The Fourth Crusade: And the Sack of Constantinople

Front Cover
Random House, Dec 31, 2011 - History - 416 pages

In April 1204, the armies of Western Christendom wrote another bloodstained chapter in the history of holy war. Two years earlier, aflame with religious zeal, the Fourth Crusade set out to free Jerusalem from the grip of Islam. But after a dramatic series of events, the crusaders turned their weapons against the Christian city of Constantinople, the heart of the Byzantine Empire and the greatest metropolis in the known world.

The crusaders spared no one in their savagery: they murdered and raped old and young - they desecrated churches, plundered treasuries and much of the city was put to the torch. Some contemporaries were delighted: God had approved this punishment of the effeminate, treacherous Greeks; others expressed shock and disgust at this perversion of the crusading ideal. History has judged this as the crusade that went wrong.

In this remarkable new assessment of the Fourth Crusade, Jonathan Phillips follows the fortunes of the leading players and explores the conflicting motives that drove the expedition to commit the most infamous massacre of the crusading movement.

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THE FOURTH CRUSADE AND THE SACK OF CONSTANTINOPLE

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Well-crafted tale of "brutality and determination, depravity and avarice, political intrigue and religious zeal"—and even worse.Eight hundred years ago, the armies of the Fourth Crusade, mingling ... Read full review

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User Review  - CBJames - LibraryThing

The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople by Jonathan Phillips tells the story of what went wrong. The crusade began as an attempt to send large numbers of reinforcements to the crusader ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Jonathan Phillips is Professor of Crusading History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades; The Second Crusade: Extending the Frontiers of Christianity; The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople; The Crusades, 1095-1197; Defenders of the Holy Land, 1119-1187 and the co-editor of three academic essay collections on the Crusades. Phillips is the co-editor of the academic journal Crusades, writes for BBC History and History Today and has made numerous radio and television appearances.

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