Jay Rubenstein, Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse. New York: Basic Books, 2011. Pp. xiv, 402; 8 color plates, 6 black-and-white figures, and maps. $29.99. ISBN: 9780465019298 [Book Review]

Speculum 88 (3):842-844 (2013)
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This new study of the “First” Crusade argues that “apocalyptic fervor” (p. 305) was the driving force of the expedition, as well as the Crusade movement. Previous studies, the author contends, have failed “to capture how precisely apocalyptic the First Crusade was” (p. xii). The remedy Rubenstein offers is a relentless focus on apocalypticism that ignores any weaknesses inherent in this approach and overlooks alternative explanations.

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