Prehistory And Early History

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Magnify The Mongols
The Mongols

The Mongols


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The Mongols carved out the largest land-based empire in world history, stretching from Korea to Russia in the north and from China to Syria in the south in the thirteenth century. Along with their leader Chinggis Khan they conjure up images of plunder and total destruction. Chinggis and his descendants introduced a level of violence that had perhaps never been seen in world history. Although this book does not ignore the devastation and killings wrought by the Mongols, it also reveals their contributions. Within two generations, they developed from conquerors and predators seeking booty to rulers who devised policies to foster the economies of the lands they had subjugated. Adopting political and economic institutions familiar to the conquered populations and recruiting native officials, they won over many of their non- Mongol subjects. Mongol nobles were ardent patrons of art and culture. They supported and influenced the production of Chinese porcelains and textiles, Iranian tiles and illustrated manuscripts, and Russian metalwork. Their most significant contribution was to foster the greatest contacts among diverse civilizations in world history. The Mongol peace they imposed on much of Asia and their promotion of trade resulted in considerable travel and relations among numerous merchants, scientists, artists, missionaries, and entertainers of different ethnic groups. It is no accident that Europeans, including Marco Polo, first reached China in this period. Eurasian and perhaps global history starts with the Mongol empire. Rossabi follows the Mongol empire through to collapse due to internal disunity. Struggles for succession and ill-planned and expensive military campaigns ultimately tore apart one of the most influential empires in world history.
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Author: Morris Rossabi
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Magnify The Crusades Classic Histories Series
The Crusades Classic Histories Series

The Crusades Classic Histories Series


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: In 1095 Pope Urban II granted absolution to anyone who would fight to reclaim the Holy Land. With God at their backs, the first Christian crusaders embarked on an unprecedented religious war. While addressing the contribution of flamboyant characters like Saladin and Richard the Lionheart, Malcolm Billings also looks at the experiences of the peasants, knights and fighting monks who took the cross for Christendom and the Holy Warriors of Islam who, after battle on battle, emerged victorious. He analyses the ebb and flow of crusade and counter-crusade and details the shifting structures of government in the Levant, which became the perennial battleground of East and West.
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Author: Malcolm Billings
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Magnify The Knights Templar
The Knights Templar

The Knights Templar


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: This is an in-depth illustrated chronicle of the rise and fall of one of history's most secretive brotherhoods, from its origins as a champion of Christ in the middle ages to its mysterious legacy in the present day. It charts the rise and fall of the order, from humble men of the Cross to powerful warrior-monks. It investigates the templars' mysteries, handed down through the centuries, and their links to the Holy Grail, the Turin shroud, the ark of the covenant, the skull of Sidon, and involvement in the history of freemasonry. It examines the debate on whether the knights were brave crusaders, servants of Christ, treacherous heretics or mercenary outlaws. It is a comprehensive guide, with 200 illustrations. This expert book covers the fascinating and romantic history that surroundes the order of the Knights Templar. It charts the rise and influence of the order, its changing fortunes, losing their base in Jerusalem in the Third Crusade, the fall of Acre and the destruction of the order by Pope Clement V and Philip IV of France. The speculative myths and questions about these legendary knights are fully discussed, as are controversial claims and conspiracies that have surrounded them for centuries. Among these are whether the Templars discovered America and if they were the guardians of the Holy Grail. With well-researched text and evocative illustrations this volume shows the historical legacy of the Templars and how they have influenced contemporary organizations, art, literature and legend.
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Author: Susie Hodge
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Product ID: 9780754828556
 
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Magnify The Aztecs
The Aztecs

The Aztecs


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: This Very Short Introduction employs the disciplines of history, religious studies, and anthropology as it illuminates the complexities of Aztec life. Readers meet a people highly skilled in sculpture, astronomy, city planning, poetry, and philosophy, who were also profoundly committed to cosmic regeneration through the thrust of the ceremonial knife and through warfare. David Carrasco looks beyond Spanish accounts that have colored much of the Western narrative to let Aztec voices speak about their origin stories, the cosmic significance of their capital city, their methods of child rearing, and the contributions women made to daily life and the empire. Carrasco discusses the arrival of the Spaniards, contrasts Aztec mythical traditions about the origins of their city with actual urban life in Mesoamerica, and outlines the rise of the Aztec empire. He also explores Aztec religion, which provided both justification for and alternatives to warfare, sacrifice, and imperialism, and he sheds light on Aztec poetry, philosophy, painting, and especially monumental sculpture and architecture. He concludes by looking at how the Aztecs have been portrayed in Western thought, art, film, and literature as well as in Latino culture and arts.
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Author: David Carrasco
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Magnify The Crusades
The Crusades

