The first crusade of 1096 unleashed a wave of impassioned, personally felt, deeply pious Christian fury that was expressed in a mass movement centered in France and spreading to other European kingdoms, including Flanders, German speaking principalities, and Italy. Master historian Harold Lamb tells the incredible story of how Pope Urban II fanned the sparks of Christian anger into a mighty conflagration of righteous indignation with his speech of 1095 in Clermont. It was a speech that would occupy the hearts and minds of Europeans for over 200 years.
Tens of thousands of peasants, both men and women, simply left their fields and workshops and joined knights and monks on a journey to take back holy Jerusalem from the infidel Muslims. A river of humanity, often hostile and destructive, flowed across Europe and into Byzantium and Asia. Led by baronial leaders like Godfrey of Bouillon, Baldwin of Flanders, Raymond of Toulouse, Robert of Normandy, and the mighty Bohemond of Taranto, their confrontation with Islamic armies would soon follow. The results of those armed clashes produced some of the most amazing stories you will ever hear.
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Dated but with a listen
- E. Idenmill
Not bad but really dated
This is the first book by Lamb i had listened too and while it tells a compelling story, half the information is really dated. Lamb mentions that only the strongest warriors could even swing a long-sword. Long-swords are not that heavy and even a child could lift one. He then also speaks of chivalry which is anachronistic to say the least as that concept had not developed in the period of the first crusade. I don't even want to get started on the concept of luxurious eastern despotism. If you know nothing about the Crusades and are looking for a starter by all means this is a great resource as long as you take it with a grain of salt, However; if you already have a bit a knowledge on the area stay away.
"The Crusades Through Arab Eyes" is a better telling and more factual than Lambs book and i would highly recommend it.
He regularly massacres foreign names, but honestly hes a great narrator if you can get passed that one thing.