Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Making Sense of the Crusades
Crusade and Christendom by
Publication Date: 2013
In 1213, Pope Innocent III issued his letter Vineam Domini, thundering against the enemies of Christendom--the "beasts of many kinds that are attempting to destroy the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth"--and announcing a General Council of the Latin Church as redress. The Fourth Lateran Council, which convened in 1215, was unprecedented in its scope and impact, and it called for the Fifth Crusade as what its participants hoped would be the final defense of Christendom. For the first time, a collection of extensively annotated and translated documents illustrates the transformation of the crusade movement. Crusade and Christendom explores the way in which the crusade was used to define and extend the intellectual, religious, and political boundaries of Latin Christendom. It also illustrates how the very concept of the crusade was shaped by the urge to define and reform communities of practice and belief within Latin Christendom and by Latin Christendom's relationship with other communities, including dissenting political powers and heretical groups, the Moors in Spain, the Mongols, and eastern Christians. The relationship of the crusade to reform and missionary movements is also explored, as is its impact on individual lives and devotion. The selection of documents and bibliography incorporates and brings to life recent developments in crusade scholarship concerning military logistics and travel in the medieval period, popular and elite participation, the role of women, liturgy and preaching, and the impact of the crusade on western society and its relationship with other cultures and religions. Shows how the crusades became crucial for defining and promoting the very concept and boundaries of Latin Christendom.
The Deeds of the Franks and Other Jerusalem-Bound Pilgrims by
Publication Date: 2011
This new translation offers a faithful yet accessible English-language rendering of the twelfth-century Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolomitanorum, the earliest known Latin account of the First Crusade. Although an anonymous work, it has become the exemplar for all later histories and re-tellings of the First Crusade. It is filled with vivid descriptions of the hardships suffered by the crusaders, with deeds of personal heroism, with courtly intrigues, with betrayal and cowardice, and with a relentless faith that would see the attainment of the desired goal: the capture of Jerusalem by the crusaders in 1099. A sweeping tale that swiftly moves from the first preaching of the crusade by Pope Urban II, to the ragtag and ultimately doomed effort of the popular People's Crusade, and then the more disciplined and concerted campaign by the French and Norman nobility that led to the conquest of the Holy Land by the crusaders.
The First Crusade by
Publication Date: 1998
To its contemporaries, the First Crusade was a journey and the men who took part in it pilgrims. Only later were those participants dubbed Crusaders--"those signed with the Cross." In fact, many developments with regard to the First Crusade, like the bestowing of the cross and the elaboration of Crusaders' privileges, did not occur until the late twelfth century, almost one hundred years after the event itself. Edward Peters brings together the primary texts that document eleventh-century reform ecclesiology, the appearance of new social groups and their attitudes, the institutional and literary evidence dealing with Holy War and pilgrimage, and, most important, the firsthand experiences by men who participated in the events of 1095-1099. New material, which constitutes nearly one-third of the book, consists chiefly of materials from non-Christian sources, especially translations of documents written in Hebrew and Arabic. In addition, Peters has extensively revised and expanded the Introduction to address the most important issues of recent scholarship.
Christian Society and the Crusades, 1198-1229 by
Publication Date: 1971
During the thirteenth century, the widespread conviction that the Christian lands in Syria and Palestine were of utmost importance to Christendom, and that their loss was a sure sign of God's displeasure with Christian society, pervaded nearly all levels of thought. Yet this same society faced other crises: religious dissent and unorthodox beliefs were proliferating in western Europe, and the powers exercised, or claimed, by the kings of Europe were growing rapidly. The sources presented here illustrate the rising criticism of the changing Crusade idea. They reflect a sharpened awareness among Europeans of themselves as a community of Christians and the slow beginnings of the secular culture and political organization of Europe.