The Crusades


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: Crusading fervour gripped Europe for over 200 years, creating one of the most extraordinary, vivid episodes in world history. Whether the Crusades are regarded as the most romantic of Christian expeditions, or the last of the barbarian invasions, they have fascinated generations ever since, and their legacy of ideas and imagery has resonated through the centuries, inspiring Hollywood movies and great works of literature. Even today, to invoke the Crusades is to stir deep cultural myths, assumptions and prejudices. Yet despite their powerful hold on our imaginations, our knowledge of them remains obscured an distorted by time. Were the Crusaders motivated by spiritual rewards, or by greed? Were the Crusades an experiment in European colonialism, or a manifestation of religious love? How were they organized and founded? With customary flair and originality, Christopher Tyerman picks his way through the many debates to present a clear and lively discussion of the Crusades; bringing together issues of colonialism, cultural exchange, economic exploitation, and the relationship between past and present. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: Christopher Tyerman
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Magnify The Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire

The Mongol Empire


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: Genghis Khan is one of history's immortals: a leader of genius, driven by an inspiring vision for peaceful world rule. Believing he was divinely protected, Genghis united warring clans to create a nation and then an empire that ran across much of Asia. Under his grandson, Kublai Khan, the vision evolved into a more complex religious ideology, justifying further expansion. Kublai doubled the empire's size until, in the late 13th century, he and the rest of Genghis' ' Golden Family' controlled one fifth of the inhabited world. Along the way, he conquered all China, gave the nation the borders it has today, and then, finally, discovered the limits to growth. Genghis' dream of world rule turned out to be a fantasy. And yet, in terms of the sheer scale of the conquests, never has a vision and the character of one man had such an effect on the world. Charting the evolution of this vision, John Man provides a unique account of the Mongol Empire, from young Genghis to old Kublai, from a rejected teenager to the world's most powerful emperor.
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Author: John Man
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Product ID: 9780552168809
 
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Magnify Alfred The Great
Alfred The Great

Alfred The Great


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The discovery earlier this year in Winchester of human remains, almost certainly of Alfred the Great or his eldest son, has sparked renewed interest in England's most celebrated monarch. King Alfred's historical achievements, saving his kingdom from invasion by marauding Vikings and attempting both to expand and educate his realm, made him the founding mythic figure of England. The only English sovereign ever to be called 'the Great' - despite the fact that he was never even king of all England - Alfred used to be remembered as much through the stories told about him as his recorded accomplishments. This book offers a vivid picture of Alfred and his England, a place snatched from extinction at the hands of Viking invaders, but also of the way that history is written, and how much myth has to do with that. The book brings this story right up to date with the tale of the strange journey of Alfred's mortal remains, and their final discovery in his capital of Winchester.
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Author: David Horspool
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Product ID: 9781445639369
 
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Magnify Edward Iv and Elizabeth Woodville
Edward Iv and Elizabeth Woodville

Edward Iv and Elizabeth Woodville


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: When the tall, athletic Edward of York seized the English throne in 1461, he could have chosen any bride he wanted. With his dazzling good looks and royal lineage, the nineteen-year-old quickly got a reputation for womanising, and few were able to resist his charm and promises. For three years he had a succession of mistresses, while foreign princesses were lined up to be considered for his queen. Then he fell in love. The woman who captured the king was Elizabeth Woodville, a widow five years his elder. While her contemporaries and later historians have been divided over her character, none have denied her beauty. She had previously been married to a Lancastrian knight who had lost his life fighting against the Yorkists. When she petitioned the king to help restore her son's inheritance, reputedly waiting for him under an oak tree, the young Edward was immediately spellbound. But this romance was not to be just another fling. Conscious of her honour and her future, Elizabeth repelled his advances. Edward's answer was to make her his wife. It was to prove an unpopular decision. Since then, Edward's queen has attracted extreme criticism, her story and connections reported by hostile chroniclers, her actions interpreted in the bleakest of lights. In this enlightening book, Amy Licence reassesses the tumultuous lives of the real White Queen and the king she captivated.
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Author: Amy Licence
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Magnify Harold
Harold

