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Competing Voices from the Crusades
Edited by Andrew Holt and James Muldoon
A collection of eye-witness accounts and contemporary reports like no other – side-by-side extracts from Christian, Muslim and Byzantine participants in the Crusades. Uniquely multi-perspective, the anthology juxtaposes the recorded experiences and views of participants on the opposing sides in the Crusades. Each chapter focuses on an event, such as the Crusader massacre of the inhabitants of Jerusalem in 1099 and the Siege of Damascus in 1148, and is supported by commentary. Including some sources never before translated into English, the collection applies new perspectives to a popular and much-studied topic.
In tone and range, the anthology occupies the middle ground between flimsy popular works lacking source analysis and heavy-duty scholarly works too narrow in scope to appeal to anyone but the specialist. It is perfect for college undergraduates, high school students and readers with a general interest in medieval history. The carefully-chosen contrasting contemporary views of key events, including eyewitness accounts, memoirs and elite views, are laid out in a clear and easy-to-follow format with introductory texts and contextual notes. Together, they provide a unique introduction to the most controversial events of the crusades, allowing readers to formulate their own opinions of them.
Review by Jonathan Phillips, Times Higher Education – “This book is an interesting and ambitious concept, aiming to present Latin Christian, Muslim and Byzantine voices from the Crusades and, to quote the editors, to allow readers “to determine for themselves how such events were interpreted and understood by the participants”. A number of these extracts have appeared elsewhere, but often in specifically Crusading or Muslim-centred collections; to bring them together is a sensible move…”
Crusades Encyclopedia – website edited by Andrew Holt