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A History of the Crusades, Volume 3: The Kingdom of Acre and the Later… (1954)

by Steven Runciman

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469237,858 (4.51)7
Sir Steven Runciman's three volume A History of the Crusades, one of the great classics of English historical writing, is now being reissued. In this final volume, Runciman examines the revival of the Frankish kingdom at the time of the Third Crusade until its collapse a century later. The interwoven themes of the book include: Christiandom, the replacement of the cultured Ayubites by the less sympathetic Mameluks as leader of the Moslem world, and the coming of the Mongols. He includes a chapter on architecture and the arts, and an epilogue on the last manifestations of the Crusading spirit.… (more)

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My reaction to reading this book in 1994.

A fascinating history of the fall of Outremer and the later Crusades.

Highlights: Richard the Lion Hearted’s exploits (a Crusader with true military talents who helped the Christian presence in the Middle East by taking Cyprus), Saladin’s personality (I particularly liked the story where Saladin, after Richard the Lion Hearted’s horse was killed in a battle against Saladin, sent him three of his own horses in the midst of battle), the desperate stand of the Crusaders at Acre in 1292 (and the interesting siege of Acre in 1190 where both sides fraternized extensively) with both heroics by the Military Orders and profiteering by Templars selling passage out (things also came full circle at Acre’s fall – that time the Moslems were brutal in their conquest), the politics of the Fourth Crusade (attempts by Genoa and Venice to control trade via Outremer or the Mongols respectively) and how it was from the start designed to subjugate Byzantium, the bizarre visions (a parting Mediterranean) and young charismatics that launched the Children’s Crusades and their horrible fate (sold into slavery by the people supposedly transferring them to Outremer and not heard from fro 18 years), the interesting – and failed – attempts to enlist the Mongols to the Christian side (the Mongols had a simple foreign policy – pay homage or be conquerored – and they were not to the concept of equal allies), the failure of Emperor Frederick’s bloodless capture of Jerusalem (via diplomacy) to win him applause, friends, or a reversal of his excommunication.
  RandyStafford | Mar 18, 2013 |
1308. A History of the Crusades Volume III The Kingdom of Acre and the Later Crusades, by Steven Runciman (16 Dec 1974) This completes Runciman's history of the Crusades. I was tremendously stirred even though the story is a dismal one. The Crusaders did so much wrong, but still the faith and gallantry sometimes evidenced cannot but inspire and enthrall. The reading of these volumes was a great experience which I am glad I had. ( )
  Schmerguls | Feb 27, 2009 |
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Sir Steven Runciman's three volume A History of the Crusades, one of the great classics of English historical writing, is now being reissued. In this final volume, Runciman examines the revival of the Frankish kingdom at the time of the Third Crusade until its collapse a century later. The interwoven themes of the book include: Christiandom, the replacement of the cultured Ayubites by the less sympathetic Mameluks as leader of the Moslem world, and the coming of the Mongols. He includes a chapter on architecture and the arts, and an epilogue on the last manifestations of the Crusading spirit.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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