Harold


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: Harold Godwinson, King of England, was unable to defend his realm from William the Conqueror's invading Norman army in 1066. The Normans wreaked havoc across the country and changed the history of England forever. 1066 marked the end of the Anglo- Saxon era of home-grown rulers since the time of Alfred the Great. This book is the first full-scale biography of England's last Anglo- Saxon king. He was an astute political operator who, as Earl of Wessex, won the affection of the English people and the support of Edward the Confessor to succeed him. Peter Rex tells the story of a formidable warrior-king killed in battle in defence of his kingdom. The Battle of Hastings could have gone either way, and had the fatal arrow missed Harolds eye, England would be a quite different place today.
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Author: Peter Rex
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Product ID: 9781445657219
 
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Magnify An Illustrated History Of The Later Crusades
An Illustrated History Of The Later Crusades

An Illustrated History Of The Later Crusades


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The crusades of 1200-1588 in Palestine, Spain, Italy and Northern Europe, from the Sack of Constantinople to the crusades against the Hussites, depicted in over 150 fine art images. This title offers an evocative account of what are known as the Late Crusades: the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight and ninth crusades between 1200 and 1588. It explains the political and religious background to the struggles in Palestine, the Christian determination to regain Spain, and the rise of the Ottomans in Egypt. It includes the wars waged by fellow Christians with the papal campaigns against the Cathars and Hussites, as well as against the pagan tribes in the Baltic states. It features the brotherhoods of warrior monks, including the Knights of St John, and the Knights Templar. It includes special sections on the crusading knights, generals and princes of that time such as: Prince Edward of England, King Peter of Cyprus, and Grand Master Jacques de Molay. This title is richly illustrated throughout with over 150 images of the battles, fortresses and epic journeys of the crusaders. This expertly researched and vividly illustrated book details the fascinating later crusades, which were fought between 1200 and 1588. These began with the attempts to regain the city of Jerusalem, held by the Christians for two generations but lost to Saladin in 1187. Conflict soon spread to Egypt, Spain and Italy, and then beyond, as the Pope used his call to arms to invoke campaigns against European pagans and Christian heretics. Charles Philips succeeds in explaining this complex period of history, and examining how the crusades impacted on the religious, social and political aspects of life in that time.
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Author: Charles Phillips
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Product ID: 9781844769889
 
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Magnify A Brief History Of The Samurai
A Brief History Of The Samurai

A Brief History Of The Samurai


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: From a leading expert in Japanese history, this is one of the first full histories of the art and culture of the Samurai warrior. The Samurai emerged as a warrior caste in Medieval Japan and would have a powerful influence on the history and culture of the country from the next 500 years. Clements also looks at the Samurai wars that tore Japan apart in the 17th and 18th centuries and how the caste was finally demolished in the advent of the mechanized world.
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Author: Jonathan Clements
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Product ID: 9781845299477
 
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Magnify A History Of The Crusades
A History Of The Crusades

A History Of The Crusades


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The first volume of Steven Runciman's classic, hugely influential trilogy on the history of the Crusades ' On a February day in the year AD 638 the Caliph Omar entered Jerusalem, riding upon a white camel' An enthralling work of grand historical narrative, Steven Runciman's A History of the Crusades overturned the traditional view of the Crusades as a romantic Christian adventure, and instead shifted the focus of the story to the East. With verve and drama, volume one of Runciman's trilogy tells the story of the First Crusade - from its unlikely beginnings in pilgrimage to the horrors of the siege of Jerusalem and the carving out of new territory on the edge of the eastern Mediterranean. ' Without question one of the major feats of contemporary historical writing' The New York Times ' The historian whose magisterial works transformed our understanding of Byzantium, the medieval church and the crusades' Guardian
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Author: Steven Runciman
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Product ID: 9780141985503
 
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Magnify How To Plan A Crusade
How To Plan A Crusade

