You’re no idiot, of course. You know the Crusades were a war between Christians and Muslims for control of the Holy Land. However, these bloody conflicts raged over centuries, under changing circumstances, making the whole story difficult to follow. You don’t have to don armor and cross deserts to relive the Crusades! The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to the Crusades shows you why these wars began, why they continued for so long, and how their impact on the world still resonates. This Complete Idiot’s Guide® gives you: --An introduction to the Dark Ages and the Renaissance, and why Pope Urban II would grant absolution to anyone who reclaimed the Holy Land for Christianity. --The origins of such Holy Orders as the Knights Templar, the Hospitallers, and the Teutonic Knights—and the roles they played during the Crusades. --The creation of such items as chastity belts, razors, stained glass, perfume, the crossbow, the compass, and public latrines. --The nobles—Richard the Lion Heart, Louis IX, and Frederick II—and the Muslim leaders—Saladin, Zengi, and Nur ed-Din—who held the lives of thousands in their hands.