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.
A very short introduction
An analysis of western Europe prior to the crusades
The title of the episode is self-explanatory
Pope Urban II makes a speech at Clermont which starts the crusading movement
Another self-explanatory title
Planning, preparations, pogroms and principal players
From Latin Christendom to Constantinople
The siege of Nicaea
The battle near Dorylaeum
Onward to Antioch!
The journey of Tancred of Hauteville and Baldwin of Boulogne
The siege of Antioch
The siege of Antioch continues
The siege of Antioch continues...and concludes
Delay, discord, disease and indecision
The siege of Marrat an-Numan
Onwards to Jerusalem!
The siege of Jerusalem
The aftermath of the First Crusade and the tumultuous years of 1100 and 1101
We take a look at the Principality of Antioch
We take a look at two more Crusader States
A look at the final Crusader State
The establishment of the Knights Templar
The rise and fall of the Knights Templar
A short study of the Nizari Isma'ili sect
Mostly about the year 1137
In which Eleanor goes on crusade
In which Queen Eleanor of France becomes Queen Eleanor of England
Featuring an ageing Queen Eleanor, Thomas Becket and some Kings
The fall of Edessa
"Crosses, give us crosses!"
Diversions and preparations
Onward to Constantinople
Onward to Antioch!
Following the Second Crusade comes a period of changing fortunes for both the Latin Christians and the Muslims
The Franks experience a period of revival
The arena of conflict moves to Egypt
The Latin Christians and the Syrian Muslims clash again in Egypt
The battle for Egypt concludes
An episode about the famous castle - Krak des Chevaliers
The unexpected deaths of two main players in 1174
The reign of King Baldwin IV commences
We have seen Saladin rise to become ruler of Egypt. See him rise even further in this episode.
This year sees the marriage of King Baldwin's sister Sibylla and the death of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel.
The Byzantine Empire falls into decline following the death of Emperor Manuel
The title says it all
Jerusalem falls to Saladin
Setting the scene
The French and English armies leave on crusade
We follow the crusade of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his German army
The siege of Acre Part 1
The siege of Acre Part 2
The siege of Acre Part 3
The two Kings finally arrive at Acre
Victory at Acre!
Aftermath of the siege at Acre
The crusaders move down the coast to Jaffa
The crusaders get within 12 miles of Jerusalem
The fate of Kings
The crusade concludes with the signing of the Treaty of Jaffa
We take a look at Christianity in the Middle East
What was life like for Latin Christians in the Middle East?
Emperor Henry VI instigates a German Crusade to the Holy Land
We start looking at a new crusade
Representatives from the Fourth Crusade travel to Venice
The siege of Zara
A change of plans
The first siege of Constantinople
The sack of Constantinople
The aftermath of the Fourth Crusade
We take a look at what has been happening in the Holy Land while we've been away on the Fourth Crusade
We take a look at the Children's Crusade/s of 1212
In the swamp
We take a closer look at Emperor Frederick II
We accompany Emperor Frederick on crusade
Emperor Frederick's crusade concludes
The title says it all, really
Bad times come to the Kingdom of Acre
Preparations and recruitment for the crusade of King Louis IX
The battle of Mansourah
The title says it all
The Mongols move out of Persia into Syria
Again, the title says it all
The rise to power of the Mamluk Sultan Baibars
We wave goodbye to the Principality of Antioch
The French, English and Spanish monarchs embark on separate crusades to the Holy Land
The remaining Crusader States stagger from disaster, to disaster
What do you do when times are tough? Throw a massive party!
Oh dear. Another Crusader State bites the dust
And that's it, folks. The end of the Middle Eastern Crusades