How To Plan A Crusade


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: ' Wonderfully written and characteristically brilliant' Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads ' Elegant, readable ...an impressive synthesis ... Not many historians could have done it' - Jonathan Sumption, Spectator ' Tyerman's book is fascinating not just for what it has to tell us about the Crusades, but for the mirror it holds up to today's religious extremism' - Tom Holland, Spectator Thousands left their homelands in the Middle Ages to fight wars abroad. But how did the Crusades actually happen? From recruitment propaganda to raising money, ships to siege engines, medicine to the power of prayer, this vivid, surprising history shows holy war - and medieval society - in a new light.
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Author: Christopher Tyerman
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Magnify Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: Genghis Khan - creator of the greatest empire the world has ever seen - is one of history's immortals. In Central Asia, they still use his name to frighten children. In China, he is honoured as the founder of a dynasty. In Mongolia he is the father of the nation. In the USA, Time magazine, voted Genghis Khan 'the most important person of the last millennium'. But how much do we really know about this man? How is it that an unlettered, unsophisticated warrior-nomad came to have such a profound effect on world politics that his influence can still be felt some 800 years later? How he united the deeply divided Mongol peoples and went on to rule an empire that stretched from China in the east to Poland in the west (one substantially larger than Rome's at its zenith) is an epic tale of martial genius and breathtaking cruelty. John Man's towering achievement in this book, enriched by his experiences in China and Mongolia today, is to bring this little-known story vividly and viscerally to life.
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Author: John Man
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Magnify The First Crusade
The First Crusade

The First Crusade


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The First Crusade is one of the best-known and most written-about events in history but in this new book Dr Peter Frankopan asks vital questions that have never been posed before. This is the only book to address the history of the First Crusade from the perspective of the east, examining the role of the Byzantine Empire and its ruler, Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Peter Frankopan's focus on the imperial city of Constantinople and events in Asia Minor is the result of a major reinterpretation of eastern sources which reveal the crucial role of Byzantium in the Genesis and execution of the First Crusade. Frankopan's revelation of a close cooperation between the pope in Rome and the emperor in Constantinople constitutes an important revision and brand new evidence of the history of the Church. This book questions the traditional view that the Catholic and Orthodox churches had broken definitively in 1054. Rather than viewing the Crusades as a conflict between Christianity and Islam, the book reveals a complex triangular relationship between the west, Byzantium and the Muslim world. So, The First Crusade constitutes a paradigm shift - it radically re-shapes our understanding of the aims, expectations, and long-term implications of the First Crusade and the Crusades as a whole. Most importantly it answers why was there a First Crusade?
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Author: Peter Frankopan
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Product ID: 9780099555032
 
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Magnify Secrets Of The Knights Templar
Secrets Of The Knights Templar

Secrets Of The Knights Templar


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The Knights Templar are one of the most mysterious and powerful religious orders in history. Highly trained, and adhering to a strict chivalric code, their success on the battlefield brought them both extraordinary wealth and political influence. It also ensured they would be entrusted to guard Christendom's greatest secrets. Our enduring fascination with the Templars is matched only by the swirling myths that surround and sometimes obscure the order's history. Secrets of the Knights Templar examines each of these mysteries in turn to reveal the truth about the Knights' secret practices, rituals and codes, as well as the continued influence of the Templars today. From the true location of the Holy Grail to the Templars' involvement in the Battle of Bannockburn, and from the sudden downfall of the order to the claims of those who believe they're descended from its Grand Masters, S. J. Hodge's thrilling and authoritative narrative uncovers the hidden links behind the stories and separates historical fact from fiction.
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Author: SJ Hodge
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Product ID: 9781782062738
 
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Magnify The Tragedy Of The Templars
The Tragedy Of The Templars

The Tragedy Of The Templars


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: In 1187, nearly a century after the victorious First Crusade, Saladin captured Jerusalem. The Templars, headquartered on the Temple Mount, were driven from the city along with the Frankish population. The fall of Jerusalem was a turning point, the start of a narrative of desperate struggle and relentless loss. In little more than a century Acre would be destroyed, the Franks driven from Outremer, and the Templars themselves, reviled and disgraced, would face their final immolation. Michael Haag's new book explores the rise and fall of the Templars against the backdrop of the Crusader ideal and their settlement venture in Outremer. Haag argues that the Crusader States were a rare period when the population of Palestine had something approaching local rule, representing local interests - and the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin was a disaster. He contends that the Templars, as defenders of the Crusader States, were made scapegoats for a Europe whose newfound nationalism caused it to withdraw support for the Crusader venture. Throughout, he charts the Templars' rise and fall in gripping narrative, with their beliefs and actions set in the context of their time.
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Author: Michael Haag
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Magnify 1421
1421

