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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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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Product ID: 9781445654935
 
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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 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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Product ID: 9780553814989
 
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Magnify Art And Beauty In The Middle Ages
Art And Beauty In The Middle Ages

Art And Beauty In The Middle Ages


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: In this volume, the Italian novelist and playwright Umberto Eco aims to present a learned summary of mediaeval aesthetic ideas. Juxtaposing theology and science, poetry and mysticism, Eco explores the relationship that existed between the aesthetic theories and the artistic experience and practice of mediaeval culture.
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Author: Umberto Eco
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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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Magnify 1434
1434

1434


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: In his bestselling book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, Gavin Menzies revealed that it was the Chinese that discovered America, not Columbus. Now he presents further astonishing evidence that it was also Chinese advances in science, art, and technology that formed the basis of the European Renaissance and our modern world. In his bestselling book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, Gavin Menzies presented controversial and compelling evidence that Chinese fleets beat Columbus, Cook and Magellan to the New World. But his research has led him to astonishing new discoveries that Chinese influence on Western culture didn't stop there. Until now, scholars have considered that the Italian Renaissance - the basis of our modern Western world - came about as a result of a re-examining the ideas of classical Greece and Rome. A stunning reappraisal of history is about to be published. Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that a sophisticated Chinese delegation visited Italy in 1434, sparked the Renaissance, and forever changed the course of Western civilization. After that date the authority of Aristotle and Ptolemy was overturned and artistic conventions challenged, as was Arabic astronomy and cartography. Florence and Venice of the 15th century attracted traders from across the world. Menzies presents astonishing evidence that a large Chinese fleet, official ambassadors of the Emperor, arrived in Tuscany in 1434 where they met with Pope Eugenius IV in Florence. A mass of information was given by the Chinese delegation to the Pope and his entourage - concerning world maps (which Menzies argues were later given to Columbus), astronomy, mathematics, art, printing, architecture, steel manufacture, civil engineering, military machines, surveying, cartography, genetics, and more. It was this gift of knowledge that sparked the inventiveness of the Renaissance - Da Vinci's inventions, the Copernican revolution, Galileo, etc. Following 1434, Europeans embraced Chinese intellectual ideas, discoveries, and inventions, which formed the basis of European civilization just as much as Greek thought and Roman law. In short, China provided the spark that set the Renaissance ablaze.
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Author: Gavin Menzies
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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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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 Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan

Kublai Khan


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: In Xanadu did Kublai Khan, a stately pleasure dome decree. Kublai Khan lives on in the popular imagination thanks to these two lines of poetry by Coleridge. But the true story behind this legend is even more fantastic than the poem would have us believe. He inherited the second largest land empire in history from his grandfather, Genghis Khan. He promptly set about extending this into the biggest empire the world has ever seen, extending his rule from China to Iraq, from Siberia to Afghanistan. His personal domain covered sixty-percent of all Asia, and one-fifth of the world's land area. The West first learnt of this great Khan through the reports of Marco Polo. Kublai had not been born to rule, but had clawed his way to leadership, achieving power only in his 40s. He had inherited Genghis Khan's great dream of world domination. But unlike his grandfather he saw China and not Mongolia as the key to controlling power and turned Genghis' unwieldy empire into a federation. Using China's great wealth, coupled with his shrewd and subtle government, he created an empire that was the greatest since the fall of Rome, and shaped the modern world as we know it today. He gave China its modern-day borders and his legacy is that country's resurgence, and the superpower China of tomorrow.
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Author: John Man
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Product ID: 9780553817188
 
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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 A Short History Of The Byzantine Empire
A Short History Of The Byzantine Empire

