Hollywood vs. History: Kingdom of Heaven
John D. Hosler
Director Ridley Scott takes a sweeping look back to the Crusades and the brutal fighting between Christians and Muslims over the First Kingdom of Jerusalem in his epic 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven. How much did he get right?
Using clips from the film, medieval historian John D. Hosler separates fact from big-screen fiction as the Library continues its Hollywood vs. History series on the historical accuracy of military movies. The event is presented both in person at the Plaza Branch’s Truman Forum Auditorium and via livestream on the Library’s YouTube channel in partnership with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
Kingdom of Heaven offers a compelling subject, dwelling on the religious fervor and conflict behind the decline and fall of the First Kingdom of Jerusalem more than eight centuries ago. It covers the Crusaders’ near-annihilation in the Battle of Hattin in 1187 and the siege of Jerusalem by the Egyptian sultan and Muslim leader Saladin.
Hosler, a professor of military history at the Army Command and General Staff College, is an expert in medieval warfare and the Crusades who discussed his book The Siege of Acre, 1189-1191 at the Library in 2018. He is a past president of De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History and a trustee of the United States Commission on Military History.
The presentation is not livestreamed but will be videorecorded and available for later viewing on the Library’s YouTube channel.
The twice-monthly Hollywood vs. History series is made possible by a generous gift from the Jerry Rosenblum Trust.