1421


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: On 8 March 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China. The ships, some nearly five hundred feet long, were under the command of Emperor Zhu Di's loyal eunuch admirals. Their mission was 'to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas' and unite the world in Confucian harmony. Their journey would last for over two years and take them around the globe. But by the time the fleet returned home, Zhu Di had lost control and China was beginning its long, self-imposed isolation from the world it had so recently embraced. And so these great ships rotted at their moorings and the records of their extraordinary journey were destroyed. And with them, the knowledge that the Chinese had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan, reached America seventy years before Columbus, and Australia three hundred and fifty years before Cook... The result of over fifteen years research, 1421: THE YEAR CHINA DISCOVERED THE WORLD is Gavin Menzies' enthralling account of the voyage of the emperor's fleet, the remarkable discoveries he made and the incontrovertible evidence to support them: ancient maps, precise navigational knowledge, astronomy and the surviving accounts of Chinese explorers and the later European navigators as well as the artefacts the fleet left in its wake - from sunken junks to the ornate votive offerings left by the Chinese sailors wherever they landed, giving thanks to Shao Lin, goddess of the sea. Already hailed as a classic, this is the story of an extraordinary journey of discovery that not only radically alters our understanding of world exploration but also rewrites history itself.
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Author: Gavin Menzies
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Product ID: 9780553815221
 
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Magnify Agincourt 1415
Agincourt 1415

Agincourt 1415


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: On 25 October 1415, a trapped and vastly-outnumbered force of exhausted and demoralised English archers and men-at-arms faced a colossal army of French knights on a desolate field in northern France. What took place that day became one of the greatest moments of the Hundred Years War and English history. Based on chronicles of the times, Agincourt 1415: Field of Blood is a dramatic, minute-by-minute retelling of the battle as seen through the eyes of the commanders and soldiers on both sides. This is a brutal, bloody and captivating retelling of a major British victory written by a Pulitzer Price finalist This work sets a new standard for historical fiction.
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Author: Barry Renfrew
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Product ID: 9781784382124
 
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Magnify Tamerlane
Tamerlane

Tamerlane


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: A powerful account of the life of Tamerlane the Great (1336-1405), the last master nomadic power, one of history's most extreme tyrants, and the subject of Marlowe's famous play. Marozzi travelled in the footsteps of the great Mogul Emperor of Samarkland to write this wonderful combination of history and travelogue. The name of the last great warlord conjures up images of mystery and romance: medieval warfare on desert plains; the clash of swords on snow-clad mountains; the charge of elephants across the steppes of Asia; the legendary opulence and cruelty of the illiterate, chess-playing nemesis of Asia. He ranks alongside Alexander as one of the world's great conquerors, yet the details of his life are scarcely known in the West. He was not born to a distinguished family, nor did he find his apprenticeship easy -- at one point his mobile army consisted only of himself, his wife, seven companions and four horses -- but his dominion grew with astonishing rapidity. In the last two decades of the fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth, he blazed through Asia. Cities were razed to the ground, inhabitants tortured without mercy, sometimes enemies were buried alive -- more commonly they were decapitated. On the ruins of Baghdad, Tamerlane had his princes erect a pyramid of 90,000 heads. During his lifetime he sought to foster a personal myth, exaggerating the difficulties of his youth, laying claim to supernatural powers and a connection to Genghis Khan. This myth was maintained after his death in legend, folklore, poetry, drama and even opera, nowhere more powerfully than in Marlowe's play -- he is now as much a literary construct as a historical figure. Justin Marozzi follows in his path and evokes his legacy in telling the tale of this fabulously cruel, magnificent and romantic warrior.
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Author: Justin Marozzi
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Product ID: 9780007116126
 
