Some people have asked me, "How can ancient history hold any meaning for me in the modern world we live in? I have often responded with a question of my own. "Have you had to wait in a long line at the airport lately?" Or perhaps another question is even more to the point. "How often in recent memory have you heard in the news of a terrorist event in which innocents were made to suffer the consequences for things they had nothing to do with?" Let's face it, these things have become part of our everyday lives, and no matter how many modern conveniences we surround ourselves with, they cannot fully shelter us from the horror.
The fact that terrorism and routine violence have become a part of our everyday lives and routine consciousness is a good place to start when trying to explain the very real impact history has on all of us, each and every day. When I write of medieval history, it is with one part fascination for a different era in mankind's evolution, and one part recognition that we will never solve the seemingly intractable issues of today unless we understand how we got to this point in the first place. As George Santayana, a very wise man once stated, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" That is because a person can never know where to go unless he knows how he got to where he is.
We humans, as a species, are remarkably adept at discarding those lessons which ought to be most precious to us, and most accessible, because they have already been paid for. I'm speaking of the lessons we can and should learn from our mistakes. History can and will teach us that holy wars are no holier than any other kind of war, for righteousness and evil depend solely upon which side one happens to be on. History also teaches us that no one ever wins in this kind of war, because it will always be left to the next generation to avenge the wrongs done to the previous.
The cold, hard facts about terrorism today are that it is not simply the recent brainchild of a few radical, lunatics. As my story set during the First Crusade chronicles, the holy wars between Christians and Moslems, which the Jews got caught up in as well, began over nine hundred years ago. TO BE CONTINUED...