website statistics Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule

Availability: Ready to download

In 1187 Jerusalem, the holy city held by Christians for four generations and the prize of the First Crusade, fell to Saladin after a short siege. The Christians within were outnumbered ten to one, and yet the city held out long enough for favourable terms to be negotiated. The population was spared. The city was defended by a woman: Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem. The Holy Cit In 1187 Jerusalem, the holy city held by Christians for four generations and the prize of the First Crusade, fell to Saladin after a short siege. The Christians within were outnumbered ten to one, and yet the city held out long enough for favourable terms to be negotiated. The population was spared. The city was defended by a woman: Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem. The Holy City had been lost, but the Christians maintained their footholds in the Middle East for another century. This region became known in Europe simply as Outremer, 'overseas'. Steeped in biblical wonder and the glamour of exoticism, Outremer has inspired generations of historians from antiquity to the modern day. Missing from both medieval and modern histories of the Outremer is the voice of the women of the kingdom. The stories of the queens and princesses who ruled and rebelled in this volatile region have all but been written out of the historical record. Even the women who carried water on to the battlefields, and were struck down with arrows as they toiled beneath the walls of besieged cities during the First Crusade, have had their roles omitted from the majority of the chronicles. The queens who defended their cities against Muslim besiegers, negotiated with Saladin, and ruled with 'unusual wisdom' similarly have seen their deeds overlooked. William of Tyre, the key historian for this period, gives a sympathetic portrayal of just one queen, and writes off the rest as manipulative harridans, or barely worth the words. He devotes the fewest possible pages in his hefty chronicle to the deeds of women, when indeed women played a key role in both the crusades themselves and the foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. There is a trend for male chroniclers of the crusades to concern themselves with the deeds of men, and this has carried over to much modern scholarship too. Kate Lombard's book intends to address the imbalance by shedding light on the deeds of some of the most daring, devious and devoted women that history has witnessed. She explores the lives of the female rulers of Outremer from the year 1095 to the fall of Jerusalem in 1187. The primary subjects are Morphia of Melitene, Melisende of Jerusalem, her rebellious sister Alice, her shrewd daughter Constance of Antioch and finally Sibylla of Jerusalem and her domineering mother Agnes of Courtenay, the women who presided over the collapse of the kingdom. Eleanor of Aquitaine is also a key figure, owing to her journey east with the Second Crusade and the love triangle that developed between her, Constance and Constance's husband Raymond of Antioch (Eleanor's own uncle). Queens of Jerusalem explores the role women played in the governing of the Middle East during periods of intense instability, and how they persevered to rule and seize greater power for themselves when the opportunity presented itself.


Compare

In 1187 Jerusalem, the holy city held by Christians for four generations and the prize of the First Crusade, fell to Saladin after a short siege. The Christians within were outnumbered ten to one, and yet the city held out long enough for favourable terms to be negotiated. The population was spared. The city was defended by a woman: Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem. The Holy Cit In 1187 Jerusalem, the holy city held by Christians for four generations and the prize of the First Crusade, fell to Saladin after a short siege. The Christians within were outnumbered ten to one, and yet the city held out long enough for favourable terms to be negotiated. The population was spared. The city was defended by a woman: Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem. The Holy City had been lost, but the Christians maintained their footholds in the Middle East for another century. This region became known in Europe simply as Outremer, 'overseas'. Steeped in biblical wonder and the glamour of exoticism, Outremer has inspired generations of historians from antiquity to the modern day. Missing from both medieval and modern histories of the Outremer is the voice of the women of the kingdom. The stories of the queens and princesses who ruled and rebelled in this volatile region have all but been written out of the historical record. Even the women who carried water on to the battlefields, and were struck down with arrows as they toiled beneath the walls of besieged cities during the First Crusade, have had their roles omitted from the majority of the chronicles. The queens who defended their cities against Muslim besiegers, negotiated with Saladin, and ruled with 'unusual wisdom' similarly have seen their deeds overlooked. William of Tyre, the key historian for this period, gives a sympathetic portrayal of just one queen, and writes off the rest as manipulative harridans, or barely worth the words. He devotes the fewest possible pages in his hefty chronicle to the deeds of women, when indeed women played a key role in both the crusades themselves and the foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. There is a trend for male chroniclers of the crusades to concern themselves with the deeds of men, and this has carried over to much modern scholarship too. Kate Lombard's book intends to address the imbalance by shedding light on the deeds of some of the most daring, devious and devoted women that history has witnessed. She explores the lives of the female rulers of Outremer from the year 1095 to the fall of Jerusalem in 1187. The primary subjects are Morphia of Melitene, Melisende of Jerusalem, her rebellious sister Alice, her shrewd daughter Constance of Antioch and finally Sibylla of Jerusalem and her domineering mother Agnes of Courtenay, the women who presided over the collapse of the kingdom. Eleanor of Aquitaine is also a key figure, owing to her journey east with the Second Crusade and the love triangle that developed between her, Constance and Constance's husband Raymond of Antioch (Eleanor's own uncle). Queens of Jerusalem explores the role women played in the governing of the Middle East during periods of intense instability, and how they persevered to rule and seize greater power for themselves when the opportunity presented itself.

