This torrent was uploaded from www.TheBox.bz (signup is open and free) - the home of all British TV
I was surprised to see there's a series pack for the TV rips of this great series, but not for the DVD rips. So I'm repacking them. The original uploads and attendant tech specs are courtesy of cletus. (Thanks, cletus!) I cribbed and summarized the episode descriptions from him and from the anonymous uploader of the TV rips, as well as from my own viewings.
Terry Jones recounts of the medieval religious wars for control of the "Holy Lands" waged by Christian Europe against the Islamic world, combining historical scholarship and his Pythonesque humor in his on inimitable style. He explores the lives of pivotal figures, the technology and the politics of the era, and traces the links between the worst acts of religious bigotry during the Crusades and many of the political and ethnic problems we have today.
The series originally aired in 1995 and was rebroadcast in the spring of 2008 as part of the BBC's Medieval season.
Episode 1: "Pilgrims in Arms"
This opening episode chronicles the improbable origins of the Crusades, from Pope Urban II's hunger for military power to the success of one of history's greatest mass communication and recruitment campaigns that created an unexpected "people's Crusade" made up of tens of thousands of common men, women, and children. Terry Jones traces their routes across Europe, and details the massacres and looting that marked the throng's progress. That these first holy warriors were promptly slaughtered upon reaching Asia only fueled the religious conflict. Within months, a massive professional military force dispatched under the Pope's banner had crossed the Bosphorus, ready to battle their way to Jerusalem.
Episode 2, "Jerusalem"
Episode two recounts the grueling and gruesome trail the Crusaders blazed from the Bosporus Straits to Jerusalem. Conditions were so harsh, and the Crusaders so ill-prepared, that two-thirds of the Europeans would not even survive the beginning of their journey, as Terry Jones illustrates by attempting to duplicate their march across the dry, rocky landscape of Anatolia in the heat of summer, wearing chaing mail. Jones follows their path to Antioch, site of the famed siege whose strange outcome would encourage the savagery of the Crusaders' campaign. Their conquest of Jerusalem - where they sacked the city and butchered its inhabitants - only spurred the Arab world to retaliate.
Episode 3, "Jihad"
Episode three colorfully explores the Muslim recapturing of Jerusalem and the Second Crusade this Arab victory provoked. It's a chronicle of unholy alliances, political intrigue and fabled warriors. This time, however, the Christian soldiers weren't the only ones fighting for a religious cause. By the time the European armies arrived in the Holy Land, Jerusalem's Arab leader, Nur -ed-Din, had declared a Jihad, or holy war, against the invaders. A final battle commanded by his successor - the legendary Saladin - would determine the ultimate fate of this Crusade.
Episode 4, "Destruction"
The chronicle of the last Crusades unfold in this final episode. Terry Jones examines the reality behind the legends of the noble deeds of Richard the Lionheart and Philip of France, leaders of the European forces. Jones uses the modern-day Venice Festival to illustrate the strange reality the Crusaders encountered when they tried to use that city as a base for the Fourth (and final) Crusade. It's backers thought of it more as a commercial venture than a holy fight; the result was the sack of Constantinople, the Christian city that originally inspired the what the Crusaders originally conceived as a holy movement. These final campaigns also produced a revolt in Egypt that destroyed the remnants of the Crusaders' Christian kingdom, ending two centuries of the epic and misguided adventures whose repercussions are still felt today.
Some of the other rather spiffing shows available now and always if you signup free @ www.TheBox.bz:
Comedy: The Office, Peep Show, Coupling, Chef, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, The IT Crowd, Brass Eye, Nathan Barley, Young Ones, Monty Python, Blackadder, Alan Partridge, Father Ted, Coupling, Little Britain, Mr Bean, Extras, Green Wing, Mighty Boosh
Drama: Casualty, Holby City, The Bill, Hustle, Skins, Shameless, Ashes To Ashes
Game/Quiz Shows: Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Have I Got News For You, Deal Or No Deal (UK), Q.I.
Education/Documentary: Planet Earth, Horizon, Panorama, Mark Thomas (Comedy) Product
Food: Hell's Kitchen, Jamie Oliver, The F Word, Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, Great British Menu, Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong
Home/Property/Garden: Property Ladder, How Clean Is Your House?, Changing Rooms, Grand Designs, Homes Under The Hammer, To Buy Or Not To Buy
Motoring: Top Gear, Fifth Gear
Music: Top Of The Pops, Jools Holland, Glastonbury
Reality: Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here!, Any Dream Will Do, Grease, Pop Idol, Wife Swap, X Factor, Badger Or Bust, Apprentice UK, Dragons' Den, Britain's Got Talent
Sci-Fi: Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Torchwood, Primeval
Sport: Football (Soccer), Cricket, Rugby, Snooker, Darts, Formula One (F1GP)