This book sheds light on the first three Crusades (1097-1191) by introducing material from several medieval Syriac and Arabic sources and reconciling their accounts with those provided by Western sources. It presents the Crusades as an extension of the conflict between Christianity and Islam, which began with the Arabs’ first incursions into Christian territory in the seventh century and continued with their conquest of the Iberian peninsula. It discusses the evils perpetrated by both sides in the name of religion, and it details the internal struggles that weakened both the Muslims and the European invaders. The book is broad in scope, examining not only the Christians’ efforts to take control of Jerusalem but also relatively minor campaigns against other perceived enemies of the church. It portrays clearly those larger-than-life figures who played major roles in the history of the period, from Pope Urban to Richard the Lion-Hearted and Saladin. Although the Crusades ended centuries ago, the conflict they embodied is still being carried on today, not only in the Middle East but around the globe. This book allows the discerning reader to understand its roots.
Matti Moosa holds a Ph.D. degree in Middle Eastern history and culture from Columbia University. His publications include The Wives of the Prophet (ed.), Gibran in Paris (ed.), The Maronites in History (1986), and many translations from Arabic into English.
Matti Moosa, a native of Mosul, Iraq, and an American citizen since 1965, held a Law degree from Baghdad Law School, Iraq, a United Nations Diploma of Merit from the University of Wales in Swansea, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Middle Eastern history and culture from Columbia University in New York City. His publications include The Origins of Modern Arabic Fiction, 1983, 2nd ed., (1997) The Maronites in History (1986), translated into Arabic under the title Al-Mawarina fi al-Tarikh (Damascus, 2004), Extremist Shiites: the Ghulat Sects (1988); The Early Novels of Naguib Mahfouz: Images of Modern Egypt (1994); The Crusades: Conflict between Christendom and Islam (2008) and many other translated books. He has also contributed numerous articles on Middle Eastern history and culture to leading periodicals. Dr Moosa passed away in 2014.