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Magnify Khartoum
Khartoum

Khartoum


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The British campaign in the Sudan in Queen Victoria's reign is an epic tale of adventure more thrilling than any fiction. The story begins with the massacre of the 11,000 strong Hicks Pasha column in 1883. Sent to evacuate the country, British hero General Gordon was surrounded and murdered in Khartoum by an army of dervishes led by the Mahdi. The relief mission arrived 2 days too late. The result was a national scandal that shocked the Queen and led to the fall of the British government. Twelve years later it was the brilliant Herbert Kitchener who struck back. Achieving the impossible he built a railway across the desert to transport his troops to the final devastating confrontation at Omdurman in 1898. Desert explorer and author, Michael Asher has reconstructed this classic tale in vivid detail. Having covered every inch of the ground and examined all eyewitness reports, he brings to bear new evidence questioning several accepted aspects of the story. The result is an account that sheds new light on the most riveting tale of honour, courage, revenge and savagery of late Victorian times.
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Author: Michael Asher
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Product ID: 9780140258554
 
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Magnify The Silk Road
The Silk Road

The Silk Road


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The Silk Road is as iconic in world history as the Colossus of Rhodes or the Suez Canal. But what was it, exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different-and far more interesting-as revealed in this new history. In The Silk Road, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archeological finds that revolutionize our understanding of these trade routes. For centuries, key records remained hidden-sometimes deliberately buried by bureaucrats for safe keeping. But the sands of the Taklamakan Desert have revealed fascinating material, sometimes preserved by illiterate locals who recycled official documents to make insoles for shoes or garments for the dead. Hansen explores seven oases along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. There was no single, continuous road, but a chain of markets that traded between east and west. China and the Roman Empire had very little direct trade. China's main partners were the peoples of modern-day Iran, whose tombs in China reveal much about their Zoroastrian beliefs. Silk was not the most important good on the road; paper, invented in China before Julius Caesar was born, had a bigger impact in Europe, while metals, spices, and glass were just as important as silk. Perhaps most significant of all was the road's transmission of ideas, technologies, and artistic motifs. The Silk Road is a fascinating story of archeological discovery, cultural transmission, and the intricate chains across Central Asia and China.
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Author: Valerie Hansen
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Product ID: 9780190218423
 
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Magnify When China Ruled The Seas
When China Ruled The Seas

When China Ruled The Seas


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: A hundred years before Columbus and his fellow Europeans began making their way to the New World, fleets of giant Chinese junks commanded by the eunuch admiral Zheng He and filled with the empire's finest porcelains, lacquerware, and silk ventured to the edge of the world's 'four corners.' It was a time of exploration and conquest, but it ended in a retrenchment so complete that less than a century later, it was a crime to go to sea in a multimasted ship. In When China Ruled the Seas, Louise Levathes takes a fascinating and unprecedented look at this dynamic period in China's enigmatic history, focusing on China's rise as a naval power that literally could have ruled the world and at its precipitious plunge into isolation when a new emperor ascended the Dragon Throne. During the brief period from 1405 to 1433, seven epic expeditions brought China's 'treasure ships' across the China Seas and the Indian Ocean, from Taiwan to the spice islands of Indonesia and the Malabar coast of India, on to the rich ports of the Persian Gulf and down the African coast, China's ' El Dorado', and perhaps even to Australia, three hundred years before Captain Cook was credited with its discovery. With over 300 ships - some measuring as much as 400 feet long and 160 feet wide, with upwards of nine masts and twelve sails, and combined crews sometimes numbering over 28,000 men - the emperor Zhu Di's fantastic fleet was a virtual floating city, a naval expression of his Forbidden City in Beijing. The largest wooden boats ever built, these extraordinary ships were the most technically superior vessels in the world with innovations such as balanced rudders and bulwarked compartments that predated European ships by centuries. For thirty years foreign goods, medicines, geographic knowledge, and cultural insights flowed into China at an extraordinary rate, and China extended its sphere of political power and influence throughout the Indian Ocean. Half the world was in China's grasp, and the rest could easily have been, had the emperor so wished. But instead, China turned inward, as suceeding emperors forbade overseas travel and stopped all building and repair of oceangoing junks. Disobedient merchants and seamen were killed, and within a hundred years the greatest navy the world had ever known willed itself into extinction. The period of China's greatest outward expansion was followed by the period of its greatest isolation. Drawing on eye-witness accounts, official Ming histories, and African, Arab, and Indian sources, many translated for the first time, Levathes brings readers inside China's most illustrious scientific and technological era. She sheds new light on the historical and cultural context in ghich this great civilization thrived, as well as the perception of other cultures toward this little understood empire at the time. Beautifully illustrated and engagingly written, When China Ruled the Seas is the fullest picture yet of the early Ming Dynasty - the last flowering of Chinese culture before the Manchu invasions.
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Author: Louise Levathes
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Product ID: 9780195112078
 
