History Channel - The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross - Full 3h version
They were promised Heaven but they found themselves in Hell. The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross unfurls two centuries of war, two cultures impassioned by belief, and one land to stage it all an epic of human drama cast in the name of the holy. Once called the Levant, the area encompassing modern day Israel and parts of Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey fell under the siege of Christian soldiers in 1096 AD. Galvanized by Pope Urban II, waves of Christian warriors fought their way from Europe to the Holy Land intent on wresting it away from Arab occupiers. Countless battles, amazing feats, and unforgettable characters forged legends and legacies, but clear victory remained elusive. Only the 13th century and a new menace from Asia finally brought an end to conflict. This global event, multi-million dollar production from HISTORY™ uses breathtaking CGI-enhanced visuals and dramatic re-enactments to bring to life the key battles of the period. Stunning, rarely seen locations include a vast chain of Crusader castles stretching from Portugal to Jerusalem to Turkey and beyond. Drawn from primary sources that feel amazingly contemporary, vivid interviews with key participants give viewers a day-to-day feel of the medieval world.
Disc One - The First Crusade
We will follow the two great waves of crusader armies - that of the nobility led by Count Raymond IV of Toulouse, and that of the commoners exhorted into mobilisation by Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless-en route to Constantinopole and from there across the Anatolian plains to Jerusalem. With CGI-enhanced visuals we will reconstruct key battles to learn how the crusaders would manage to conquer one city after another without supply lines.
Upon conquering Jerusalem, the crusader-settlers were faced with an entirely new dilemma: their survival in a hostile territory far from home. This programme will tell the untold story of the crusades--one that charts the complexity of Muslim-Christian relations. In the wake of conquest, the crusader-settlers embark on lavish building projects in their new territory, not only refurbishing the Christian holy sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but also constructing a fantastic chain of fortresses along the Mediterranean perimeter of the kingdom to protect it from invasion.
Disc Two - The Second and Third Crusades
An enigma even in his own time, Saladin became a hero in the West long before his rediscovery in the Muslim world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His famous truce with Richard the Lionheart is the most iconic moment in the entire history of the crusades. But why did Saladin negotiate a truce when he won nearly every battle?
This programme will tease out the hidden history of Saladin, Richard and the Third Crusade. Saladin unexpectedly rises to power upon the death of Nur Al-Din. Under him 'jihad', or Islamic counter-crusade, becomes a coherent rallying concept for the Muslim world. Unifying Syria and Egypt, he defeats the crusaders at Hattin to reconquer Jerusalem in 1187.
Disc Three - The Crescent & The Cross
At the death of Saladin the Crusader kingdom has been reduced to a narrow strip of land and a handful of ports. A fourth crusade never reaches the Holy Land, setting its sights instead on Constantinopole. One crusade after naother is launched to shore up the faltering crusader territories. But finally the crusader settlers are evicted by the Mamluks in 1291. Through the eyes of Mongols, Mamluks and the beleaguered Crusaders we will witness the collapse of an empire of faith.
With breathtaking CGI-enhanced visuals, heart-pounding re-enactments and stunning footage from rarely seen locations, this documentary brings the legendary chapters of history alive.