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  • Published: 2 February 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446400937
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

The First Crusade

The Call from the East

Filled with Byzantine intrigue, this is the first book from the Sunday Times Bestselling author of SILK ROADS, Peter Frankopan


'Filled with Byzantine intrigue, in every sense this book is important, compellingly revisionist and impressive in its scholarly use of totally fresh sources' Simon Sebag Montefiore

In 1096, an expedition of extraordinary scale and ambition set off from Western Europe on a mass pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Three years later, after a journey which saw acute hardship, the most severe dangers and thousands of casualties, the knights of the First Crusade found themselves storming the fortifications and capturing the Holy City. Against all the odds, the expedition had returned Jerusalem to Christian hands.

In 'the most significant contribution to rethinking the origins and course of the First Crusade for a generation' (Mark Whittow, TLS), Frankopan paints a strikingly original picture of this infamous confrontation between Christianity and Islam. Focusing on Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire, a truly fresh interpretation of a very old story emerges that radically alters our understanding of the entire crusade movement.

  • Published: 2 February 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446400937
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the author

Peter Frankopan

Peter Frankopan is currently Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford and Faculty Fellow in Medieval and Modern Greek at Oxford University. He is Director-designate of the Centre for Byzantine Studies at Oxford. He took a First in History at Jesus College, Cambridge and completed his doctorate at Oxford, where he was Senior Scholar at Corpus Christi College, and Junior Research Fellow at Worcester College. He has lectured at leading universities all over the world, including at Cambridge, Yale, Harvard, NYU, King's College London, the Institute of Historical Research and at Princeton. His work has been widely published in leading academic journals, including English Historical Review, Journal of Medieval History, Crusades, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies and in many edited volumes. His revised translation of The Alexiad by Anna Komnene was published in 2009.

Praise for The First Crusade

Frankopan has written a remarkable book that makes as strong case as the incomplete and episodic evidence permits

Jonathan Sumpton, Literary Review

Peter Frankopan's re-assessment of the Byzantine contribution to the origins and course of the First Crusade offers a compelling and challenging balance to traditional accounts. Based on fresh interpretations of primary sources, lucidly written and forcefully argued, The First Crusade: The Call from the East will demand attention from scholars while providing an enjoyable and accessible narrative for the general reader.

Christopher Tyerman, author of God's War: A New History Of The Crusades

In this fluent and dramatic account, Frankopan - quite rightly - places the Emperor Alexios at the heart of the First Crusade and in doing so he skilfully provides a texture/dimension so often missing from our understanding of this seminal event in world history. Frankopan illuminates the complex challenges that faced Alexios and deftly depicts the boldness and finesse needed to survive in the dangerous world of medieval Byzantium

Jonathan Phillips, author of Holy Warriors

A dazzling book, perfectly combining deep scholarship and easy readability. The most important addition to Crusading literature since Runciman

John Julius Norwich

Scholarly and yet accessible, and unashamedly partisan, The First Crusade, as any vibrant history should, is bound to set a lot of feathers flying

Daily Telegraph

A nuanced and often counterintuitive story of power politics, international diplomacy and war and, ultimately that very rare thing - a truly fresh interpretation of an old story

Time Out

Frankopan's qualities as a historian and writer are of a high order

BBC History Magazine

It is not possible to do justice to a long and complex argument in a short review, and the author clearly shows that Byzantine politics played a significant part in the formulation of Western attitudes

Church Times

Frankopan's creative revisionism pierces the armour of medieval history with a new weapon: the call of the East

Oxford Times

The best book on the First Crusade ever written

Prof. Paul Chevedden

Convincing and accessible

Sunday Times

Superb.brilliantly described.I am proceeding to tell everyone I know that they have to buy the book, read it, and change the way they teach the First Crusade

Dr. Steve Biddlecombe, Bristol University

A scholarly but readable account of the first crusade, refreshingly repositioning it as a successful attempt by the Byzantine Emperor to save Constantinople

Katie Owen, Sunday Telegraph (Seven)

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