30 review for Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule

  1. 5 out of 5

    Toni Kely-Brown

    4.5 stars - There is a demand for books of revisionist history about women and whilst I have read some poor one's, I thoroughly enjoyed this book - its well-written, accessible and educational. It focuses on the ruling women of Outremer in the 12th century. Whilst I've read quite a bit about the Crusades it has been male-focused, particularly "hero's" like Richard the Lionheart or Saladin. This covered a number of generations of the royal families living in Outremer after the Christians captured 4.5 stars - There is a demand for books of revisionist history about women and whilst I have read some poor one's, I thoroughly enjoyed this book - its well-written, accessible and educational. It focuses on the ruling women of Outremer in the 12th century. Whilst I've read quite a bit about the Crusades it has been male-focused, particularly "hero's" like Richard the Lionheart or Saladin. This covered a number of generations of the royal families living in Outremer after the Christians captured the City of Jerusalem in the first crusade in 1099 through to almost 100 years later when Saladin's armies recaptured the city in 1187. It covers the generations of women during this time from Queen Melisande through to Queen Sibylla. Incredible stories and instability in the region and some eye-raising relationships and marriages! I take half-a-star off though as whilst I loved the author's writing style and the subject matter (and will read her again) I felt there was a touch of very strong feminism coming through the writing at times. Many might not mind this as its written to humanise these women and put them back in the spotlight. Whilst I agree with this, it was a touch heavy a couple of times. But otherwise highly recommend!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liska Crofts

    Clear, compelling and well-written narrative account of the lives of ruling class women in 12th century Outremer (the Frank-occupied territories of the Middle East) - touching occasionally on the Byzantine Empire. It goes a good way to redressing the male-focussed balance of crusade-era history, as it sets out to do, and fleshing out the individual women beyond the types and caricatures into which they have traditionally been cast. Incredibly fun to read, thank you!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Xavier Geissmann

    Fascinating and highly enjoyable read! Queens of Jerusalem shines new light on the role of women in the Middle East through a colourful exploration of heroines which marked the history of the Levant. This revisionist analysis is much needed and well overdue. Fantastic debut for this author, marking herself as a talented storyteller - very much looking forward to her future works!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emma Wilkinson

    Quite a good read although fairly heavy. Having travelled to Jerusalem about 20 years ago, I was intrigued to learn about the woman that I hadn’t heard about before. I would recommend this book to people interested in this period in history and in religious history.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bert McGaughey

    Fantastic book. I couldn't put it down. The quality of Pangonis' storytelling and research is on par with Frankopan, Hughes and Snow. Subject matter is new, previously untold and absolutely gripping. Fantastic book. I couldn't put it down. The quality of Pangonis' storytelling and research is on par with Frankopan, Hughes and Snow. Subject matter is new, previously untold and absolutely gripping.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Martha Bailey

    Absolutely loved this book! Fascinating, well researched and very readable, which are things that are sometimes hard to balance in popular history books. I sometimes struggle to keep track of family trees but had no such issues here as everything is laid out so well. Would highly recommend for anyone interested in medieval queenship, the high middle ages or the crusades generally.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Macquire

