The crusaders were not such incompetent zealots after all

One of the strange effects that modernist, progressive society has had on what the French Annales school would refer to as our civilisation’s mentalité is the almost complete attenuation of memory about what the crusades were, why they were fought and what part they played in a multi-century struggle between two successful, expansionary and universal religions. Though this struggle is still being waged today, we’ve become expert at not noticing it. Even at the level of military history, the crusaders have been written off with a hastily scribbled judgment that amounts to: ‘Invaded the Middle East and captured Jerusalem. Eventually driven into the sea by the brilliant generalship of Saladin.’