The Byzan­tine World War

Timeless Travels Magazine - - BOOKS -

Nick Holmes Troubador Pub­lished: May 2019 Price: £8.99

The Cru­sades shook the world. But why did they hap­pen? In Nick Holmes' fas­ci­nat­ing new book, their ori­gins are re­vealed in a new light: as part of a me­dieval world war that stretched from Asia to Europe. At its cen­tre was an an­cient em­pire – Byzan­tium.

Told for the first time as a sin­gle, linked nar­ra­tive are three great events that changed his­tory: the fall of Byzan­tium in the eleventh cen­tury, the epic campaign of the First Cru­sade and the ori­gins of mod­ern Tur­key.

Holmes not only presents the First Cru­sade in a wider global con­text but he also puts for­ward new in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the orig­i­nal sources, sug­gest­ing that its suc­cess was in fact largely ac­ci­den­tal, and that the cen­tral role of Byzan­tium in the Cru­sades has been un­der­es­ti­mated.

Holmes writes with an easy style that makes tak­ing in the com­pli­cated his­tory that he cov­ers, an eas­ier task. A very en­gag­ing and in­ter­est­ing read, this will ap­peal to any­one fas­ci­nated with this pe­riod of his­tory.

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