    4.5 ! I post all of my reviews first on my blog and on my Instagram ✨ *I was provided a free PDF copy of Queens of Jerusalem from Pegasus Books* Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared To Rule by Katherine Pangonis is a non-fiction book focussed on the lives of the royal women who ruled in the Medieval Middle East (or Outremer) from 1099 to Saladin’s conquest of Jerusalem in 1187. These women have been consistently overshadowed by the kings and leaders of the crusades, and this book strives to ch 4.5 ! I post all of my reviews first on my blog and on my Instagram ✨ *I was provided a free PDF copy of Queens of Jerusalem from Pegasus Books* Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared To Rule by Katherine Pangonis is a non-fiction book focussed on the lives of the royal women who ruled in the Medieval Middle East (or Outremer) from 1099 to Saladin’s conquest of Jerusalem in 1187. These women have been consistently overshadowed by the kings and leaders of the crusades, and this book strives to change that. By putting the Queens of Jerusalem, the Princesses of Antioch, and the Countesses of Tripoli and Edessa to the fore, readers not only get a brand new look into the history of Outremer during the early crusades but they are reminded that women were present and active during this time in history. It is about time these strong, ruling ladies were brought to the forefront of history, and Queens of Jerusalem does just that. They have been remembered as the wives, mothers, daughters and sisters of powerful men, not as autonomous individuals and active leaders with their own political agency (Pg. 22) Pangonis begins with Morphia of Melitene, Queen of Jerusalem and mother of four more influential women in Outremer history; Queen Melisende of Jerusalem, Princess Alice of Antioch, Countess Hodierna of Tripoli and Abbess Yvette of Bethany and describes the lives, events and obstacles overcome by all of these women and their daughters, nieces and step-daughters including Princess Constance of Antioch, Agnes of Courtenay and Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem among others. Of course, Pangonis hasn’t failed to include probably the most well known Queen during this time period, and that is Eleanor of Aquitaine. Although Eleanor of Aquitaine wasn’t a ruling woman of Outremer but instead Queen of France, and then Queen of England, Pangonis makes a very convincing argument that Eleanor’s time with her husband during the Second Crusade in Outremer affected her in later life and shaped her into the woman she has been remembered as. As someone who has learnt about the Crusades and Medieval Europe, I was embarrassed to admit the only name I recognised in this list of influential women was Eleanor of Aquitaine, but now that has all changed. Pangonis has done an exceptional job relating the history of Outremer and the Holy City of Jerusalem from the coronation of Queen Morphia of Jerusalem to the resilient Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem who defended her city and her people against Saladin. Her writing style is accessible, entertaining and clear. At times, I forgot I was reading a non-fiction account of real people, such is Pangonis’ talents at recounting the lives of these women. Often embroiled in scandal the lives of the elite of Outremer read like a Medieval sitcom with whispers of affairs and men choosing to marry the daughter instead of the mother. It is equally surprising (given how interesting these women were) and unsurprising (given the time period in which they lived) that the main chronicler of the time, William of Tyre, gave so little mention to the queens, princesses and countesses of Outremer. William began the trend of excluding the women of Jerusalem from the records, but this book works tirelessly to undo his shortsightedness. He [William] does not give much credit to the notion that the women he writes about were individuals as complex as the men, and he prefers to cast women as literary tropes rather than depict them as living, breathing humans (Pg. 36) A most interesting discussion that is carried through the book is the difference between having power and having authority. For example, Constance the rightful princess of Antioch had authority as the daughter of Bohemond II, the granddaughter of Bohemond I and the mother of Bohemond III but only half of the surviving charters her husband Raymond issued were with her consent (158-9). This suggests that although she was a princess and held that position of authority in her own right, she didn’t seem to wield any political power. Pangonis demonstrates this difference between power and authority numerous times throughout her book, and often brings in the other women to make comparisons with, such as Constance and Raymond compared to the reigning couple her aunt Melisende and Faulk. Queens of Jerusalem truly gives the voice back to the ruling women of Outremer from 1099 to Saladin’s conquest of Jerusalem in 1187 and is a wonderful read for lovers of medieval history, revisionist history and books on the lives of women. It has been written with care and consideration of both bias from the medieval chroniclers, and the issues involved in modern terminology and views of feminism and misogyny. The way women are presented within chronicles may not actually reflect the reality of their standing in society. With this in mind, the word ‘misogyny’ can only be uncomfortably applied to medieval society, but it may be more comfortably applied to medieval chronicles (Pg. 35) This was a wonderful and incredibly insightful read, filling a gap in the literature of the Medieval Ages that has been empty for too long.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Begum

