Myths and misconceptions about the medieval Crusades abound. Commonly portrayed as a power-hungry grab for colonialism or a ripe opportunity for pillage and plunder, this was the exception rather than the rule. What were the Crusades really about, then? Why did the first son's of Europe risk their legacies and lives, often losing both, to enter a battle near certain of defeat?
Many historians have been trying to set the record straight on the Crusades for decades. And yet the myth prevails - they were a series of holy wars perpetuated by power-hungry popes and fought by religious fanatics. But, serious scholarship by mainstream scholars tells a very different tale.