Armies of Heaven by Jay Rubenstein
The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse

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Synopsis

At Moson, the river Danube ran red with blood. At Antioch, the Crusaders— their saddles freshly decorated with sawed-off heads—indiscriminately clogged the streets with the bodies of eastern Christians and Turks. At Ma’arra, they cooked children on spits and ate them. By the time the Crusaders reached Jerusalem, their quest—and their violence— had become distinctly otherworldly: blood literally ran shin-deep through the streets as the Crusaders overran the sacred city.

Beginning in 1095 and culminating four bloody years later, the First Crusade represented a new kind of warfare: holy, unrestrained, and apocalyptic. In Armies of Heaven, medieval historian Jay Rubenstein tells the story of this cataclysmic event through the eyes of those who witnessed it, emphasizing the fundamental role that apocalyptic thought played in motivating the Crusaders. A thrilling work of military and religious history, Armies of Heaven will revolutionize our understanding of the Crusades.

 

About Jay Rubenstein

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Jay Rubenstein is an Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Tennessee. A former Rhodes Scholar and MacArthur Fellow, he lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.
 
Published November 1, 2011 by Basic Books. 418 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Armies of Heaven

Kirkus Reviews

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The Emperor wanted to turn the crusaders against the Seljuk Turks, incoming invaders from Central Asia who were threatening the Byzantines from Central Anatolia, and succeeded to some extent.

Sep 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Armies of Heaven: The First C...

Publishers Weekly

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The years 1096-1099 marked a major turning point in the history of the Western world as Christian crusaders began their march toward Jerusalem in a quest to regain the holy city of Jerusalem from the Muslim invaders.

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Armies of Heaven: The First C...

Dallas News

What could possess 100,000 European peasants, soldiers, clergymen and nobles to journey by foot and horseback more than 2,000 miles to wage war in a dangerous, exotic land?

Dec 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Armies of Heaven: The First C...

City Book Review

Rubenstein found a great way to tell an exciting story built on an extensive historical foundation.

Nov 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Armies of Heaven: The First C...

Portland Book Review

@Lael_Lenehan @melmoes could you make a You Tube Video that way we could post it afterwords?

May 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Armies of Heaven: The First C...

The Christian Century

The Jesus people of the 1970s, reacting to a lost war in Vietnam and the fall of a president, believed that Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth held the key to understanding the times.

Mar 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Armies of Heaven: The First C...

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