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A History of the Crusades [3-volume set] (1951)

de Steven Runciman

Sèrie: History of the Crusades (Omnibus 1-3)

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6151028,309 (4.28)16
Sir Steven Runciman's three volume A History of the Crusades, one of the great classics of English historical writing, is now being reissued. Volume I deals completely with the First Crusade and the foundation of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Volume II describes the Frankish states of Outremer from the accession of King Baldwin I to the re-conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin, and in the final volume, Runciman examines the revival of the Frankish kingdom from the time of the Third Crusade until its collapse a century later. The interwoven themes of the book include: Christiandom, the replacement of the cultured Ayubites by the less sympathetic Mameluks as leader of the Moslem world, and the coming of the Mongols. Runciman includes a chapter on architecture and the arts, and an epilogue on the last manifestations of the Crusading spirit.… (més)
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    God's War: A New History of the Crusades de Christopher Tyerman (MartinLake)
    MartinLake: This is a more recent book than Runciman's classic and an excellent addition to it. The author covers a wider area than the Holy Land. His approach is more detailed which fleshes out Runciman, although it lacks, and perhaps never aspired to, the story-telling style of the earlier classic.… (més)
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This three-volume set is an exemplary history, full of the incident and hundreds (thousands) of persons (all carefully indexed) who comprise the events of two and half centuries. Sir Steven is not a "thesis" historian, although he does not hesitate to make final conclusions of great insight and soundness. His strength lies in his meticulous detail and objectivity, recounting the errors and virtues of all the players, on all sides, with great wisdom and impartiality. He shows that the Crusades were, to use his word, an epic fiasco, that set out to secure the safety of Eastern Christendom, and ended up destroying it; yet he also shows how the Crusades were an initiator of the Italian Renaissance, by driving out the humanists and scholars who could not thrive in an Islamic world whose rigid intolerance was amplified by the Crusading movement. Without ever being vitriolic, he spares no one: While the Crusaders were stubborn bigots who refused to learn from past strategic errors, the Moslems were riven by internecine power-contests that nearly sunk them, and the Mongols efficiently, ruthlessely built an empire based on Genghis Khan's organizational brilliance and policy of implacable massacre. Stylistically, the books are a remarkable crossroads of popular appeal, engaging writing and mind-bogglingly comprehensive scholarship, detailed research and narrative account. ( )
  oatleyr | Aug 22, 2020 |
HISTORIA DE LAS CRUZADAS

Romántica aventura cristiana o última invasión de los bárbaros, movimiento animado por razones religiosas o saqueo guiado por la ambición y la codicia, la Historia de las Cruzadas contituye un acontecimiento decisivo en la Edad Media. Antes de su inicio -en el siglo XI- los grandes centros de la civilización eran Bizancio y los países del Califato árabe; antes de su conclusión -en el siglo XIV- la hegemonía de la cultura y del poder se había desplazado ya hacia Occidente. Para comprender ese lento pero irresistible movimiento de deriva no basta con estudiar las circunstancias que dan cuenta de su génesis en Europa; es preciso también explicar las condiciones que en Oriente posibilitaron el avance de los cruzados. La mirada debe arrancar desde el Atlántico hasta Mongolia, y el espectador ha de situarse en la perspectiva tanto de los francos como de los árabes y los cristianos de Oriente. Los tres volúmenes de la obra original están ahora reunidos en uno solo con tres partes: " La primera Cruzada y la fundación del Reino de Jerusalén " , " El Reino de Jerusalén y el Oriente Franco " y " El Reino de Acre y las últimas Cruzadas " . Estos textos constituyen las mejor ilustración de las bastas posibilidades de una historiografía que se niega a permanecer encerrada dentro de las fronteras de la erudición alejandrina y la parcialización de las especialidades y considera su principal deber " registrar en una extensa sucesión los hechos y movimientos más importantes que han dominado, con su vaivén, los destinos del hombre " .
  FundacionRosacruz | Jan 11, 2018 |
The style is there. What about the substance?

Let there be no mistake: Steven Runciman's work on the crusades is brilliantly written. Stylistically, it is one of the great works of the historian's art. If you want a good general history of the Crusades, you can hardly hope for better.

