBN Number: 0143035908
ISBN Number 13: 9780143035909
Book Condition: Very Good
Jacket Condition: Very Good
Item: 10.00 Item
Seller ID: 004958
Description: Very Good Condition: Unmarked. Tight binding. Black marker line on bottom outer page edges. Minor visible cover wear and outer soil. Paperback book copy of The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople with a New Preface by Jonathan Phillips. New York: Penguin Books, 2005. Printed in U.S.A. xxii, 374 pages. Maps. 8 pages of plates. Summary: In April 1204, the armies of Western Christendom wrote another bloodstained chapter in the history of holy war. Two years earlier, aflame with religious zeal, the Fourth Crusade set out to free Jerusalem from the grip of Islam. But after a dramatic series of events, the crusaders turned their weapons against the Christian city of Constantinople, the heart of the Byzantine Empire and the greatest metropolis in the known world. The crusaders spared no one in their savagery: they murdered old and young, they raped women and girls, even nuns, in their frenzy. They also desecrated churches and plundered treasuries, and much of the city was put to the torch. Some contemporaries were delighted: God had approved this punishment of the effeminate, treacherous Greeks; others expressed shock and disgust at this perversion of the crusading ideal. History has judged this as the crusade that went wrong and even today the violence and brutality of the western knights provokes deep ill-feeling towards the Catholic Church. Free shipping on domestic orders $25 and over!