Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Fourth Crusade

****of***** Entree
The Fourth Crusade was a fascinating look at the Crusade initiated by Pope Innocent III, told from the perspective of Ruggerio, a young priest who was deployed to join the Crusade to liberate the Holy Land from the control of Muslims. I was particularly struck by the parallels between the past and current problems waged between two of the largest religions in the world. I didn’t exactly like some of the depictions of battle and violence but appreciated their necessity and purpose. Ruggerio is the oldest of three children born to an unemployed soldier. Unlike his passionate and violent younger brother, Ruggerio’s gentle nature makes him unsuitable for training as a soldier or even for protecting his sister, so he is given to the church. Reunited with his father and brother, Ruggerio trains and becomes a successful warrior priest as the fourth crusade makes it way to the Holy Land. As Ruggerio witnesses the Crusaders killing, raping, and looting Christian towns to provision themselves and raise funds for the Crusade, Ruggerio fights disillusionment more than infidels. After a major conflict, he heads home to Barcelona believing that if he can only tell the rulers the true story of the Fourth Crusade, future wars may be averted. This was a really good read.

No comments:

Post a Comment