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

    A very short introduction
  2. Episode 1 Latin Christendom in 1090

    An analysis of western Europe prior to the crusades
  3. Episode 2 The Middle East and the Byzantine Empire prior to

    The title of the episode is self-explanatory
  4. Episode 3 The speech that launched the Crusades

    Pope Urban II makes a speech at Clermont which starts the crusading movement
  5. Episode 4 The Peasants' Crusade

    Another self-explanatory title
  6. Episode 5 The First Crusade I

    Planning, preparations, pogroms and principal players
  7. Episode 6 The First Crusade II

    From Latin Christendom to Constantinople

  8. Episode 7 The First Crusade III

    The siege of Nicaea
  9. Episode 8 The First Crusade IV

    The battle near Dorylaeum
  10. Episode 9 The First Crusade V

    Onward to Antioch!
  11. Episode 10 The First Crusade VI

    The journey of Tancred of Hauteville and Baldwin of Boulogne
  12. Episode 11 The First Crusade VII

    The siege of Antioch
  13. Episode 12 The First Crusade VIII

    The siege of Antioch continues
  14. Episode 13 The First Crusade IX

    The siege of Antioch continues...and concludes
  15. Episode 14 The First Crusade X

    Delay, discord, disease and indecision
  16. Episode 15 The First Crusade XI

    The siege of Marrat an-Numan
  17. Episode 16 The First Crusade XII

    Onwards to Jerusalem!
  18. Episode 17 The First Crusade XIII

    The siege of Jerusalem
  19. Episode 18 After the Conquest 1100-1101

    The aftermath of the First Crusade and the tumultuous years of 1100 and 1101
  20. Episode 19 The Crusader States: The Principality of Antioch

    We take a look at the Principality of Antioch
  21. Episode 20 The Crusader States: The County of Edessa and the

    We take a look at two more Crusader States
  22. Episode 22 The Knights Templar I

    The establishment of the Knights Templar
  23. Episode 23 The Knights Templar II

    The rise and fall of the Knights Templar
  24. Episode 24 The Assassins

    A short study of the Nizari Isma'ili sect
  25. Episode 25 Eleanor of Aquitaine Part I

    Mostly about the year 1137
  26. Episode 26 Eleanor of Aquitaine Part II

    In which Eleanor goes on crusade
  27. Episode 27 Eleanor of Aquitaine Part III

    In which Queen Eleanor of France becomes Queen Eleanor of England
  28. Episode 28 Eleanor of Aquitaine Part IV

    Featuring an ageing Queen Eleanor, Thomas Becket and some Kings
  29. Episode 31 The Second Crusade III

    "Crosses, give us crosses!"
  30. Episode 32 The Second Crusade IV

    Diversions and preparations
  31. Episode 33 The Second Crusade V

    Onward to Constantinople
  32. Episode 33b The Second Crusade V con't

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

    Following the Second Crusade comes a period of changing fortunes for both the Latin Christians and the Muslims
  34. Episode 39 Frankish revival

    The Franks experience a period of revival
  35. Episode 40 Egypt Part I

    The arena of conflict moves to Egypt
  36. Episode 41 Egypt Part II

    The Latin Christians and the Syrian Muslims clash again in Egypt
  37. Episode 42 Egypt Part III

    The battle for Egypt concludes
  38. Episode 43 Krak des Chevaliers

    An episode about the famous castle - Krak des Chevaliers
  39. Episode 44 The fall of giants

    The unexpected deaths of two main players in 1174
  40. Episode 45 The Leper King

    The reign of King Baldwin IV commences
  41. Episode 46 The rise of Saladin

    We have seen Saladin rise to become ruler of Egypt. See him rise even further in this episode.
  42. Episode 47 The year 1180

    This year sees the marriage of King Baldwin's sister Sibylla and the death of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel.
  43. Episode 48 The decline of Byzantium

    The Byzantine Empire falls into decline following the death of Emperor Manuel
  44. Episode 50 The very short reign of King Baldwin V

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

    Discusses the epic battle between Saladin and the Latin Christians
  46. Episode 52 The fall of Jerusalem

    Jerusalem falls to Saladin
  47. Episode 53 The Third Crusade I

    Setting the scene
  48. Episode 54 The Third Crusade II

    The French and English armies leave on crusade
  49. Episode 55 The Third Crusade III

    We follow the crusade of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his German army
  50. Episode 56 The Third Crusade IV

    The siege of Acre Part 1
  51. Episode 57 The Third Crusade V

    The siege of Acre Part 2
  52. Episode 58 The Third Crusade VI

    The siege of Acre Part 3
  53. Episode 59 The Third Crusade VII

    The two Kings finally arrive at Acre
  54. Episode 61 The Third Crusade IX

    Aftermath of the siege at Acre
  55. Episode 62 The Third Crusade X

    The crusaders move down the coast to Jaffa
  56. Episode 64 The Third Crusade XII

    The crusaders get within 12 miles of Jerusalem
  57. Episode 66 The Third Crusade XIV

    The crusade concludes with the signing of the Treaty of Jaffa
  58. Episode 67 Christianity in the Crusader States

    We take a look at Christianity in the Middle East
  59. Episode 68 Life in the Crusader States

    What was life like for Latin Christians in the Middle East?
  60. Episode 69 The German Crusade

    Emperor Henry VI instigates a German Crusade to the Holy Land
  61. Episode 70 The Fourth Crusade I

    We start looking at a new crusade
  62. Episode 71 The Fourth Crusade II

    Representatives from the Fourth Crusade travel to Venice
  63. Episode 75 The Fourth Crusade VI

    The first siege of Constantinople
  64. Episode 77 The Fourth Crusade VIII

    The second siege of Constantinople
  65. Episode 78 The Fourth Crusade IX

    The sack of Constantinople
  66. Episode 79 The Fourth Crusade X

    The aftermath of the Fourth Crusade
  67. Episode 80 Meanwhile, back in the Holy Land...

    We take a look at what has been happening in the Holy Land while we've been away on the Fourth Crusade
  68. Episode 81 The Children's Crusade

    We take a look at the Children's Crusade/s of 1212
  69. Episode 86 Emperor Frederick II

    We take a closer look at Emperor Frederick II
  70. Episode 87 Emperor Frederick's Crusade I

    We accompany Emperor Frederick on crusade
  71. Episode 88 Emperor Frederick's Crusade II

    Emperor Frederick's crusade concludes
  72. Episode 89 The Barons' Crusade

    The title says it all, really
  73. Episode 90 Disaster strikes

    Bad times come to the Kingdom of Acre
  74. Episode 91 King Louis' Crusade I

    Preparations and recruitment for the crusade of King Louis IX
  75. Episode 94 King Louis' Crusade IV

    The battle of Mansourah
  76. Episode 97 The Warring Merchants

    The title says it all
  77. Episode 98 The Mongol Invasion

    The Mongols move out of Persia into Syria
  78. Episode 99 Egyptian resistance

    Again, the title says it all
  79. Episode 100 Baibars

    The rise to power of the Mamluk Sultan Baibars
  80. Episode 102 The fall of Antioch

    We wave goodbye to the Principality of Antioch
  81. Episode 103 The last Crusades

    The French, English and Spanish monarchs embark on separate crusades to the Holy Land
  82. Episode 104 Troubled Times

    The remaining Crusader States stagger from disaster, to disaster
  83. Episode 105 Party like there's no tomorrow

    What do you do when times are tough? Throw a massive party!
  84. Episode 106 The fall of Tripoli

    Oh dear. Another Crusader State bites the dust
  85. Episode 107 The fall of Acre

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