Sacred Swords

Jihad in the Holy Land, 1097–1291

James Waterson

 
Date Published :
March 2011
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Language:
English
Illustration :
16 pages of plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781848325807
Pages : 288
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6 inches
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In stock
$39.95

Overview
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In 1071 Muslim Turks crushed the Byzantine Emperor’s Anatolian army at Manzikert. The Crusades, the West’s response to this catastrophe, are well known as are the names of the European nobles who fought in them. The names and deeds of many of the Crusaders’ opponents in the Holy Land are often unfamiliar to Western readers.

Using primarily Muslim sources, Sacred Swords reconstructs the politics of the Levant on the eve of the First Crusade and places it in the wider context of the Muslim world of the period. This was a realm where war with the Crusaders was only one part of the military and political endeavors of a Muslim prince of the Levant. Much of the action is comprehensible only when the outlook and position of the Princes is understood.

Waterson tells the story of the famed leaders of the jihad – the lives and deeds of Zangi, Nur al-Din, Saladin and Baybars are all recounted. Sacred Swords also illustrates the evolution of the jihad in which these Princes were engaged. The story of the Holy War that would eventually destroy the Latin Kingdom is traced and analyzed from its origins among the Princes of northern Iraq, as is the long naval contest that raged between the navy of Egypt and the Crusader fleets.

About The Author
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James Waterson was born into a London family of Royal Marines and Paratroopers. Fatherly advice however steered him away from a military career and into academia and teaching. He is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and received his Masters degree from Dundee University. He worked and taught in the United States and China for a number of years and now divides his time between the Middle East and Italy whilst trying to makes ends meet. The Ismaili Assassins is his second book and grew out of his travels in Iran. His first book, The Knights of Islam, a history of the slave soldiers of Islam, was published in 2007 by Greenhill Books. He continues to work at producing a life of the Crusader Bohemond of Taranto but knows it will never be finished.

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