The Crusades marked a turning point in European history, where the primitive Frankish states of Western Europe first encountered the civilized cultures of the Muslim world. With a Christian enclave carved out in the Middle East, the two cultures enmeshed in a clash where personal ambition and financial reward often overcame religious fervor. Started with pious intent, the Crusades degenerated into a bitter power struggle. This book chronicles the Crusading era and examines its cause, its development, and the people who fought for their faith and for themselves. The study by historian Angus Konstam chronicles their achievements, drawing on the latest historical evidence to weave a medieval tapestry of intense color.