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Ex-Monty Python member, Terry Jones, takes us through 200 years (1096 to 1270) of medieval history, explaining the Crusades and the religious conflicts of the era, using re-enactments and reconstructions. Each program is introduced by Roger Mudd.
|S01E01||Pilgrims In Arms||05/06/1995||This opening episode chronicles the improbable origins of the Crusades, from Pope Urban II's hunger for military power to the success of one of history's greatest mass communication and recruitment campaigns. Terry Jones traces the Crusaders' routes across Europe, and details the massacres and looting that marked their progress. That these first holy warriors were promptly slaughtered upon reaching Asia only fueled the religious conflict. Within months, a massive professional military force dispatched under the Pope's banner had crossed the Bosporus, ready to battle their way to Jerusalem.|
|S01E02||Jerusalem||06/06/1995||Episode two chronicles the Crusaders' trail of carnage across the Middle East. Two-thirds of them would not even survive the beginning of their journey, as Terry Jones illustrates by attempting to duplicate their march across the harsh, rocky landscape of Anatolia in the heat of summer, wearing chain mail. Jones follows their path to Antioch, site of the famed siege whose strange outcome would encourage the savagery of the Crusaders' campaign. Their barbarous conquest of Jerusalem - where they sacked the city and butchered its inhabitants - was only a prelude to the bloodier campaigns that followed.|
|S01E03||Jihad||07/06/1995||Episode three colorfully explores the Muslim recapturing of Jerusalem and the Second Crusade this Arab victory provoked. It's a chronicle of unholy alliances, political intrigue and fabled warriors. This time, however, the Christian soldiers weren't the only ones fighting for a religious cause. By the time the soldiers of the Second Crusade arrived in the Holy Land, Jerusalem's Arab leader, Nur ed-Din, had declared a Jihad, or holy war, against the invaders. A final battle commanded by his successor - the legendary Saladin - would determine the ultimate fate of this Crusade.|
|S01E04||Destruction||08/06/1995||The chronicles of the last Crusades unfold in this final episode. The Third Crusade added the names of Richard "the Lionheart" and Phillip of France to the roster of holy warriors, and Terry Jones examines the reality behind the legends of their noble deeds. The Fourth and final Crusade, launched as a commercial operation, sacked and looted Constantinople, the Christian city that originally inspired the holy movement. These final campaigns also produced a revolt in Egypt that destroyed the remnants of the Crusaders' Christian kingdom, ending two centuries of the epic and misguided adventures whose repercussions are still felt today.|