    The Old City of Jerusalem has always intrigued me as a culturally and historically rich jewel in the Middle-East, and as one of the holiest places regarded on Earth. I had already read quite a lot about its background and had traveled there myself. Yet most of my knowledge of this city is based on sources written from a male dominant perspective. Therefore I very much enjoyed reading about Jerusalem from view of its queens. However, the book is not merely about the lives of these queens, but als The Old City of Jerusalem has always intrigued me as a culturally and historically rich jewel in the Middle-East, and as one of the holiest places regarded on Earth. I had already read quite a lot about its background and had traveled there myself. Yet most of my knowledge of this city is based on sources written from a male dominant perspective. Therefore I very much enjoyed reading about Jerusalem from view of its queens. However, the book is not merely about the lives of these queens, but also sheds light on the concept of marriage during that time, and the influences of different types of characters on the success or fall of a reign. A major part of the queens' younger lives take place in Anatolia, such as Malatene (Malatya), Antioch (Antakya) and Edessa (Sanliurfa), cities that are nowadays not particularly known for their role in the history of Jerusalem. The geography is described in depth with nuances like Gobekli Tepe and the Fertile Crescent. Queen Morphia is the first character that caught my attention. Carrying her first pregnancy, giving birth while having recently lost her father, and being seperated from her husband for a long time put her in a difficult position. What I found beautiful is that their separation did not derail their marriage. The honour and respect that her husband Baldwin II paid to her and their daughters led to a strong bond despite the circumstances. When Baldwin II ascended the throne of Jerusalem, he delayed his coronation so that his wife and daughters could safely join him. Then came the time that Baldwin II had to marry his first daughter Alice. In contrast to the sensitivity of Baldwin II to his household, the man that Alice was about to marry was not going to show as much sensitivity. Bohemond II showed little enthusiasm for personal and domestic affairs. He impregnated Alice with great speed but spend little time with her. He ceded no power to his ambitious wife and Alice's role was therefore limited to that of consort. When Bohemond II died during battle, Alice took it as a political opportunity to take up the reins of the Principality. This meant that she was going to reject the authority of her own father, Baldwin II, which challenged the patriarchal fabric of society and transgressed established gender roles at that time. Alice was only 20 years old. The most effective way of discrediting a woman in the Middle Ages was to undermine femininity. So the local historian William of Tyre described her as a bad and unnatural woman because of this. Eventually, Alice had spent six years attempting to take over Antioch, which ended in humiliation and defeat. She became a model of frustrated female ambition. Morphia and Baldwin II had another daughter named Melisende who was also to become queen of Jerusalem, yet differently from Alice. Melisende was going to become a 'regnant' queen, meaning that she was also going to play her part in ruling the Kingdom. She is described as a thin woman with attractive features and European coloring, a pink-tinted skin tone suggesting that she took after her Frankish father Baldwin II rather than her Armenian mother Morphia. She was an athletic woman who loved horse riding and nature. Like her sister Alice, she was a woman of high passion whose emotions sat close to the surface, and she had no qualms about expressing her anger when it was roused.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Macey

    4.5 This book was really really good. Wonderful, humanistic portrayals of people who little is knows about, and of the women who have been overshadowed in history. Melisende especially was one of those figures more people should know about. I really appreciated the introduction where the author said she wouldn't just go around saying how horrifically sexist everyone was because they had different standards in the 1100s. Also Outremer is a very vibey name for a kingdom/queendom. I didn't know much 4.5 This book was really really good. Wonderful, humanistic portrayals of people who little is knows about, and of the women who have been overshadowed in history. Melisende especially was one of those figures more people should know about. I really appreciated the introduction where the author said she wouldn't just go around saying how horrifically sexist everyone was because they had different standards in the 1100s. Also Outremer is a very vibey name for a kingdom/queendom. I didn't know much about the crusades, and yet somehow it's didn't surprise me that only one was successful. With all the dynastic infighting I'm surprised Christian rule of Jerusalem lasted the 88 years it did. Maybe if they'd focused more on looking after borders rather than trying to marry off their kids and get rid of their wives they'dve saved themselves four hundred years of embarrassment trying to take Jerusalem back. I was really intrigued by the chronicle of Willam of Tyre, a major source in this book as he was actually there for much of it and even tutored one of the last Baldwins (all the guys are either called Baldwin or something like Reynald), even though he was disdainful of women and Muslims and had some very strong opinions of people he didn't like. The chronicle sounds interesting but is likely very dry. and also in latin, probably. Also, underage marriage? since when is marrying an 8 year old to the man who was going to marry her mother acceptable? and marrying off 15 year olds to forty year old guys they've never met? CREEPY AS HELL. just because the law says girls can get married at twelve doesn't mean that that's not entirely disgusting. they're people, not pawns. (actually they all seem to think that their kids are convenient political trading cards). The portraits of the women in this book, while most of them actually weren't Queens of Jerusalem like the title says, were really personal, emotional, and realistic. They feel like real people as opposed to names on a list, especially the four daughters of Morphia (Melisende, Yvette, Alice and Hodeirna). Some of the women, Alice especially, got a bad rap from William or Tyre, even though he really admired Melisende. If you even sort of like the medieval period then I recommend this book. I hardly know anything about the crusades and this book was written so it tells you all the context you need to know rather than just assuming you know it (Thank you Katherine Pangonis). Lots of super interesting details and poetic descriptions of the people and places, really nice to read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Richard West

