"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Byzantium and the Crusades

Next month will give us fresh opportunity to deepen our knowledge of the Crusades, those events, as I have so often remarked, which are, more than anything in Christian history, subject to such gross distortion and tendentious abuse. Thus in November we shall have the second edition of Jonathan Harris' important book Byzantium and The Crusades: Second Edition (Bloomsbury, 2014), 288pp. About this book the publisher tells us:

This new edition of Byzantium and the Crusades provides a fully-revised and updated version of Jonathan Harris's landmark text in the field of Byzantine and crusader history.
The book offers a chronological exploration of Byzantium and the outlook of its rulers during the time of the Crusades. It argues the distinct view, with regards to Byzantine interaction with Western Europe, the Crusades and the crusader states, that one of the main keys to these interactions can be found in the nature of the Byzantine empire and the ideology which underpinned it, rather than in any generalised hostility between the peoples.
Taking recent scholarship into account, this new edition includes an updated notes section and bibliography, as well as the following significant new additions to the text:
- New material on the role of religious differences after 1100
- A detailed discussion of economic, social and religious changes that took place in twelfth-century Byzantine relations with the west
- In-depth coverage of Byzantium and the Crusades during the thirteenth century
- New maps, illustrations, genealogical tables and a timeline of key dates
Byzantium and the Crusades is an important contribution to the historiography by a major scholar in the field that should be read by anyone interested in Byzantine and crusader history.

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