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"Crusade" Sort by
Dr. Thomas Asbridge introduces the epic story of the Crusades – a tale of religious fanaticism and unspeakable brutality, of medieval knights and Jihadi warriors; of castles and kings; of heroism, betrayal, and sacrifice. He explains how, using fresh evidence, eye-witness testimonies and contemporary accounts – from both the Christian and Islamic worlds – we are able to re-examine this epic medieval drama, and how he has retraced the steps of the Crusaders from a small town in France to the magnificent cities of the Holy Land, bringing to life the human experience of the Crusades, and shedding new light on how it was that two of the world’s great religions waged war in the name of God.
The Wall Street Code
Super quick computers and advanced mathematical formulas have taken over trading on the financial markets from human beings -algorithms- which seem to have a life of their own. The only ones who understand the system in any way are its architects, the algorithm developers. Haim Bodek is one such algo-developer. After finding some strange wrongdoings he set out on a personal crusade against this elusive system". The machinery behind our financial markets, consisting of mathematical models, data centers and miles and miles of fiber optic cables, is disguised by technological complexity and secrecy. The builders of this financial system are a new breed of Wall Street employees -quants- mathematicians and physicists who are responsible for a technological revolution. Haim Bodek is a quant; he specialized in artificial intelligence and worked for Goldman Sachs. He knows the system from the inside, he helped build it. Haim Bodek was invited to tell his story at the "Battle of the Quants" - a recurring event where quants discuss high-frequency trading, amongst other things. Bodek wrote an algorithm for trading machines that would generate guaranteed income - a money machine that weathered the financial meltdown of 2008. But then from one day to the next the algorithm stopped working.
The Normans: Normans of the South
Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Normans on southern Europe and the Middle East. The Normans spread south in the 11th century, winning control of southern Italy and the island of Sicily. There they created their most prosperous kingdom, where Christianity and Islam co-existed in relative harmony and mutual tolerance. It became a great centre of medieval culture and learning. But events in the Middle East provoked the more aggressive side of the Norman character. In 1095, the Normans enthusiastically answered the Pope's call for holy war against Islam and joined the first crusade. They lay siege to Jerusalem and eventually helped win back the holy city from the muslims. This bloody conquest left a deep rift between Christianity and Islam which is still being felt to this day.
The Clash of Titans
The most famous – and perhaps most misunderstood – episodes in the epic history of the Holy Wars that are known to history as The Crusades – the clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. In July 1192, Richard the Lionheart stood poised for a strike on Jerusalem, while Saladin – mighty sultan of Islam – readied his troops inside the city, preparing for the inevitable attack. During a year-long campaign across Palestine, these two legendary leaders had fought each other to a stand-still. Thousands had perished, appalling atrocities had been perpetrated on both sides. And now they faced each other in a battle for their sacred objective.
Victory and Defeat
Dr. Thomas Asbridge explains how in the thirteenth century, after almost two hundred years of Holy Wars, the titanic conflict between Christianity and Islam, known to history as The Crusades, reached a decisive and shocking conclusion – a chapter that despite its drama has been virtually forgotten. He explains how, in the end, the fate of the Holy Land was decided not on the hallowed ground of Jerusalem, but in Egypt; and how the ultimate outcome of the Crusades was dictated not by Christians, but by the Mongol successors to Genghis Khan, and by a Muslim slave – a fearsome warrior whose story is now all but lost to western history.
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