This week we tackle Michael’s favourite subject – the Crusades. Yes, we’re discussing Ridley Scott’s flawed epic “Kingdom of Heaven.” from 2005. Join us as we discuss the events often described as a clash of civilisations, when religious fervor and ethnic allegiances led to the rise and fall of kingdoms and the siege of the Jerusalem. Nobody is safe as Orlando Bloom’s Balian of Ibelin takes on the legendary An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub.
Kingdom of Heaven opens a discussion on the origins of the Crusades, the seemingly miraculous expansion of Islam and the living standards one might expect to find in the 12th Century. Just who were these knights and sultans? Why were they really fighting and how is it that a blacksmith from northern France knows how to command the army of Jerusalem?
“The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin” by Jonathan Phillips
“The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land” by Thomas Asbridge