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Magnify The Race For Paradise
The Race For Paradise

The Race For Paradise


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: In 1099, when the first crusaders arrived triumphant and bloody before the walls of Jerusalem, they carved out a Christian European presence in the Islamic world that remained for centuries, bolstered by subsequent waves of new crusades and pilgrimages. But how did medieval Muslims understand these events? What does an Islamic history of the Crusades look like? The answers may surprise you. In The Race for Paradise, we see medieval Muslims managing this new and long-lived Crusader threat not simply as victims or as victors, but as everything in-between, on all shores of the Muslim Mediterranean, from Spain to Syria. This is not just a straightforward tale of warriors and kings clashing in the Holy Land - of military confrontations and enigmatic heroes such as the great sultan Saladin. What emerges is a more complicated story of border-crossers and turncoats; of embassies and merchants; of scholars and spies, all of them seeking to manage this new threat from the barbarian fringes of their ordered world. When seen from the perspective of medieval Muslims, the Crusades emerge as something altogether different from the high-flying rhetoric of the European chronicles: as a diplomatic chess-game to be mastered, a commercial opportunity to be seized, a cultural encounter shaping Muslim experiences of Europeans until the close of the Middle Ages - and, as so often happened, a political challenge to be exploited by ambitious rulers making canny use of the language of jihad.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
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Author: Paul M. Cobb
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Product ID: 9780198787990
 
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Magnify Chronicles Of The First Crusade
Chronicles Of The First Crusade

Chronicles Of The First Crusade


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: ' O day so ardently desired! O time of times the most memorable! O deed before all other deeds!' The fall of Jerusalem in the summer of 1099 to an exhausted and starving army of Western European soldiers was one of the most extraordinary events of the Middle Ages. It was both the climax of a great wave of visionary Christian fervour and the beginning of what proved to be a futile and abortive attempt to implant a new European kingdom in an overwhelmingly Muslim world. The legacy of these events continues to be argued over more than nine centuries later. This remarkable collection of first-hand accounts brings to life the First Crusade in all its cruelty and strangeness.
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Author: Christopher Tyerman
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Product ID: 9780241955222
 
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Magnify Julian Of Norwich
Julian Of Norwich

Julian Of Norwich


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: Part One: The History ( What do we know?) This brief historical introduction to Julian of Norwich explores the social, political and religious factors that formed the original context of her life and writings, and considers how those factors affected the way she was initially received. What was her impact on the world at the time and what were the key ideas and values connected with her? Part Two: The Legacy ( Why does it matter?) This second part explores the intellectual and cultural 'afterlife' of Julian of Norwich, and considers the ways in which her impact has lasted and been developed in different contexts by later generations. Why is she still considered important today? In what ways is her legacy contested or resisted? And what aspects of her legacy are likely to continue to influence the world in the future? The book has a brief chronology at the front plus a glossary of key terms and a list of further reading at the back.
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Author: Janina Ramirez
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Product ID: 9780281077373
 
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Magnify Templar Knight Vs Mamluk Warrior
Templar Knight Vs Mamluk Warrior

Templar Knight Vs Mamluk Warrior


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: Step into the violent world of the 13th century, where the European states of the Levant battled with Muslim powers for control of Jerusalem. At the cutting edge of the conflict were the elite fighting men of the Crusader and Egyptian armies - the Knights Templar and Mamluk warriors, respectively. The Knights Templar were the most famous and formidable of all the Western Christian military orders, whilst the Mamluks were a slave caste whose fighting prowess had elevated them to the point of holding real political clout, threatening their Ayyubid masters who relied on them so desperately for military success. This book draws on the latest research to tell the story of three key engagements from the Fifth Crusade to the Seventh Crusade. It reveals the extraordinary ferocity with which these holy wars were fought, and how the combats between Knights Templar and Mamluk warriors came to shape the political future of the region.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
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Author: David Campbell
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Product ID: 9781472813336
 
£10.79
 
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Magnify The Illustrated History Of The First Crusades
The Illustrated History Of The First Crusades

