New Histories of the Crusades

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photoAlmost one thousand years ago, Pope Urban sounded a call to Latin Christians: take up your swords and take on Jerusalem. Three more major crusades to the Holy Land followed, which culminated with the ruinous sack of Constantinople in 1204.

The medieval Crusades may have taken place a millenium ago but their repercussions still resound in today's world. When U.S. President Bush used the word "crusade" to describe the War on Terror shortly after the 9/11 tragedy, there was a tremendous backlash.

Hear two authors of new books on the First and Fourth crusades discuss the historical significance of the Crusades and what they say about holy war today.


Thomas Asbridge, Lecturer in Early Medieval History at Queen Mary, University of London and author of the new book, "The First Crusade: A New History.";
Jonathan Phillips, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London and author of the new book, "The Fourth Crusade And The Sack Of Constantinople."

This program aired on December 22, 2004.


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