But... is it reliable?

This seems a horrid question to ask about a work that is a genuine tour de force. But Runciman's footnotes are, to be honest, rather thin on the ground. And one of the sad facts about the Crusades is that just about everyone who wrote at the time had an axe to grind -- usually to blame Somebody Else (Christians, Moslems, That Other King) for everything that had gone wrong. To avoid an endless list of "He said... She said..." controversies, Runciman often takes what seems to him most reasonable, and runs with it. His assumptions are (probably) usually right, and always reasonable -- he really was a brilliant scholar who knew the era well. But they aren't certain.

This really doesn't matter much to the casual reader. And there is no question: I enjoy reading Runciman, far more than any other history of the Crusades, short or long. It is a work of art. But it is now badly out of date, and it is full of hypotheses that can too easily be confused with fact. Read it, love it, treasure it -- but verify it. ( )
  waltzmn | Feb 11, 2014 |
Clasico, clasiquísimo de la historiagrafía de las Cruzadas, aunque como ya dije cuando lo mencioné en el hilo de libros recién comprados, hoy superado. No se trata de un análisis exhaustivo de las causas, motivaciones, entorno y relaciones que se generaron en torno a las cruzadas, sino más bien una narración historiográfica, en la línea de Gibbon con La Caída de Roma o el más reciente que comentaba de Goldsworthy.

Es decir, el tipo coge la situación inicial y te va contando, con una excelente prosa, cómo se iban gestando los diferentes movimientos que condujeron a la primera cruzada, dedicando atención a sus principales cabezas y a lo que ocurrió después hasta la toma de Jerusalén.

Lo más interesante, dejando a un lado la ausencia de aparato crítico, es la multitud de fuentes que usa, no sólo las de su tiempo en casi todos los idiomas, sino las históricas y muchas veces en el idioma general, lo que le permite pintar un fresco apabullante –sin mucha perspectiva, eso sí.

Como iniciación al tema, de una forma amena y con un clásico no puede haber otro. ( )
  Herrford.the.first | Jul 21, 2013 |
It is difficult to talk about Runciman or his History of the Crusades without using superlatives. Published between 1951 and 1954 this three volume set is a timeless masterpiece. His history of this original 'Clash of Civilizations' is at once tragic, grand, and sobering. There is an extraordinary immediacy about Runciman's history, as if you were reading newspaper reports day by day. Runciman's genius was not only to be able to make history come alive, but to dissect and lay out before anyone who cared to find them, the themes and principles governing Middle Eastern politics that resonate down to today. Comparison’s are difficult, but if you imagine the best of Barbara Tuchman, and Shelby Foote’s history of the Civil War (subsequently televised), you begin to get the picture. Anyone who claims to know anything or wants to know more about the Middle East should read this book. ( )
  nandadevi | Mar 18, 2012 |
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On a February day in the year A.D. 638 the Caliph Omar entered Jerusalem riding upon a white camel.  He was dressed in worn, filthy robes, and the army that followed him was rough and unkempt; but its discipline was perfect.
Dieser Band ist der erste von drei Bänden, in denen ich die Geschichte der Bewegung, die wir die Kreuzzüge nennen, von ihrem Beginn im elften Jahrhundert bis zu ihrem Niedergang im vierzehnten, und der Staaten, welche sie im Heiligen Land und seinen Nachbarländern errichtete, als ein Ganzes zusammenfassend darstellen möchte.
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Alle drei Bände der "Geschichte der Kreuzzüge"
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Sir Steven Runciman's three volume A History of the Crusades, one of the great classics of English historical writing, is now being reissued. Volume I deals completely with the First Crusade and the foundation of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Volume II describes the Frankish states of Outremer from the accession of King Baldwin I to the re-conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin, and in the final volume, Runciman examines the revival of the Frankish kingdom from the time of the Third Crusade until its collapse a century later. The interwoven themes of the book include: Christiandom, the replacement of the cultured Ayubites by the less sympathetic Mameluks as leader of the Moslem world, and the coming of the Mongols. Runciman includes a chapter on architecture and the arts, and an epilogue on the last manifestations of the Crusading spirit.

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