The Crusades in 100 Objects

The Crusades in 100 Objects is a beautifully illustrated and well-written book that delves into the history of the Crusades, a series of military campaigns sanctioned by the Catholic Church that took place over a period of 200 years. The book covers a wide range of conflicts, from the first crusade to retake the Holy Land, to lesser-known crusades to Christianize the more remote regions of northern and north-eastern Europe, as well as against the Cathars in southern France.

Through a collection of artefacts and structures, the book tells the story of the conflicts that shaped the Western World as we know it today, both in spiritual and geographical terms. From magnificent castles and coats of arms, to Crusader-struck coins and even the brass pen box used by Muslim writers to spread the word of Islam, this book offers a unique window into the past.

One of the standout objects featured in the book is the grand seal of the grand master of the Templars, a military order of knights that played a significant role in the Crusades. The Templars were known for their bravery and skill in battle, and their grand seal was a symbol of their power and authority.

Another notable object mentioned in the book is the walls of Malta, which were built by the knights of the Order of St. John to defend the island against attacks from the Ottoman Empire. These walls were crucial in the defense of Malta and are a testament to the ingenuity and determination of the knights who built them.

Lastly, the book also mentions Greek fire, a weapon used by the Byzantines during the Crusades. Greek fire was a highly effective incendiary weapon that was difficult to extinguish and caused great destruction when used in battle. It is a testament to the innovative and strategic thinking of the Byzantines, who used it to great effect against their enemies.

Overall, The Crusades in 100 Objects is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the Crusades and the diverse range of objects that have survived from this period. The book is well-written and informative, and the beautiful photographs of the objects make it a pleasure to read.

You can buy the book here from Pen and Sword books.

Please note I was not paid to write this review but was sent a review copy of the book. All comments are my own, and the publishers have not amended the review in any way.