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A History of the Crusades, Vol. 3: The Kingdom of Acre and the Later Crusades Paperback – 26 Apr 1990


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A History of the Crusades, Vol. 3: The Kingdom of Acre and the Later Crusades + A History of the Crusades: Volume 2 - The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Frankish East 1100-1187: The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Frankish East 1100-1187 v. 2 + A History of the Crusades: Volume 1 - The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (Penguin History): The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem v. 1
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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (26 April 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014013705X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140137057
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Sir Steven Runciman (1903-2000) was a medieval historian and expert on Byzantium.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 April 2005
Format: Paperback
After the somewhat tiresome feuds and intrigues of volume 2, this book picks up the momentum again and sees the story through to (and beyond) the final destruction of the Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem. It's actually the best of the three, and the stuff you're most interested in is probably here: Richard the Lionheart's heroics and Saladin's enlightened behaviour in the Third Crusade; the disgraceful sack of Constantinople by the Fourth; the strange expeditions against Egypt of the Fifth and Sixth. After a couple of interesting, but strictly irrelevant, digressions about the empire of Genghis Khan the narrative returns to Palestine and the desperate, futile last defence of Outremer.
Whilst it's obviously true that Runciman writes from a European perspective, no-one could find fault with his objectivity: he impartially awards both praise and blame where they are due, and if anything his sympathies are obviously with the hapless Byzantine Empire rather than the Crusaders (he believes there has been 'no greater crime against humanity' than the attack on Constantinople; a claim rather undermined by his own description of Genghis Khan's campaigns). As a set these books are an outstanding example of history as literature, and blessed relief from postmodern witterings and the cartoon-strip of TV history alike. The crusading movement was distinguished by appalling savagery and stupidity, yet there is also enough self-sacrificing courage to demonstrate that this was an age at once more generous and more intense than our own.
It is a definite injustice to say these volumes are remotely academic in tone or outlook. What they are, is detailed: there are a lot of names and situations to keep track of.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Feb 2006
Format: Paperback
Like all historians, an entirely objective view is impossible. Runciman saw the crusades from a Greek perspective as he was primarily a Byzantine historian, and he mourned over the decline of Byzantium in relation with the contemporary decline of the British empire.
However, his history here is intelligent, imaginative, well-researched and thoroughly entertaining. Its narrative style appeals to all, even if he now comes under some criticism for innacuracy of certain events due to modern scholarship.
It is worth quoting his conclusion. At the end of a monumental 3 volumes on the crusades, this is his summary.
"The triumphs of the crusade were the trumphs of faith. But faith without wisdom is a dangerous thing. By the inexorable laws of history the whole world pays for the crimes and follies of each of its citizens. In the long sequence of interaction and fusion between Orient and Occident out of which our civilisation has grown, the crusades were a tragic and destructive episode.
The historian as he gazes back across the centuries at their gallant story must find his admiration overcast with sorrow at the witness that it bears to the limitations of human nature. There was so much courage and so little honour, so much devotion and so little understanding. High ideals were besmirched by cruelty and greed, enterprise and endurance by a blind and narrow self-righteousness; and the Holy War itself was nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God, which is the sin against the Holy Ghost."
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Y. A. Ahmed on 27 May 2007
Format: Paperback
The final volume of this epic trilogy recounts the final days of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (of whose capital is now Acre). The book follows the battle of Hattin, and the increasing disunity within the kingdom. The book concentrates on the various political intrigues and personality clashes within the crusader states. The book picks up again half way through with an even larger threat to Islam, the Mongols. Another epic battle, Ain Jalud is covered, with the Muslims again recovering their lands. The book concludes with a commentary of the crusades. Cant wait to read The Fall of Constantinople also by Mr Runciman, which follows on from this trilogy.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. C. J. Hanmer on 20 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
Volume 1 was in reasonable condition but volume 2 was in good condition Of course Professor Runciman absolute expert on the crusades and probably includes the only full biography of Richard I
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