    For reasons which I'll get to, I was undecided whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars. Historically speaking, it gets a 5 - for those other reasons, it gets a 3, so 4 it is. Actually, this is a very interesting book, giving the reader an overview of the women who ruled the various areas conquered by the Crusaders in the Middle Ages. Yes, there were women who ruled! It wasn't just a guy thing! And in some instances, the women did a better job of ruling than did their male counterparts. Most of the For reasons which I'll get to, I was undecided whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars. Historically speaking, it gets a 5 - for those other reasons, it gets a 3, so 4 it is. Actually, this is a very interesting book, giving the reader an overview of the women who ruled the various areas conquered by the Crusaders in the Middle Ages. Yes, there were women who ruled! It wasn't just a guy thing! And in some instances, the women did a better job of ruling than did their male counterparts. Most of the women have faded into historical obscurity, but some are names that are easily recognizable to anyone who has read anything at all about this period in history in the so-called "Holy Land." References are made, of course, to the men, but the emphasis is on the ladies, something the author reminds of in almost every chapter with a comment similar to "but that isn't the focus of this book." We know. We know. You don't have to keep reminding us. That was Strike One. And, truth be told there are some places in the book where it reads more like a high school senior's term paper than a published book, but since it's the author's first attempt, we'll give her a "bye" on that one. The other fact which earned the book 4 stars instead of 5 was a reference to an insert of photos in the book. The publisher must have forgotten to include it because the only photos are a few grainy black-and-white photos in several of the chapters. Strike Two. Overall, an interesting book with flaws. Recommended for those interested in this period of history and in the Crusades.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Hill

    Most of what we know of Ancient Jerusalem comes from the Crusades, and the male rulers - those who were navigating through the tumultuous times. However, there were queens that ruled, those who held power that was not seen in many other corners different kingdoms. Katherine Pangonis has shared meticulous research, and bringing the stories of these women out of the shadows. The book begins with Melisande, touches on Empress Matilda (the Cousins War), and ends with Sibylla, a woman who managed to Most of what we know of Ancient Jerusalem comes from the Crusades, and the male rulers - those who were navigating through the tumultuous times. However, there were queens that ruled, those who held power that was not seen in many other corners different kingdoms. Katherine Pangonis has shared meticulous research, and bringing the stories of these women out of the shadows. The book begins with Melisande, touches on Empress Matilda (the Cousins War), and ends with Sibylla, a woman who managed to defend and hold Jerusalem against Saladin and the Saracen army. I truly enjoyed reading through this book! As I stated, the research was well done, and these women are given their rightful place in history. While women are mostly relegated to the shadows, and the margins of books, the stories of these women are starting to be shared and told. For history lovers, this is a book you need to read! Highly engaging, and there are some surprises hiding in the pages -- but I am not going to spill those here!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jon Lisle-Summers

