An Introduction to the Crusades

An Introduction to the Crusades

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By S.J. Allen
Companions to Medieval Studies
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2017
208 Pages
ISBN 9781442600232
Published May 2017
ISBN 9781442600249
Published May 2017
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442600270
Published May 2017
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ISBN 9781442600256
Published May 2017
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An Introduction to the Crusades, part of the Companions to Medieval Studies series, is an accessible guide to studying the complex history of the Crusades.

The book begins by defining the Crusades, giving the political and social context of Byzantium, Western Europe, the Islamic States, and Jewish communities to set the scene for crusading from the eleventh century to the end of the medieval period. It then immerses the reader in the logistics of crusading and the day-to-day life of a crusader, explaining arms and armor, strategy and tactics, and siege warfare. Topics explored in depth include women on crusade, pilgrimage, the Mongols, crusade charters, and the use of crusader rhetoric throughout history. A case study chapter on the negotiations for Jerusalem between Saladin and Richard I provides insight into the process of historical inquiry and methods for engaging with primary sources.

The book is pedagogically grounded through the inclusion of questions for reflection, sixteen images, four maps, a detailed chronology, a glossary, a "Who's Who" of the crusading world, and a bibliography.

S.J. Allen is Associate Lecturer in Arts and Humanities at The Open University, UK.

List of Illustrations and Maps
List of Text Boxes

1. The Crusades: A Brief History
Prologue: Defining the Crusades
  Box 1.1: Pilgrimage
Setting the Scene: Byzantine, Western Europe, the Islamic States and Jewish Communities
  Box 1.2: Islam: Sunni and Shi'a
On the Eve of the Crusades: the Eleventh Century
The First Crusade
  Box 1.3: The Crusades and Attacks on Jewish Communities
The Crusader States
The Second and Third Crusades
  Box 1.4: Women on Crusade
A New Crusading Vision:  At Home and Abroad
  Box 1.5: The Children's and Shepherds' Crusades
Crusades Across the Borders
The Twilight of the Crusades
  Box 1.6: The Mongols and the Legend of Prester John
  Box 1.7: The Fate of the Military Orders after 1291
The End of Medieval Crusading

2. There and Back Again: The Logistics of Crusading and Life as a Crusader in the Levant
Preparation and Finance
  Box 2.1: Crusade Charters
Transport and Provisions
Life and Death in the Levant
 Settlement and Occupations
   Box 2.2: Muslims under Latin Rule
 Massacre and Captivity
 Returning Home

3. Holy Warfare: Combat in the Crusading Age
General Organization and Recruitment
Manuscript and Material Evidence
Arms and Armor
Strategy and Tactics
Siege Warfare
Open Battle
Naval Engagements
  Box 3.1: Crusader Castles
Matters of Life and Death
 Medicine and Treatment
   Box 3.2: Hospitals

4. A Case Study Exercise: Saladin and Richard I, Negotiations for Jerusalem
Stalemate and Negotiations – the evidence
Document 1: Baha' al-Din on Negotiations between Richard I and Saladin
Document 2: The Itinerary of the Pilgrims and Deeds of King Richard (Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi)

5. The Crusades and Modern Memory
The Reformation (ca 1517-1649)
The Enlightenment (ca 1650-1800)
Romanticism (ca 1770-1850)
Nineteenth-Century Nationalism, Imperialism and Christian Militarism
Nineteenth-Century Islam and the Crusades
The Twentieth Century
The Twenty-First Century
  Box 5.1: Matthew Schlimm's Analysis of Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven

Questions for Reflection
Who's Who in the Crusading World

S.J. Allen provides a pedagogically innovative introduction to the Crusades with numerous references to the documents in The Crusades: A Reader. Her development of the broad phenomena of crusading from the eleventh to the sixteenth century is concise and cogent. Chapters on the crusade experience in material and military terms and an interesting case study of the diplomatic interactions between Saladin and Richard the Lionheart are particularly welcome. A final chapter problematizes the concept of the Crusades with a survey of their evolving reception over time in history, literature, and film.

Kathryn Reyerson, University of Minnesota

For over a decade S.J. Allen and Emilie Amt's The Crusades: A Reader has been a standard classroom resource for students on the Crusades. Now, Allen has given us a handbook to that popular source collection. As a standalone text, this book would be a welcome addition to the rapidly growing range of textbook offerings on the Crusades. Allen's clear and accessible narrative balances a concise overview of crusading through 1291 with thematic analysis of logistics, combat, memory, and more. But as a companion to the reader, with its many cross references to those documents as well as to some of the most recent literature, the book is an even more effective resource.

James D. Mixson, University of Alabama