This book features two eyewitness accounts of the Crusades: Villehardouin's Chronicle of the Fourth Crusade and theConquest of Constantinople and Joinville's Chronicle of the Crusade of St. Lewis. A pair of engrossing narratives by actual participants, these are among the most authoritative accounts available of the medieval Holy Wars. They recount terrifying scenes from the battlefields that recapture the horror of warfare, and offer invaluable insights into the religious and political fervor that sparked the two hundred-year campaign. The first reliable history of the Crusades, Villehardouin's work spans the era of the Fourth Crusade, from 1199–1207. It traces the path of a small army of crusaders who despite overwhelming odds captured the city of Constantinople. Joinville's chronicle focuses on the years 1248–1254, the time of the Seventh Crusade. Written by a prominent aid to King Louis of France, it offers personal perspectives on the pious monarch and his battles in the Holy Lands. Both of these highly readable histories provide rare glimpses of medieval social, economic, and cultural life in the context of the crusaders' quest for honor, piety, and glory.