Salah al-Din, he wrote, invited the king to sit beside him, and when Arnat entered in his turn, he seated him next to his king and reminded him of his misdeads: 'How many times have you sworn an oath and then violated it? How many times have you signed agreements that you have never respected? I did nothing more. Salah al Din spoke reassuring words to him, had cold water brought, and offered it to him. The king drank, then handed what remained to Arnat, who slaked his thirst in turn. The sultan then said to Guy: 'You did not ask my permission before giving him water.
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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? European and Arab versions of the Crusades have little in common.
For Arabs, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were years of strenuous efforts to repel a brutal and destructive invasion by barbarian hordes. In "The Crusades Through Arab Eyes", Amin Maalouf has sifted through the works of a score of contemporary Arab chroniclers of the Crusades, eyewitnesses and often participants in the events. He retells their stories in their own vivacious style, giving us a vivid portrait of a society rent by internal conflicts, and shaken by a traumatic encounter with an alien culture.
He retraces two critical centuries of Middle Eastern history, and offers fascinating insights into some of the forces that shape Arab and Islamic consciousness today.
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Review 'A useful and important analysis adding much to existing western histories Very readable Well translated Warmly recommended. Should be put in the hands of anyone who asks what lies behind the Middle East's present conflicts. Amin Maalouf is a Lebanese writer and journalist. He has lived in Paris since No customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings?
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Review this product Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. Your jaw will be on the floor the entire time you're reading this book. It disposes of the dry expository style of most works of medieval history and instead takes on the narrative style of a novel.
The unexpected twists of fate, spycraft, betrayals, assassinations, battlefield ingenuity, and unlikely alliances that make up the various kingdoms and city-states of the Middle East are laid out in a way where you'll genuinely get invested in these "characters" of history.
You'll find yourself holding out hope that this time they'll stop the mysterious Frankish hordes, or rooting for Damascus over Aleppo or Acre over Jerusalem, only to suddenly have that hope smashed against the wall by marauding Turkish prince or a hashish-smoking Assassin from Iran. He maintains his credibility as a historian yet shows incredible prowess as a storywriter, seamlessly citing inline while encouraging the reader to be skeptical where appropriate.
Writers like Ibn al-Athir become characters in and of themselves, contextualized into their own time periods and priorities as writers. Eurocentricity never once makes an appearance, keeping true to the title of the book by keeping you as informed or in-the-dark about the Europe of this period as the Muslims were then. Maalouf doesn't fall into a single racist trope about fanatical Muslims or anachronistic ideas of ethno-religious identity, ever the easy escape of the lazy Middle East expert.
He does the hard work of showing you with hard fact the precise political motivations of every little prince of every little city, painting a beautiful picture of the region and time period that will leave you wishing for a TV adaptation of his work. I have many books over the years regarding this subject and this is one of my favorites due to Amin Maalouf's outstanding organization and approach six part chronology book to this important time period.
If you are not a student of the Levant Crusades you will be confused and bored with this book. Maalouf provides insight from the Arab chroniclers of the time to describe the mood and thoughts of rulers and peoples of the Levant during this time. Much of this history exposed to westerners is via writings from a Christian clergyman and 12th-century Levantine historian, William of Tyre. Here one gets to view the actors portraying William of Tyre and the Arab chroniclers of Ibn al-Qalanisi and Ibn al-Athir to obtain their emotions to various events that occur.
This study offers much insight into the historical forces and factions of this time that even today shape Islamic disposition and consciousness. The reader needs to understand the Muslims took 88 years to ejected the westerners from their land in the 12th Century.
They are looking for the new Salah al-Din Yusuf to come along in the next seventeen years to eject the Zionists. My only comment would be need of maps to illustrate areas of influence of Christians and Muslims during the periods discussed. I wish I had written this book. It is an interesting read and presents a cohesive account of the crusades in the first few chapters. Then it gets boring when it starts talking about bits and pieces about several characters and events that are very shallowly defined.
I love his other books, this one was definitely a disappointment. This book is a lot about the childish competition and conflict between local Arabic and Turkish figures, more than about the Crusades.
Nothing changed in Middle East in years. Amin Maalouf gets the job done in presenting how Arabs being Muslim, Christian, Jewish viewed the coming of the Crusades and what it meant to them. What was interesting while reading this book was how diverse this conflict was with the various factions amongst the Christian and Muslim forces. I feel that this book is a must because it shows a different side to the conflict that people tend to not consider while examining the crusades.
I feel it is critical to understand both perspectives in conflicts because it enables more understanding amongst people in volatile regions such as the middle east. This book fulfills its promise of an alternative perspective on the crusades based on the surviving Eastern primary source material. The author does an excellent job of composing an engaging and complete narrative from the sources while keeping in touch with the intent and biases of the underlying material.
Recurring themes include: - The fragmented state of the Middle East during the time of the crusades - How Muslims viewed the crusades, the crusader states, and Western leaders - Diplomatic and trade interaction between East and West - The complicated mix of religious and secular drivers for Jihad - Conflicting and complex motives of principal Muslim rulers.
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The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (Book Review)
Volumes have been written about the Crusades , the series of wars in which European Christians sought to take, by any means, the holy places under Muslim control between the 11th and 13th centuries AD. If we seek peace, it is particularly interesting to understand the views of the different parties to the conflict. The Crusades Through Arab Eyes , written by Amin Maalouf , focuses on how Muslims viewed the series of battles that lasted almost two hundred years. By the second half of the 11th century, the Turks, who had previously converted to Islam, occupied land near Constantinople, now Istanbul, as well as regions of the Middle East, including Jerusalem. Alexios , the Byzantine emperor, was concerned, as he viewed the Muslim advance as a threat to Christianity, and called on Pope Urban II for support in repelling the invaders. The Pope appealed to thousands of followers to retake the Holy Land from the Muslims, with the promise of saving their souls.
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
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