Great Deeds Of Valor From The Fourth Crusade

Geoffrey of Villehardouin (1160–1212?) is known as one of the first important names in French historiography.  Unlike his predecessors, he was not a dry chronicler; he was a historian who participated directly in the events he described, and was reasonably objective by the standards of his day.  His book, The Conquest of Constantinople, is a moving and pious account of his involvement in the Fourth Crusade.  He was not born a nobleman; he earned his spurs as a knight through loyal service as a soldier and organizer of military campaigns.  After his withdrawal from public life, he set out to record the great events he had been a part of, much in the same way that Bernal Diaz (one of Hernando Cortes’s soldiers) and Usama Ibn Munqidh (an Arab knight of the Crusades) would do.  Great deeds of valor are rightly celebrated in every culture and in every age, because (as Sallust tells us):

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