    Important rebalance of Crusade History All the "History of the Crusades" I've thus far read have generally left me confused, because there's so much toing and froing by various knights and Monarchs. This history, on the other hand, is a model of clarity. I feel, for the first time, that I have a grasp of the events and personalities involved during much of the time. It's especially enlightening on the role of the mostly noble women in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the satellite states of Antioch, Tr Important rebalance of Crusade History All the "History of the Crusades" I've thus far read have generally left me confused, because there's so much toing and froing by various knights and Monarchs. This history, on the other hand, is a model of clarity. I feel, for the first time, that I have a grasp of the events and personalities involved during much of the time. It's especially enlightening on the role of the mostly noble women in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the satellite states of Antioch, Tripoli and Edessa. Their inclusion makes a huge contribution to making sense of the Wild West anarchy which prevailed in most of the Crusader States during their brief ascendancy. Katherine Pangonis' writing is very helpful here, being very clear and entertaining while maintaining a narrative momentum which aids comprehension. Highly recommended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter Evans

    An interesting book. I have researched the genealogy of the angevins who ruled Jerusalem and was particularly interested in this book. While I understand the authors theme of exploring the role of the female monarchs her feminism is a bit of a barrier. Ms Pangonis comments on the writings of William of Tyre and what she calls his "symptoms of misogny" and puts doubts on his accuracy. This can be said of Ms Pangonis and her feminism. I prefer a book that discusses the Angevian rulers without any An interesting book. I have researched the genealogy of the angevins who ruled Jerusalem and was particularly interested in this book. While I understand the authors theme of exploring the role of the female monarchs her feminism is a bit of a barrier. Ms Pangonis comments on the writings of William of Tyre and what she calls his "symptoms of misogny" and puts doubts on his accuracy. This can be said of Ms Pangonis and her feminism. I prefer a book that discusses the Angevian rulers without any gender bias.. However the book is well researched and putting aside my bit of misogny would recommend this book to anyone who us interested the political machinations of the Angevian monarchs of Jerusalem.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    This is an academic work, but not a difficult or laborious read at all. In fact, I found this study of the previously little noted lives, characters, histories, and influence on the events they impacted and were affected by, as well as both the context in which both their lives and the accounts we have of their lives should be considered. This is an intelligent and engaging work on a topic that is only just now receiving the scholarly attention it so richly deserves. A must read for anyone inter This is an academic work, but not a difficult or laborious read at all. In fact, I found this study of the previously little noted lives, characters, histories, and influence on the events they impacted and were affected by, as well as both the context in which both their lives and the accounts we have of their lives should be considered. This is an intelligent and engaging work on a topic that is only just now receiving the scholarly attention it so richly deserves. A must read for anyone interested in the development of medieval queenship, the history of Outremer, or the impact of female nobility during the Middle Ages in Outremer.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Burns

    It must have been difficult to even know where to begin researching this book. Sources on women in this period are often fleeting references in the lives of men and yet, the author somehow managed to create a vivid world of female motive and agency. The book is short because, well it has to be. Outremer was a short lived kingdom in the grand scheme of things, and the source material seemed to be made up entirely of William of Tyre. Well done to the academic who persevered. Enjoyed this book on w It must have been difficult to even know where to begin researching this book. Sources on women in this period are often fleeting references in the lives of men and yet, the author somehow managed to create a vivid world of female motive and agency. The book is short because, well it has to be. Outremer was a short lived kingdom in the grand scheme of things, and the source material seemed to be made up entirely of William of Tyre. Well done to the academic who persevered. Enjoyed this book on women I have sadly never heard of. From a lover of female biographical history thank you! 5 stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

  16. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Most books about the crusades and the crusader states (usually written by men, go figure) tend to focus almost exclusively on men, with perhaps a short mention of Eleanor of Aquitaine. The Queens of Jerusalem (and the other powerful women from the same family) tend to be entirely disregarded, declared largely insignificant of they are referred to at all. Katherine Pangonis puts them at the center of this fascinating book. A highly interesting read about three generations of remarkable women who Most books about the crusades and the crusader states (usually written by men, go figure) tend to focus almost exclusively on men, with perhaps a short mention of Eleanor of Aquitaine. The Queens of Jerusalem (and the other powerful women from the same family) tend to be entirely disregarded, declared largely insignificant of they are referred to at all. Katherine Pangonis puts them at the center of this fascinating book. A highly interesting read about three generations of remarkable women who helped shape history over the course of a century.