Crusading and the Crusader States by
Publication Date: 2004
Crusading as a subject has expanded in recent years to include new fields of inquiry. This book examines how crusading historiography includes new areas and new definitions, focusing on two fundamental issues in current writing: why people went on crusades and what forms the western settlement in the Near East took. Crusading and the Crusader States explains how the idea of holy wars came into being and why they took the form that they did – a clash between western and Islamic societies that dominated the Middle Ages.This book explores the causes of the Christian idea of holy war and the nature of the first European colonial settlement in the near east. Explores how the idea of holy war emerged from the troubled Church of the 11th century, and why Jerusalem and the Holy Land were so important to Europeans Follows the progress of the major crusading expeditions down to 1336, and offers insights into their continuing failure, charting the development of new attitudes towards Islam and the Muslims.
The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades by
Publication Date: 1995
Nine hundred years ago, at a church council in Clermont, Pope Urban II delivered an impassioned sermon, calling upon Frankish knights to vow to march to the East to free Christians from the yoke of Islamic rule and to liberate the tomb of Christ, the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, from Muslim control. Thus began the Crusades: the bloody and grueling battles pitched between European knights and the Islamic defenders over the course of two hundred years, movements that created the legends of King Arthur and the Holy Grail, military orders such as the Knights Templar, and an unusually rich tradition of art and architecture. In The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades, the story of the Crusades is told as never before in an engrossing, authoritative, and comprehensive history that ranges from the preaching of the First Crusade in 1095 to the legacy of the crusading ideals and imagery that continues today. Here are the ideas of apologists, propagandists, and poets about the Crusades, as well as the perceptions and motives of the crusaders themselves and the means by which they joined the movement--crusaders were required to "take the cross" (which involved making a vow, often at an emotional public gatherings under the influence of preachers whose business it was to whip their audiences up into a frenzy) and were foresworn to wear a cross on their clothing until they returned from their mission in the East. The authors describe the elaborate social and civic systems that arose to support the Crusades--taxation, for example, was formalized by the Church and monarchs to raise enormous funds needed to wage war on this scale; nearly 1,000,000 livres tournois were raised from the French church (out of estimated total expenses of some 3,000,000 livres) for Louis IX's first crusade in 1248. And here are vivid descriptions of the battles themselves, frightening, disorienting, and dangerous affairs, with keen and insightful commentary on the reactions of the Muslims to a Christian holy war. Extensively illustrated with hundreds of illustrations, maps, chronologies, and a guide to further reading,
A History of the Crusades by
Publication Date: 2000
In this collection of essays, the story of the Crusades is told as never before in an engrossing and comprehensive history that ranges from the preaching of the First Crusade in 1095 to the legacy of crusading ideals and imagery that continues today. Here are the ideas of apologists, propagandists, and poets about the Crusades, as well as the perceptions and motives of the crusaders themselves and the means by which they joined the movement. The book's coverage ranges from the elaborate social and civic systems that arose to support the Crusades to in-depth and vivid descriptions of the battles themselves. The contributors provide keen and insightful commentary on the reactions of the Muslims to a Christian holy war. Also included are studies of crusades outside the eastern Mediterranean region as well as post-medieval crusades. By describing the combat and homefront conditions, by evaluating the clash (and coalescence) of many cultures, by tracing a legacy that continues in our conflict-ridden present, and by documenting the enduring artistic and social changes that the Crusades wrought, A History of the Crusades offers an unsurpassed panorama of one of the great movements in western history. All students of medieval culture, religion, politics, and/or history will find in these pages a highly useful, thorough, and contemporary account of that movement.
In the Year 1096 by
Publication Date: 1996
In the Year 1096 presents a clear, highly readable chronicle of the events of 1096. Noted teacher and historian Robert Chazan brings readers to critical moments in Jewish history, illuminating the events themselves, their antecedents, and their far-reaching consequences. Equally important, his book assesses the significance of the events of 1096 within the larger framework of Jewish history, including both the scope of persecution and the record of Jewish resistance.
