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The Christians V07 - A Glorious Disaster

V07

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A Glorious Disaster / AD 1100 to AD 1300 / The Crusades: Blood, Valor, Iniquity, Reason, Faith / Volume Seven of The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years History Series

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A Glorious Disaster

Volume 7: A.D. 1100 to 1300
The Crusades: blood, valor, iniquity, reason, faith

As the period we call the Middle Ages reached its zenith, the Christian peoples of the West set out to regain lands lost to Muslim armies four centuries earlier, especially the Holy Land. Their counter-attack met with only partial and temporary success, and levied a catastrophic cost on eastern Christendom. The period was filled with fascinating personalities: the brilliant, eccentric theologian Thomas Aquinas, the iron-fisted German emperor Frederick Barbarosa, the crusader king of England Richard the Lionheart, the most popular saint in history Francis of Assisi, the saintly king of France Louis IX, the scandalous queen consort Eleanor of Aquitaine. Looming over the era stood the soaring walls of massive new stone castles and stately Gothic cathedrals.

Chapter One

Years under attack, the West finally strikes back at Islam

  • A hermit's appeal to the common man turns into the ill-faited Peasant's Crusade
  • Be it past or present, Christian warriors face a terrible dilemma
  • The Templars and Hospitalers: the fighting monks of the Holy Land

Chapter Two

Gothic's amazing symphones in stone

  • A paradox of history

Chapter Three

Resurgent Islam and an incendiary monk fuel a second crusade

  • Eleanor of Aquitaine, the twelfth century's liveliest lady scandalizes Europe
  • The Assassins: The Islamic cult that produced history's hardened hit men
  • Bernard of Clairvaux, the strangely humble iron man behind five popes

Chapter Four

Barbarossa: He stood atope the world until God brought him down

  • A king's loyal servant becomes his sternest enemy and dies a Christian martyr
  • Make the clergy live like paupers, said Arnold, and the people agreed–briefly

Chapter Five

In valor and infamy, the Crusades collapse into a tale of calamity

  • Enduring grief and cruel confessor, a dauntless woman captivates Germany
  • The horrific story of starving childen in a tragedy that never happened
  • The archbishop who riled pope and kig to preserve the Magna Carta
  • King Louis IX, who lost two crusades but gave the world a model for monarchy

Chapter Six

The ‘Wonder of the World’ becomes a fiery foe of the faith

  • A key Christian victory foretells the end of Muslim Spain

Chapter Seven

Aquinas: the ‘dumb ox’ fat man who united reason and faith

  • The rise and fall of Peter Abelard–love, pride, disaster, surrender, finally peace
  • The jolly friar insists all truth must be one, paving the way for scientific endeavor
  • Dominic's ‘Order of Preachers’ turns failure into worldwide success
  • The definitive list of sins and virtues that help define Christian life

Chapter Eight

The Sicilian Vespers: the riot that changed the course of history

  • The Knights Templar, once Europe's heroes, meet an inglorious finale
  • The ferocious crackdown that brought to an end the Cathar heresy

Chapter Nine

Genghis Khan's hideous attack imperils both Christendom and Islam

  • The indominatable Queen Tamara, who saved Georgia from Islam
  • The Teutonic Knights: They won the Baltic, but not the Russians

Chapter Ten

The man who took Jesus literally and transformed Christendom

  • The father of the computer age offered a different way to approach Islam
  • The Canticle of the Sun