Essay on The New Concise History Of The Crusades

1231 Words5 Pages
Thomas Madden’s Crusades is an exposition of the crusades, which occurred during the Middle Ages. The Crusades were a series of military conflicts of a religious character. They remain a very important movement in human history, and are hard to understand, as they include several themes and they lasted for a long time (about two hundred years, and the author covers a period of about eight centuries in his chronological work). Religion is, of course, the most recurrent theme we think about the Crusades, but is it the only factor to explain them? How does Madden, considered as one of the most foremost historian of the Crusades, expose them in his book? Is his work effective to understand this period of History? Madden has the ambition to…show more content…
Thus, he explains the motivations of those who made sacrifices, for Christ, but also for the culture of nobility, which was a paramount element back in the eleventh century. Religion does not only include the love that people can have to God, but was also part of their life and culture, that means fighting to defend their churches would, by the same time, defend their own world and marks. Anyway, we have to add that motivations were sometimes different, and Madden do not forget to explain that. For example, he talks about the massacre of the Jews that was committed during the First Crusade. He explains that the penury was the origin of this massacre, along with the fact that Jews were “responsible for the Crucifixion” (19), that means they are also the enemies of Christians. Religious doctrines of western Christianity were unique, and were driven, of course, by the faith. A good example of that strong faith is the feeling Christians had whether they won or not. When a Crusade was successful, people would thank God for bringing them victory. When a Crusade failed, for instance the Second Crusade, which was a disaster, Saint Bernard quoted the Old Testament to explain that “The armies of Christendom failed because of the sins of Europe”, and that “Europe must purify itself” (61). In other words, the pope or the leaders who drove the Crusade to a disaster were not at fault.
Another relevant element that Madden brings is his ability to
Get Access