Sanctifying the Name of God by
Publication Date: 2006
How are martyrs made, and how do the memories of martyrs express, nourish, and mold the ideals of the community? Sanctifying the Name of God wrestles with these questions against the background of the massacres of Jews in the Rhineland during the outbreak of the First Crusade. Marking the first extensive wave of anti-Jewish violence in medieval Christian Europe, these "Persecutions of 1096" exerted a profound influence on the course of European Jewish history. When the crusaders demanded that Jews choose between Christianity and death, many opted for baptism. Many others, however, chose to die as Jews rather than to live as Christians, and of these, many actually inflicted death upon themselves and their loved ones. Stories of their self-sacrifice ushered the Jewish ideal of martyrdom--kiddush ha-Shem, the sanctification of God's holy name--into a new phase, conditioning the collective memory and mindset of Ashkenazic Jewry for centuries to come, during the Holocaust, and even today. The Jewish survivors of 1096 memorialized the victims as martyrs as they rebuilt their communities during the decades following the Crusade. Three twelfth-century Hebrew chronicles of the persecutions preserve their memories of martyrdom and self-sacrifice, tales fraught with symbolic meaning that constitute one of the earliest Jewish attempts at local, contemporary historiography. Reading and analyzing these stories through the prism of Jewish and Christian religious and literary traditions, Jeremy Cohen shows how these persecution chronicles reveal much more about the storytellers, the martyrologists, than about the martyrs themselves. While they extol the glorious heroism of the martyrs, they also air the doubts, guilt, and conflicts of those who, by submitting temporarily to the Christian crusaders, survived.
Pilgrims to Jerusalem in the Middle Ages by
Publication Date: 2005
As medieval pilgrims made their way to the places where Jesus Christ lived and suffered, they experienced a variety of difficulties, both great and small. Nicole Chareyron draws on more than one hundred firsthand accounts to consider the journeys and worldviews of medieval pilgrims. These pilgrims of various nationalities, professions, and social classes, motivated by religious piety and personal curiosity, wrote their journals for themselves and to convey the majesty and strangeness of distant lands. These writings also reveal the complex interactions between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Holy Land.
Letters from the East by
Publication Date: 2010-06-28
No written source is entirely without literary artifice, but the letters sent from Asia Minor, Syria and Palestine in the high middle ages come closest to recording the real feelings of those who lived in and visited the crusader states. They are not, of course, reflective pieces, but they do convey the immediacy of circumstances which were frequently dramatic and often life-threatening. Those settled in the East faced crises all the time, while crusaders and pilgrims knew they were experiencing defining moments in their lives. There are accounts of all the great events from the triumph of the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 to the disasters of Hattin in 1187 and the loss of Acre in 1291. These had an impact on the lives of all Latin Christians, but at the same time individuals felt impelled to describe both their own personal achievements and disappointments and the wonders and horrors of what they had seen. Moreover, the representatives of the military and monastic orders used letters as a means of maintaining contact with the western houses, providing information about the working of religious orders not found elsewhere. Some of the letters translated here are famous, others hardly known, but all offer unique insight into the minds of those who took part in the crusading movement.
On the Margins of Crusading by
Publication Date: 2011
Founded to support Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land and most famous for their support for crusading, the Military Religious Orders' activities and interests stretched far beyond the frontiers of Christendom. Representing some of the most recent advances in research, in this volume eleven scholars from Europe and North America explore important and hitherto under-researched aspects of the Orders' history, scrutinising their relations with the papacy, their organisational structure, their devotional practices, their fortresses and their presence in the localities of Western Europe. Particular attention is given to the Templars' trial of 1307-12 and the question of how the surviving Orders reorganised themselves after the loss of the kingdom of Jerusalem in 1291. The majority of the papers consider the leading Military Orders, the Hospitallers and Templars, but there are also studies of the Orders of Mountjoy and of St Lazarus, showing how they adapted their activities to local requirements. These studies reflect the vitality of current scholarship on the Military Religious Orders.