Understanding the Crusades by Thomas F. Madden

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    This was recommended to me by Alex (Frenchie) some time ago and thought it worth mentioning here for anyone who is interested in the Crusades. Although it is not a podcast, it seems to be available here (learn out loud.com) or  here (amazon.com) but at a cost, however, it is advertised as free in connection with registering with Audible for the usual 30 day free trial.Thomas F. Madden's approach to this vast subject is thorough but easy to listen to and is broken down into the following lectures:The Lectures1. The Medieval Background of the Crusades 2. Islam: Faith, Culture, Empire3. Pope Urban II and the Calling of the First Crusade 4. The First Crusade 5. What Were the Crusades? Who Were the Crusaders? 6. The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem 7. The Second Crusade 8. The Third Crusade 9. The Fourth Crusade 10. Crusades in Europe 11. The Fifth Crusade 12. The Crusades of St. Louis 13. The Fall of the Crusader States 14. Later Crusades and the Legacy of the Crusades Originally published in 2005 (2008 on Audible) as part of the Modern Scholar series.As late as 1518, plans were laid by Pope Leo X and the monarchs of Europe to set aside their internal quarrels and once more embark on a holy crusade to wrest the Middle East from the Ottoman Turks. Finding accord and even enthusiasm for the enterprise, all was on course for a multiyear military campaign to push east from North Africa through Egypt and south through the Balkans to squeeze the Turks in a pincer movement and finally oust the Muslims from the Holy Land. The great plan, however, died when Europe was once again plunged into internal strife with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, who had been a leader for the crusade.For over 400 years, crusaders ("those signed by the cross"), out of Christian zeal, a declared love for their fellow man, and, in many cases, a simple desire for fortune, glory, and heavenly reward, marched to the Holy Land to battle both a real and perceived threat to their way of life and their religious beliefs. The story of the many crusades are filled with an unremitting passion to keep or return the home of Christianity to Christians. It is also filled with death, destruction, disorder, greed, avarice, and self-interest on all sides. Much of what occurred during the Crusades has come down to us today in the form of continued suspicion among religious ideologies - not only between Christians and Muslims, but also internally among Christian sects and, to some degree, among Muslim sects. There is certainly much to learn about our own history from a better understanding of the Crusades and what led so many to crusade.It is definitely worth listening to if you can get your hands on a free copy.

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