Item description for Historical Atlas of the Crusades (Historical Atlas) by Angus Konstam...
In November 1095, Pope Urban II called on the Christian rulers and knights of Europe to drive the Muslims from the Holy Land and claim Jerusalem back for Christendom. Any Crusader who died in the attempt would be rewarded in Heaven. The response was overwhelming and launched a religious conflict that would last for over three centuries. The Crusades marked a turning point in European history, where the primitive Frankish states of Western Europe first encountered the civilized cultures of the Muslim world. With a Christian enclave carved out in the Middle East, the two cultures enmeshed in a clash where personal ambition and financial reward often overcame religious fervor. Started with pious intent, the Crusades degenerated into a bitter power struggle. This book chronicles the Crusading era and examines its cause, its development, and the people who fought for their faith and for themselves. The study by historian Angus Konstam chronicles their achievements, drawing on the latest historical evidence to weave a medieval tapestry of intense color.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11.73" Width: 8.9" Height: 1.02" Weight: 3 lbs.
Release Date Dec 21, 2004
Publisher Mercury Books
ISBN 1904668003 ISBN13 9781904668008
Availability 0 units.
More About Angus Konstam
Angus Konstam is a distinguished historian and author of many Civil War books, including "Duel of the Ironclads, The Pocket Book of Civil War Weapons "and" The Pocket Book of Civil War Battle Sites." He was also the general editor of "The Civil War: A Visual Encyclopedia." He served in the Royal Navy and was the chief curator of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida.
Reviews - What do customers think about Historical Atlas of the Crusades (Historical Atlas)?
An eye-opening exploration of the 11th through 13th century religious wars Aug 8, 2005
Illustrated with full-color medieval era artworks and maps on every page, Historical Atlas Of The Crusades is an eye-opening exploration of the 11th through 13th century religious wars marked by fanaticism, bravery, sacrifice, diplomacy, murderous cruelty, and above all, territorial greed. The text offers a plain-terms overview of the various complex aspects of historical battles from the assaults on Jerusalem itself to the fall of Constantinople to the deadly threat Genghis Khan's empire building posed to the Muslim world. Especial emphasis is given to maps, as befits an atlas, but the Historical Atlas Of The Crusades is as much a history primer as it is a geographic display. Thoroughly accessible and absorbing to lay readers and historians alike, Historical Atlas Of The Crusades is highly recommended, especially for academic and community library collections.
Angus Konstam, Historical Atlas of the Crusades Mar 10, 2003
This atlas might bedazzle many with its lavish maps and illustrations and apparent encyclopedic coverage of the crusades in Outremer (1096-1291), but close examination of its putative facts reveals just too many errors, all of them avoidable had its author devoted more energy and time to research.
Minor errors abound on almost every page. For example, on page 65 Konstam confuses the title (atabeg or governor) of the Turkish lord, Kerbogha, who besieged the crusaders at Antioch in 1098, with his given name. Hence we read, "as Atabeg's army surrounded the city." Although these errors irritate and mislead, they pale in comparison with the large number of just wrong-headed descriptions of certain crusades.
Two examples must suffice: Coverage of the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) and the so-called Children's Crusade (1212). First the Fourth Crusade: The dates and arrows on the map of Constantinople that supposedly delineate the times and routes of attack on the city in July 1203 and April 1204 are, quite simply, wrong (p. 160). Moreover, many of the statements in the text that accompanies the map are either blatantly wrong or unsupported by the available evidence. Compare Konstam's thumb-nail sketch of the crusade with the most up-to-date and carefully-researched study of that same crusade: Donald E. Queller and Thomas F. Madden, The Fourth Crusade, 2nd. ed. (1997). Konstam's treatment of the so-called Children's Crusade fails largely because he is either ignorant of our overall ignorance of this folk movement or has chosen to hide this uncomfortable fact. Put simply, our sources are highly flawed, contradictory, and vague--at best. Nevertheless, Konstam presents a number of highly dubious, even mythic stories as fact without ever suggesting that we simply do not know the details of this crusade. Indeed, he does not even point out that the majority of crusade historians are now pretty much agreed that the the poor who engaged in this movement encompassed far more than just children. That is, the Latin term "puer" (child) was used to denote any person of the lower orders, regardless of age. If one, however, takes the illustration on pages 170-171 at face value, he/she cannot escape the conclusion that all of these "pueri" were prepubescent.
Similar howlers and oversights can be found thoughout this atlas in its coverage of other crusades and crusade phenomena. Anyone who wishes to consult a balanced and scholarly atlas of the crusades that also goes far beyond the narrow geographic and chronological limits of Konstam's work should turn to Jonathan Riley-Smith, ed., The Atlas of the Crusades (1991). This other atlas, the collaborative product of a large number of world-class crusade specialists, can largely be trusted to reflect the best of contemporary crusade scholarship. The same cannot be said of Konstam's effort.
Alfred J. Andrea Professor Emeritus of History The University of Vermont
Concise - Excellent First Book to read on the Subject Aug 25, 2002
Many books cover specific parts of the Crusades in much greater detail, but this book is perfectly described as an "Encyclopedia". It does well to describe in general terms the political issues and is spectacular in providing the strategic and geographical background.
In fact, the maps may be the best part of this book. Other more detailed books can be better understood with this as a companion just for the illustrations of where the cities were, the directions of the campaigns and the territories possessed. The geneology of the Princes of the Holy Lands and Muslim counter-parts is also nicely illustrated.
I also liked that Konstam avoided either the "political correctness" of an anti-Western/Christian point of view or a patriotic anti-Islam point of view that might be tempting in post 9/11. He points out massacres but does not add too much commentary. What would frankly be the point. In those ages, life was much more expendable, and to try to put everything in 20th Century morality would be pointless. He does offer commentary on - on how the actual campaigns strayed greatly from the lofty intentions of the Crusades, but that is very defendable and is not presented with a pompous/pious attitude.
This was my first Crusades book to actually read. If you are in the same situation - I highly recommend it.