Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors: Faith, Power, and Violence in the Age of Crusade and Jihad
From the early tenth century to the end of the twelfth, the three major religions of the Middle East met, borrowed, battled and embraced each other. Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors is the history of some of the major kingdoms and personalities of the time. There are tales of Sicily, invaded by Christian Normans, who then consolidate their power and complete there conquest of the island by using Muslim troops and Jewish advisors, often against Christians. There is El Cid, who allies with Muslims to defeat other more decadent Muslim kingdoms. There is a Jewish poet, Isma’il Wazir, Commander of his Caliph’s armies, principal advisor and probably the best Jewish poet of the time; who serves a Muslim ruler. There is, of course, Salah al-Din, and Byzantine Emperors trying to hold onto Classic culture. The book is a fantastic look at a time when pragmatism overruled religion and alliances could and did shift overnight. To say that the book is scholarly and well documented does not entirely do it justice. It is exciting to swoop through history that is not usually generally taught or known, and yet contains the seeds for many of the conflicts of today. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
|Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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