A Short History Of The Byzantine Empire


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The Byzantine Empire was one of the most impressive imperial adventures in history. It ruled much of Europe and Asia Minor for a remarkable eleven hundred years. From Constantine's establishment of Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) as his capital in 324 CE, until the fall of the city to the Ottomans in the fifteenth century, the Byzantines became a powerhouse of literature, art, theology, medicine, law and learning. Dionysios Stathakopoulos here tells a compelling story of military conquest, alliance and reversal, including the terrifying secret weapon of ' Greek fire'. His new short history is above all a narrative of individuals: of powerful rulers like Justinian I, who recovered Italy from the Vandals and oversaw construction of Hagia Sofia (completed in 537); of his notorious queen Theodora, a courtesan who rose improbably to the highest office of imperial first lady; of the charismatic but cuckolded general Belisarius; and of the religious leaders Arius and Athanasius, whose conflicting ideas about Christ and doctrine shook the Empire to its core.
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Author: Dionysios Stathakopoulos
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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.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
Delivery cost: 2.95
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.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
Delivery cost: 2.95
Author: Louise Levathes
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Product ID: 9780195112078
 
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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.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
Delivery cost: 2.95
Author: Christopher Tyerman
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Product ID: 9780241955222
 
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Magnify Templar Heresy
Templar Heresy

Templar Heresy


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: Set within the dramatic tableau of the medieval Crusades, this story of initiation, adventure, and romance follows members of the Knights Templar and Assassins as they discover a mystical tradition with the potential to unify, protect, and liberate humankind--the very heresy for which the Knights Templar were later condemned. The tale begins with a young Persian student, Sinan, as he witnesses his teacher deliver the heretical Qiyama proclamation, seeking to abolish Islamic religious law in favor of a more mystical approach to spirituality. After completing his initiation into the revolutionary doctrines and practices of the Assassins--also known as the Nizari Ismailis or Hashishim-- Sinan is appointed head of the Nizaris in Syria. Years later, after Sinan has become a wise and respected leader, he encounters Roland de Provence, a young member of the Knights Templar. Impressed by his courage and intelligence, Sinan selects him for initiation into the Nizari tradition. As readers follow Sinan and Roland through the process, they experience firsthand the transmission of these secret teachings and the paranormal, even magical powers of the Assassin adepts. Roland braves hashish journeys, mystical rituals, and divine epiphanies, as well as sexual awakening at the hands of Sinan's beautiful consort Aisha. When Roland completes his education with Sinan, he vows to share the Nizari teachings with his fellow Templars. However, he is met with strong opposition from his Templar commander, and factions within the Order quickly arise. As we follow Roland to southern France, we witness how he blends the Cathar and Nizari traditions to form the core of the heresy for which the Templars were later arrested and condemned. Now an outlaw, hunted by his Templar brethren, Roland is forced to choose between the beliefs with which he was raised and the realizations of his own personal truths. Bringing to life the historical truths of his expertly researched bestseller The Templars and the Assassins, James Wasserman artfully traces the evolution of the Western Esoteric Tradition during the fertile cultural interactions of the Crusades. His story also sheds light on the modern conflict between Islam and the West--which began a thousand years ago--and offers a natural path of reconciliation between our disparate cultures.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
Delivery cost: 2.95
Author: James Wasserman
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Product ID: 9781620556580
 
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Magnify Saladin
Saladin

Saladin


Category: Prehistory and Early History
Description: The extraordinary character and career of Saladin are the keys to understanding the Battle of Hattin, the fall of Jerusalem and the failure of the Third Crusade. He united warring Muslim lands, reconquered the bulk of Crusader states and faced the Richard the Lion Heart, king of England, in one of the most famous confrontations in medieval warfare. Geoffrey Hindley's sympathetic and highly readable study of the life and times of this remarkable, many-sided man, who dominated the Middle East in his day, gives a fascinating insight into his achievements and into the Muslim world of his contemporaries. Geoffrey Hindley is a distinguished medieval historian who has written widely on many aspects of the period. He has made a special study of medieval warfare and of sieges in particular. His previous books include Castles of Europe, Medieval Warfare, England in the Age of Caxton, Under Siege, Tourists, Travellers and Pilgrims, The Book of Magna Carta and The Crusades. His most recent publications are is A Brief History of the Anglo- Saxons and Medieval Siege and Siegecraft.
Delivery time: 3 - 5 working days
Delivery cost: 2.95
Author: Geoffrey Hindley
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Product ID: 9781848842038
 
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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
Delivery cost: 2.95
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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