Monday, October 17, 2011
Historian Peter Frankopan is challenging a millennium of scholarship in his view of the First Crusade
According to Harvard University Press, a forthcoming book by the British historian Peter Frankopan is "countering nearly a millennium of scholarship" by emphasising the overlooked eastern origins of the Crusades.
Dr Frankopan, the director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at the University of Oxford, told The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival yesterday that "something is not quite right" with the traditional version. This has maintained, with remarkable consistency, that the First Crusade was a product of the Council of Clermont in central France in 1095, where Pope Urban II called on the faithful to free Jerusalem from occupation by Muslim Turks. The Pope's evangelism was prompted by "disturbing news" received from Jerusalem and Constantinople of atrocities committed against Christians by the Turks. The speech electrified Europe and helped to raise an army of between 80,000 and 90,000 men, 30 times larger than the Norman force that had conquered England a generation earlier.
Click here to read this article from The Australian