DVD Review:
The Crusades Crescent and the Cross


It was a tumultuous time right in the middle of the Dark Ages and it changed a lot of the world with its back and forth major battling between christiandom and Islam. This is the Crusades.

The History Channel Presents The Crusades - Crescent & The Cross

THE CRUSADES: CRESCENT & THE CROSS presents the epic battle between two Middle Age superpowers: the Christian Crusaders and the Muslims. Fought over two centuries, the conflict decided the fate of the Holy Land of the Middle East. Only a tiny strip of land, just a few hundred miles long, it contained the ultimate prize, the city of Jerusalem. The documentary is driven by the key personalities of the First, Second and Third Crusades, the popes, kings, sultans and knights who, in the name of God, ruthlessly fought for land and power. Experience the murder, treachery, and bloodshed of this legendary chapter of history throuth the eyes of key historical figures such as Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, King Louis VII and Nur al-Din. With breath-taking CGI-enhanced visuals, heart-pounding reenactments, and stunning footage from rarely-seen locations THE CRUSADES: CRESCENT & THE CROSS brings the first three Crusades alive for a new generation in conflict. DVD Features: Timeline; Behind-the-Scenes Featurette "History in the Making: The Crusades"; Bonus Documentary "The Knights Templar"; 16:9 Widescreen Format; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

My Review -

The History Channel always does a great job with this kind of dvd and subject. I really enjoyed this dvd and give it 4 stars out of 5. Maybe 4.5 stars. The Crusades lasted about two hundred years but the bulk of it all was from a period of 1095 when the first crusade began and 1199 when the third crusade pretty much ended with the death of Richard the Lion Heart. These three crusades are what are covered and it is done well.

The Crusades are the story of an attempt to take back Jerusalem from the Muslims who had taken it in the 7th Century. And much of this is about the back and forth warring and taking of the various cities and castles through a large part of the middle east. For example as the Crusaders marched to Jerusualem they would siege and take various cities along the way. It was a 3,000 mile trek. And over the hundred year period there was a lot of back and forth when it comes to the cities and castles.

There are also a lot of interesting stories about the treachery, secrecy, and political maneuvering during the crusades. This is an important part of the story because these maneuverings and manipulations had big impact on the outcomes and results.

The History Channel does a really nice job in this dvd by covering several major aspects.

  • They cover all the major campaigns and city battles of the three crusades
  • They show you maps so you can understand the progression across the lands
  • They cover the major figures who had an impact on the crusades like Richard the Lion Heart, Pope Urban (who started the first crusade), William of Tyre who chronicled much of the crusades, and Saladin who took back many of the cities that were taken by the crusaders.

Summary: If you are a big fan of the medieval period of time you will enjoy this DVD it is insightful and clear. It gives a good insight into the battles and situations of the Crusades.

Netflix Note: This DVD is available on the netflix website.