A look at Islam from the viewpoint of the Franks –

This 319 page book explores the crusaders’ attitudes and dealings with the people of Islam during the First crusade. Morton’s command of the sources is impressive. He shows that the people encountered by the crusaders are not homogenous but actually consists of Arabs, Turks and Fatimids. Some were actually allies of the crusaders.

This is not a book on the military aspects or the campaign itself . Morton starts with the historical details of the call to crusade by Pope Urban II, the conquest of Jerusalem and ending with the impact of the crusade.
An interesting revelation from this book is the data { from letters collections} that showed that the leading figures in Christendom from the 10th to 12th centuries seldom referred to Islam. Neither did the Arabic writers referred to the first crusade as anything significant. To them it was just a Byzantine raid. { p 268 Morton}. Thus the present take that the First Crusade was the start of a major war between Christians and Muslims was not how the people perceived it then.
The writing is brisk and readable. The footnotes impressive. I recommend this book.

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