Essay on The Crusades: a Short History by Johnathan Riley-Smith

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The Crusades: A Short History by Johnathan Riley-Smith The Crusades: A Short History, written by British Historian Jonathan Riley-Smith, offers a broad overview of this part of the medieval era, but he also explores how historians have attempted to explain these events in modern terms. Riley-Smith also makes sure to note all major contributors to the Crusade movement and their personalities. Numerous scholars have wondered whether this was a political or religious mission. This helps to spark the question of why people would leave their homes and their families to risk their lives invading a land that was thousands of miles away for religious reasons. In his book, Riley-Smith makes this era come alive for the modern reader. He does…show more content…
Therefore, he shows how the conflicting nature of the Crusades came about. For example, invading and killing a land's people in the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. The first chapter offers necessary background information to understanding the roots of the crusade movement. Riley-Smith sets the stage for the account of the First Crusade, which is the topic for the second chapter, beginning with the call of Pope Urban II to retake Jerusalem along with a bit of political backing. The third chapter describes the office of the patriarch that existed in both Jerusalem and Antioch. Chapter four discusses the settlement, control and defense of the Latin East that existed between 1097 and 1187. Chapter five talks about the early crusades of the twelfth century and the Second Crusade. Chapter six contains the Third, Fourth and Fifth Crusades, which occurred between 1187 and 1229. Chapter seven covers the years 1229 through roughly 1291. Chapter eight describes the Latin East briefly, and chapter nine also offers an overview, which discusses the diversity of the crusades that occurred between 1291 and 1523. The book ends with chapter ten, which discusses the crusading movement in its "old age," which includes the topics of the

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