The Battle For Christendom

The Council of Constance and the Battle to Unite Against Islam, 1415

Frank Welsh

In 1415, Europe was under threat from the East. In a moment of crisis the great nations came together to try and have Christendom. In the first book for the general market acclaimed historian Frank Welsh tells the riveting story of the Council of Constance and shows why it is still important today. At the dawn of the fifteenth century, Islam invaded Europe from the East and it seemed that Christendom itself was under threat. In an attempt to save Christian world the Emperor Sigismund called the many nations of Europe together for a conference at Constance, beside the Rhine.

The Conference attracted the greatest minds in the western world, as well as innumerable princes, lawyers and prostitutes. And amid the confusion hoped to put Europe’s house in order. Schism had ravaged the Catholic Church and three Popes claimed the seat of St Peters. There were also dangerous stirrings of reform. Over the next months debate raged while Sigismund attempted to find a solution.

The event would be one of the major turning points in European history – the last event of the medieval world, heralding the dawn of the renaissance and the rise of humanism. Yet it would also hold a darker truth and with the burning of the Czech divine, Jan Hus, saw first moments of the Reformation. The story rises to a conclusion on the battlements of Constantinople in 1453 where, despite all of Sigismund’s attempts to repel the Ottomans, the East rose up once more.

First published by Constable and Robbinson (Hachette, UK) in 2008

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