The Middle Eastern crusades were a series of military campaigns initiated by the Latin Christians of Europe, against the Muslims of the Middle East.  Listen in to join the first ever crusade which not only managed to achieve its goal of conquering Jerusalem, but established a number of European outposts in the Levant - the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Principality of Antioch, the County of Edessa and the County of Tripoli.  Listen further to see the gradual decline of those states, culminating in the fall of Acre to the Muslims in 1291.  There are also a number of episodes on specialist topics, such as the Knights Templar and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Now - here's a confession.  The sound quality at the start of these episodes is terrible.  The crusades are all about embarking on a mad, ambitious adventure into unknown territory with the wrong equipment, and I embraced that fully.  Not realising that people other than my family members might eventually listen in, I brought the cheapest microphone I could find and launched my podcast.  Thankfully, my microphone broke around episode 19 and I bought a better one.  However, it took the demise of my laptop around episode 74 for me to invest in an entirely new and much better audio recording setup, so it's really after that time that the sound quality improves and the volume gets much louder.  Lessons learned.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the 107 episode romp from medieval Europe to the deserts of the Holy Land, complete with battles, sieges, knights, monks, assassins and a crazy hermit called Peter who just keeps popping up when you least expect it...

Here are some maps (via wikipedia) which you might find useful - the route of the First Crusade from Constantinople to Tripoli and the Crusader States.

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  1. Introduction

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    A very short introduction

  2. Episode 1 Latin Christendom in 1090

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    An analysis of western Europe prior to the crusades

  3. Episode 3 The speech that launched the Crusades

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    Pope Urban II makes a speech at Clermont which starts the crusading movement

  4. Episode 4 The Peasants' Crusade

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    Another self-explanatory title

  5. Episode 5 The First Crusade I

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    Planning, preparations, pogroms and principal players

  6. Episode 6 The First Crusade II

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    From Latin Christendom to Constantinople

  7. Episode 10 The First Crusade VI

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    The journey of Tancred of Hauteville and Baldwin of Boulogne

  8. Episode 12 The First Crusade VIII

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    The siege of Antioch continues

  9. Episode 13 The First Crusade IX

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    The siege of Antioch continues...and concludes

  10. Episode 14 The First Crusade X

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    Delay, discord, disease and indecision

  11. Episode 15 The First Crusade XI

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    The siege of Marrat an-Numan

  12. Episode 18 After the Conquest 1100-1101

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    The aftermath of the First Crusade and the tumultuous years of 1100 and 1101

  13. Episode 22 The Knights Templar I

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    The establishment of the Knights Templar

  14. Episode 23 The Knights Templar II

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    The rise and fall of the Knights Templar

  15. Episode 24 The Assassins

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    A short study of the Nizari Isma'ili sect

  16. Episode 27 Eleanor of Aquitaine Part III

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    In which Queen Eleanor of France becomes Queen Eleanor of England

  17. Episode 28 Eleanor of Aquitaine Part IV

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    Featuring an ageing Queen Eleanor, Thomas Becket and some Kings

  18. Episode 33b The Second Crusade V con't

    Contains the missing 3 minutes from episode 33
  19. Episode 38 Changing Fortunes

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    Following the Second Crusade comes a period of changing fortunes for both the Latin Christians and the Muslims

  20. Episode 39 Frankish revival

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    The Franks experience a period of revival

  21. Episode 40 Egypt Part I

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    The arena of conflict moves to Egypt

  22. Episode 41 Egypt Part II

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    The Latin Christians and the Syrian Muslims clash again in Egypt

  23. Episode 42 Egypt Part III

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    The battle for Egypt concludes

  24. Episode 43 Krak des Chevaliers

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    An episode about the famous castle - Krak des Chevaliers

  25. Episode 44 The fall of giants

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    The unexpected deaths of two main players in 1174

  26. Episode 45 The Leper King

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    The reign of King Baldwin IV commences

  27. Episode 46 The rise of Saladin

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    We have seen Saladin rise to become ruler of Egypt. See him rise even further in this episode.

  28. Episode 47 The year 1180

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    This year sees the marriage of King Baldwin's sister Sibylla and the death of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel.

  29. Episode 48 The decline of Byzantium

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    The Byzantine Empire falls into decline following the death of Emperor Manuel

  30. Episode 50 The very short reign of King Baldwin V

    Again, the information you need is in the title
  31. Episode 51 The Horns of Hattin

    Discusses the epic battle between Saladin and the Latin Christians
  32. Episode 54 The Third Crusade II

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    The French and English armies leave on crusade

  33. Episode 55 The Third Crusade III

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    We follow the crusade of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his German army

  34. Episode 59 The Third Crusade VII

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    The two Kings finally arrive at Acre

  35. Episode 61 The Third Crusade IX

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    Aftermath of the siege at Acre

  36. Episode 62 The Third Crusade X

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    The crusaders move down the coast to Jaffa

  37. Episode 64 The Third Crusade XII

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    The crusaders get within 12 miles of Jerusalem

  38. Episode 66 The Third Crusade XIV

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    The crusade concludes with the signing of the Treaty of Jaffa

  39. Episode 67 Christianity in the Crusader States

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    We take a look at Christianity in the Middle East

  40. Episode 68 Life in the Crusader States

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    What was life like for Latin Christians in the Middle East?

  41. Episode 69 The German Crusade

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    Emperor Henry VI instigates a German Crusade to the Holy Land

  42. Episode 70 The Fourth Crusade I

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    We start looking at a new crusade

  43. Episode 71 The Fourth Crusade II

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    Representatives from the Fourth Crusade travel to Venice

  44. Episode 75 The Fourth Crusade VI

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    The first siege of Constantinople

  45. Episode 77 The Fourth Crusade VIII

    The second siege of Constantinople
  46. Episode 79 The Fourth Crusade X

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    The aftermath of the Fourth Crusade

  47. Episode 80 Meanwhile, back in the Holy Land...

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    We take a look at what has been happening in the Holy Land while we've been away on the Fourth Crusade

  48. Episode 81 The Children's Crusade

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    We take a look at the Children's Crusade/s of 1212

  49. Episode 86 Emperor Frederick II

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    We take a closer look at Emperor Frederick II

  50. Episode 87 Emperor Frederick's Crusade I

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    We accompany Emperor Frederick on crusade

  51. Episode 88 Emperor Frederick's Crusade II

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    Emperor Frederick's crusade concludes

  52. Episode 89 The Barons' Crusade

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    The title says it all, really

  53. Episode 90 Disaster strikes

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    Bad times come to the Kingdom of Acre

  54. Episode 91 King Louis' Crusade I

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    Preparations and recruitment for the crusade of King Louis IX

  55. Episode 98 The Mongol Invasion

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    The Mongols move out of Persia into Syria

  56. Episode 99 Egyptian resistance

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    Again, the title says it all

  57. Episode 100 Baibars

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    The rise to power of the Mamluk Sultan Baibars

  58. Episode 102 The fall of Antioch

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    We wave goodbye to the Principality of Antioch

  59. Episode 103 The last Crusades

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    The French, English and Spanish monarchs embark on separate crusades to the Holy Land

  60. Episode 104 Troubled Times

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    The remaining Crusader States stagger from disaster, to disaster

  61. Episode 105 Party like there's no tomorrow

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    What do you do when times are tough? Throw a massive party!

  62. Episode 106 The fall of Tripoli

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    Oh dear. Another Crusader State bites the dust

  63. Episode 107 The fall of Acre

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    And that's it, folks. The end of the Middle Eastern Crusades