  17. 4 out of 5

    M.K. Casperson

    Engaging and informative. I heard of “Queens of Jerusalem” from the History of Byzantium podcast and swiftly got on my library’s waiting list. I basically ate this book. I love daring and dramatic tales from history, and getting the stories of our sisters’ and history from their perspective adds dimension. As a Byzantine history fanatic, it was really fun to see how Outremer and the Byzantine Empire interacted.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    A dynasty of women ruled Jerusalem during the period of the Crusades. They were descended from Melisende, an Armenian woman. The book also describes the time that Eleanor of Aquitaine was there with her husband, the king of France, and the likely influence that trip had on the rest of her life. The queen's reign ended with the victory of Saladin. A dynasty of women ruled Jerusalem during the period of the Crusades. They were descended from Melisende, an Armenian woman. The book also describes the time that Eleanor of Aquitaine was there with her husband, the king of France, and the likely influence that trip had on the rest of her life. The queen's reign ended with the victory of Saladin.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mike Adams

    This is basically the ideal piece of revisionist history. Katherine Pangonis does a masterful job of correcting the misconceptions around who held power during the Crusades and paints and incredibly compelling picture of the women she focuses on, which is all the more impressive because she necessarily can't rely on military narrative the same way most history on the Crusades tends to. This is basically the ideal piece of revisionist history. Katherine Pangonis does a masterful job of correcting the misconceptions around who held power during the Crusades and paints and incredibly compelling picture of the women she focuses on, which is all the more impressive because she necessarily can't rely on military narrative the same way most history on the Crusades tends to.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Schreiber

    Awesome read, a great novel dedicated to the ruling women of Jerusalem & the surrounding area. My only complaint would be that, surely, each of these women deserve their own book - but I suppose, we’ll have to see what the future brings in that regard!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Fantastic reading!

  22. 4 out of 5

    David

    A well-written and perceptive book on the forgotten women rulers of Jerusalem in the crusader era.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kittygrace

    Its great if really dense. It packs a lot in 200 pages. Also big up Saladin.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kimia Habibi

    Interesting subject matter. A little hard to follow as an audiobook.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Collins

    Fascinating look at female authority and power during the Medieval period.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ella

    I appreciated how accessible it was to read without any prior knowledge of the crusades, and how engaging it was throughout.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Helen Carolan

    While I often enjoy books about people from history I've never heard of, this one didn't hit the mark. Rambling and confusing, and I found myself having to re-read parts of it. Disappointing. While I often enjoy books about people from history I've never heard of, this one didn't hit the mark. Rambling and confusing, and I found myself having to re-read parts of it. Disappointing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    In her own words Katherine Pangonis sets out to "tell the stories of Morphia of Melitene, Alice of Antioch, Melisende of Jerusalem, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Agnes of Courtenay and Sibylla of Jerusalem...... [ and ] compare their roles with those played by the wife of Saladin, and the Damascene Queen Zummurud. Well, not only does she succeed in doing this, she manages to do a lot more and she does it in a manner that is both to the point and engaging. Pangonis tells the tale of the far away land of In her own words Katherine Pangonis sets out to "tell the stories of Morphia of Melitene, Alice of Antioch, Melisende of Jerusalem, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Agnes of Courtenay and Sibylla of Jerusalem...... [ and ] compare their roles with those played by the wife of Saladin, and the Damascene Queen Zummurud. Well, not only does she succeed in doing this, she manages to do a lot more and she does it in a manner that is both to the point and engaging. Pangonis tells the tale of the far away land of Outremer from the end First Crusade to the beginning of the Third Crusade and she also does a remarkable job of tying in what what happening over "here" i.e Western Christendom with what was happening over "there" in Outremer. It's an impressive cast of players, spanning a few generations, but even with a multitude of Alices, Sibyllas, Baldwins and Bohemonds I never once lost track of who was who and all in all it's a very readable book and one that is often hard to put down. Also included are notable women of the Byzantine Empire such as Theodora Komnene, who became Queen of Jerusalem, and Maria of Antioch who married the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos. If you are interested in the history of The Levant, the crusades or women who dared to wear a crown, then this is a pretty much a "must read". I loved it and I'm thrilled that Pangonis' second book is already in the pipeline.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Doris

    This is not an era with which I am terribly familiar, so I enjoyed it for that. However, the author did not do a very good job of establishing that the 'women who dared to rule' were in fact ruling. This is not an era with which I am terribly familiar, so I enjoyed it for that. However, the author did not do a very good job of establishing that the 'women who dared to rule' were in fact ruling.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joe Bellew

    More like a term paper than a book.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...