Constantinople, jewel of the East, whose Roman emperor embraced Christianity and transformed a fanatic cult into the most powerful religion the world had ever known. The city became itself a center of art, culture and commerce and the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Yet, when the forces of Islam swept the Holy Land and captured Jerusalem, the avenging Christian Crusaders set their eyes on Constantinople, attacked and sacked it. The war pitted Christian against Christian, severing Rome's Eastern capital from its Western one. The Fourth Crusade spelled the decline and ultimate doom of the Holy Roman Empire. In The Great Betrayal, Ernle Bradford, author of the bestselling The Great Siege, brings to life this powerful tale of envy, greed and betrayal.
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Published January 11, 2013