The Illustrated History Of The First Crusades


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: This is a highly visual account of the early years of the crusades, with a detailed examination of the first, second and third crusades, and the taking of Jerusalem. This title brings to life a turbulent period of history, examining the religious fervour, motivations and ambitions of the crusading knights and their followers. It is richly illustrated with images of the armies, leaders, battles, victories and defeats of these warriors, together with the lands they travelled across. It also features the larger-than-life knights of the first crusades including Bohemond of Taranto, Robert of Jerusalem, Godfrey of Bouillon, Tancred Prince of Galilee and Richard the Lionheart, and examines the controversies that still surround them. In 1096 five great armies left Europe, bound for Jerusalem. The campaign, later called the First Crusade, triumphed after gruelling marches and battles with the capture of the Holy City in July 1099. The Second Crusade (1147-49), and the third (1189-92) ended in negotiated settlements instead of the hoped-for recapture of Jerusalem, but these three crusading campaigns still hold some of the most extraordinary moments in the military, religious and political history of the period. Historians argue over the character and legacy of the crusades, but what is certain is that they hold an enduring fascination for modern readers. This book gives a vivid account of the journeys, battles, sieges, triumphs and failures of these campaigns and evokes the colourful spirit of the time in over 300 illustrations.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
Delivery cost: 2.95
Author: Charles Phillips
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Product ID: 9781844769612
 
£10.89
 
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Magnify Isabella Of France
Isabella Of France

Isabella Of France


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: Isabella of France married Edward II in January 1308, and afterwards became one of the most notorious women in English history. In 1325, she was sent to her homeland to negotiate a peace settlement between her husband and her brother Charles IV, king of France. She refused to return. Instead, she began a relationship with her husband's deadliest enemy, the English baron Roger Mortimer. With the king's son and heir, the future Edward III, under their control, the pair led an invasion of England which ultimately resulted in Edward II's forced abdication in January 1327. Isabella and Mortimer ruled England during Edward III's minority until he overthrew them in October 1330. A rebel against her own husband and king, and regent for her son, Isabella was a powerful, capable and intelligent woman. She forced the first ever abdication of a king in England, and thus changed the course of English history. Examining Isabella's life with particular focus on her revolutionary actions in the 1320s, this book corrects the many myths surrounding her and provides a vivid account of this most fascinating and influential of women.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
Delivery cost: 2.95
Author: Kathryn Warner
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Product ID: 9781445652429
 
£11.99
 
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Magnify Mongol Art Of War
Mongol Art Of War

Mongol Art Of War


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: ' An authoritative study of one of history's most feared and successful armies... May concludes this definitive study by tracing the Mongol legacy to modern mechanized warfare.' Publishers Weekly. ' The Mongol Art of War reflects the state of the field in Mongol military history. May expertly balances his narrative and analysis with little-known vignettes that bring the Mongol conquests to life. An indispensable resource for specialists, the books is written in a lively and engaging style that make it accessible to students and the interested public alike.' Scott C. Levi, Ohio State University. ' Enlightening, well written and informative... It has great sections on medical care and logistics, so often ignored by other authors, and really captures the feel of the nature of eastern warfare in the 13th century.' Military Illustrated. ' A valuable contribution to our understanding of the structure of the Mongol military and the reasons for the Mongols' success against almost all of their adversaries in the thirteenth century...by providing a thorough, systematic analysis of several issues relating to the organization and projection of Mongol military power, Timothy May has produced a valuable contribution to our understanding of the Mongol Empire, its encounters with its neighbors and adversaries, and military history in general. ' Maml?k Studies Review. ' The Mongol Art of War is a high-quality book. It is a useful source of information for non-specialists and it offers a valuable insight into how the Mongol culture of war contrasts with that of other nomadic peoples and with the many opponents they fought and defeated.' Etudes mongoles et siberiennes, centrasiatiques et tibetaines. The Mongol armies that established the largest land empire in history, stretching across Asia and into eastern Europe, are imperfectly understood. Often they are viewed as screaming throngs of horsemen who swept over opponents by sheer force of numbers rather than as disciplined regiments that carried out planned and practised manoeuvres. In this pioneering book, Timothy May demonstrates that the Mongol military developed from a tribal levy into a complex military organization. He describes the make-up of the Mongol army from its inception to the demise of the Mongol empire, and he shows how it was the strength, quality and versatility of Mongol military organization that made them the pre-eminent warriors of their time.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
Delivery cost: 2.95
Author: Timothy May
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Product ID: 9781473892682
 
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