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  • The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross (3-Disc) [DVD]
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The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross (3-Disc) [DVD]


Price: £3.64
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by The Canny Store.
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Past Meets Present
Visit the History Channel Store to discover top documentaries on history, nature and war as well as fascinating reality TV and science fiction.
£3.64 In stock. Dispatched from and sold by The Canny Store.

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The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross (3-Disc) [DVD] + The Knights Templar [DVD] [2000] + RICHARD THE LIONHEART - CRUSADER KING [DVD]
Price For All Three: £16.54

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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: None
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: History Channel
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Sept. 2009
  • Run Time: 183 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002N7OPE0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,411 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

This series presents the epic battle between two Middle Age superpowers: the Christian Crusaders and the Muslims. Fought over two centuries, the conflict decided the fate of the Holy Land of the Middle East. Only a tiny strip of land, just a few hundred miles long, it contained the ultimate prize, the city of Jerusalem. Experience the murder, treachery and bloodshed of the First, Second and Third Crusades through the eyes of key historical figures such as Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, King Louis VII, and Nur al-Din. With breathtaking CGI-enhanced visuals, heart-pounding re-enactments and stunning footage from rarely seen locations, this documentary brings the legendary chapter of history alive and offers fresh insight for a new generation in conflict.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Christian invaders were regarded as infidels. The Arabs were scorned as lawless pagans. The Westerners saw their quest as literally a sanctified crusade, while the Muslims launched their own holy war, called a jihad, in retaliation. Sound familiar? It should, because although the events depicted in the History Channel's The Crusades - Crescent & The Cross took place nearly a thousand years ago, they are but a distant mirror to what's going on in the Middle East right now. This two-part, three-hour program, released here on two discs (the second includes over an hour of bonus material), impressively details all three Crusades, starting in the late 11th Century, when Pope Urban II dispatched a huge force to reclaim Jerusalem, which had been under Muslim control for some 400 years. For the knights and others who made the journey, it was a noble spiritual quest, not to mention an escape from Europe's petty wars and famines; in the end, the fact that many of them were greedy butchers who murdered Muslims, Jews, and even other Christians indiscriminately (sometimes even eating the flesh of the vanquished) detracted not at all from their conviction that they were acting in the name of God. Of course, so were the Muslims, who, after the bloody first crusade succeeded in seizing the holy city, mounted a massive counter-attack under leaders like Nur al-din and his son Saladin, who managed to take back Jerusalem (from whence Mohammed was said to have ascended to heaven) and hold on to it through the failed second and third crusades, the latter led by England's Richard the Lionheart.

All of this is presented by way of techniques that will be recognizable to History Channel buffs. They include modern-day historians, who re-trace the routes of the crusaders and examine the ancient sites where the action took place, as well as actors who portray characters of the time (chroniclers, knights, and others); numerous re-enactments, aided by excellent cinematography and skilful use of CGI (whereby a few dozen extras could be made to look like many thousands), vividly illustrate the battles and other events that took place during this roughly 200-year period. Add to that a bonus documentary about the Knights Templar (the soldier-monks in charge of protecting the Kingdom of Jerusalem) and a decent "making of" documentary, and you have an absorbing, enlightening look at events that prove one thing above all: the more things change, the more they stay the same. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By JamesA on 27 Dec. 2009
Format: DVD
Whether you're a scholar, just got a passing interest or like a bit of 'boys own' this is a great boxed set. Having loved the fiction movie Kingdom of Heaven I wanted to know more about the Crusades. As the previous reviewer said - very informative and unpatronising. Unlike the other reviewer, I liked the spooky religous guy. Added a bit of theatre - and he's quite funny in parts (unintentionally). It delivers all of the facts - but not in a crusty and dry old way. More kind of docu-drama. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 20 Mar. 2015
Format: DVD
The perfect companion for all history enthusiasts is: THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

This 3-DVD (or one Blueray disc) set from the History Channel looks at the first three Crusades, a period that saw the establishment of a series of short-lived Christian kingdoms in the Holy Land, the rise of Saladin, and the famous clash between him and Richard the Lion Heart.

The reconstructions are well handled. The main voice actors are used for the chroniclers, so speak the original (translated) words rather than any cheesy invented dialogue. The narrator speaks over most of the reconstructions, which have an effective stylized look to them, while the expert 'talking heads' are given clear time to themselves (including some sequences recorded in Turkey, Syria and around Jerusalem). Perhaps most impressively in a series that places medieval knights in a biblical setting there are hardly any Python moments (a lone hammer waved from below during the construction of a siege tower comes closest).

The experts are a well balanced group, with members from the United States, Europe and the Middle East, and as a result the programmes have a balanced feel themselves. A good range of topics are covered, including the poor relationship between the crusaders and the Byzantines, and the dangerous crossing of Anatolia. The atrocities committed by the crusaders after their arrival in the Holy Land also get good coverage.

The three DVDs cover the first three crusades and the periods between them, paying most attention to the first crusade. They are refreshingly free of the extended re-caps that blight many TV series and become especially noticeable after the ad breaks are removed. Here the programme makers have assumed that their viewers have a memory!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jaycee on 3 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD
An excellent DVD for all those senior students out there. Not many suitable books are available for this period of history for students at A-level, so this DVD is a very helpful addition.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Exasperated... on 26 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD
In truth I would give this three and a half stars if I could; it's not worth four but three seems a little harsh. And why isn't it worth four (or more) stars? Firstly, it only covers the first three crusades, whereas the blurb here (and on the DVD cases themselves) gives the very definite impression of covering the entire period, until the fall of Acre in 1291. In fact everything after the third crusade, almost one hundred years of history, are dealt with in less than five minutes right at the end of disc three. Still, there are undoubtedly those who wouldn't be too worried about getting something that's not what is advsertised. Therefore we turn to a worse problem with this series - the narration.

The inclusion of a good number of famous crusade historians, from both sides of the religious divide, gives the series an authority sadly lacking in so many other documentaries. This should have been a winner then, but the narration entirely lets it down. Firstly, it's done by an American who insists on pronouncing everything incorrectly. Secondly, the content of the narration is often at odds with the crusade experts and, indeed, with itself. It also seems to have been written by someone following their own agenda rather than simply sticking with the history, which is very unhelpful. Unnecessary superlatives are the order of the day and many statements are made without context.

Having said all that, anyone watching this who has no or little knowledge of the crusades will definitely come away much better informed, if with the occassional odd idea.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very dumbed-down with some shocking acting (e.g. the incompetent who was William of Tyre), and one of the most arrogant, smug, unpleasant 'experts' on TV (Tariq Ali) but a decent account of the first three Crusades for anyone uninitiated. Is there any chance of history without dramatic reconstructions - just vetted experts (most on this series were good) and a simple looksie at the sites?
Also, putting the four part series on three discs is fraudulent - each episode was 45 minutes or so long, so one, maximum two, would have been enough. Selling it as a three-disc series implies you're getting much more.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Nrhlangman on 30 Nov. 2009
Format: DVD
Very informative, scholastic and unpatronising. Input from a variety of university lecturers. Especially good and (balancing) input from Tariq Ali. It would have got a five had it not been from the slightly creepy religious input (maybe this was for the US market, or there was some level of funding provided by a christian sponsor).

One major negative, a perpetual dirge of Gregorian chant/church music throughout the DVD which was too loud, tedious and distracting.
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