The Conquest of Constantinople by Geoffrey of Villehardouin and The Life of Saint Louis by John of Joinville are eye-witness accounts of going to war in the service of God. In the first years of the thirteenth century Villehardouin served as an envoy in the Fourth Crusade, at the very heart of a campaign that veered from its aim of conquering Muslim Egypt to the sacking of Greek Orthodox Constantinople. Half a century later, Joinville accompanied the French king, Louis IX, on crusade to Egypt and the Near East. The Chronicles of the Crusades are invaluable first-hand narratives of these campaigns and provide vivid insights into the characters and beliefs of the crusaders.
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(198mm x 129mm x 26mm)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
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Author Biography - sire de Jean Joinville
Geoffrey of Villehardouin was born in around 1150. In 1185 he was appointed to the office of marshal of Champagne, and having taken the cross in 1199 he was subsequently appointed as an envoy by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade. He was privy to crucial decisions made throughout the course of the crusade, which ended with the conquest of Constantinople from its Greek Christian rulers in April 1204. His account of The Conquest of Constantinople relates the controversial history of the Fourth Crusade and the early years of the Latin empire from the perspective of a well-informed insider. John of Joinville was born in 1224 or 1225. In 1233 he inherited the office of seneschal of Champagne that would give him a leading role in the administrative affairs of the county. He took the cross for the first crusade led by King Louis IX of France. Joinville became a close friend of Louis IX and after their return to France he was a familiar figure at the royal court. Joinville refused to join Louis on his second crusade and was therefore not present when the king died in 1270. He honoured his friend's memory by giving evidence to the enquiry that established the king's sanctity and by composing The Life of Saint Louis as a record of his holy words and good deeds.