Crusaders, Pilgrims, and Relics – Bearers of the Cross: Material Religion in the Crusading World 1095-1300

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. (Wikipedia)

The Museum of the Order of St. John is hosting a series of events and talks to promote their project: Bearers of the Cross: Material Religion in the Crusading World 1095-1300.

The Global Side of Medieval at the Getty Centre: Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts

Ethiopian Manuscript. Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA. 'Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscript' (Photo courtesy of Dani Trynoski)

Los Angeles correspondent, Danielle Trynoski takes through the, ‘Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts’ exhibut at the Getty Museum.

Friendship, Betrayal, War: “Soldier of God” Movie Review

Soldier of God - Rene, a French Templar Knight who survives the Battle of Hattin. Played by Tim Abell.

A Templar and a Muslim; their strange friendship is the premise of this week’s movie based in the 12th century immediately after the disastrous Battle of Hattin.

Creating a crusader saint: Canute Lavard and others of that ilk

Canute Lavard (died 1131), Danish prince and saint. Medieval painting in the church of Vigersted, Denmark. Photographer: Fredrik Tersmeden, Lund, Sweden (2002)

In the Middle Ages, saints were invoked before great, decisive battles, they sometimes participated directly themselves, and they did so more and more often after the eleventh and especially the twelfth century.

Saladin and the Problem of the Counter-Crusade in Medieval Europe

19th-century depiction of a victorious Saladin, by Gustave Doré.

The phrase Counter-Crusade is, obviously, a modern construct, but in 1144 the military situation in Syria did drastically change.

Support Structures in Crusading Armies, 1095-1241

Battle between the Turks and the Crusaders  - The Hague, KB, KA 20 fol. 254v

This thesis will examine the support structures in crusading armies from the First Crusade, launched in 1095, to the end of the Barons’ Crusade, in 1241.

The Medieval Magazine: The First Crusade (Volume 2 Issue 1)

medieval mag 53

For our one-year anniversary issue we focus on the First Crusade, and ask were Christians and Muslims allies during this event? The answer might surprise you. We have more about the First Crusade, including interviews with two historians that specialize in the topic.

A Forgettable Fantasy Film: The Four Warriors

The Four Warriors movie poster

Another weekend, another medieval movie! This week, I review “The Four Warriors”.

The Impact of Holy Land Crusades on State Formation: War Mobilization, Trade Integration and Political Development in Medieval Europe

Map of the Crusades from The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1862 edition, by Edward Gibbon

This paper argues that crusader mobilization had important implications for European state formation.

Hidden Complexities of the Frankish Castle

Ruins of Montfort Castle - Photo by Ariel Gera / Wikimedia Commons

This thesis is devoted to crusader castles and has a geographical focus on the Near Eastern regions.

Masculinity and Crusade: the influence of martial activity in the Latin East on Norman and Frankish warrior identity, the material culture, c. 1095-1300

The Morgan Bible, 13th century

This dissertation argues that masculine identity in the era of the Crusades developed with Christological and martial focus.

Seven Myths of the Crusades: An Interview with Alfred J. Andrea and Andrew Holt

Seven Myths of the Crusades

Seven Myths of the Crusades examines the many misconceptions that are associated with one of the most fascinating episodes of the Middle Ages.

Medieval Lisbon: Castelo de São Jorge

Walking along the castle walls, you can see the red and green flag of Portugal whipping in the wind alongside the black and white flag of the city. Photo by Medievalists.net.

Above Lisbon’s skyline of colourful tiled houses and red roofs lies Castelo de São Jorge, a dominating, but beautiful, 11th century fortress in the heart of this vibrant city…

The Sacred and the Profane: Understanding the Motives of the First Crusaders

The Four Leaders of the First Crusade (1095) - from François Guizot, The History of France from the Earliest Times to the Year 1789, (London, 1883)

Various explanations have been proposed to explain why tens of thousands of medieval men and women would travel several thousand miles and endure great hardship in order to try to reassert Christian control over the Holy Land.

The last rex crucesignatus, Edward I and the Mongol alliance

Eleanor of Castile sucks the poison out of Edward I of England

This study explores the crusading efforts of Edward I, King of England (1272– 1307), in the last decades of the thirteenth century.

Financing the tribute to the Kingdom of Jerusalem: An urban tax in Damascus

Near_East_1135

After a brief introduction to legal taxation and Saljuq fiscal policy, the philological problems in the definition of a specific due, al-fissa, illegitimate according to the sharia, will be addressed along with its political function and history. This due was levied in Damascus for the tribute to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Genoa: The cog in the new medieval economy

View of Genoa by Christoforo de Grassi (after a drawing of 1481)

Journalist and author Nicholas Walton writes about medieval Genoa’s economy, trade and role in the Black Death. Walton recently published a book on Genoese history entitled, “Genoa: La Superba”

Localizing the Holy Land: The Visual Culture of Crusade in England, circa 1140-1307

Holy Sepulchre Chapel, Winchester Cathedral  - photo by Christophe.Finot / Wikicommons Media

Analyzing diverse visual material, from images of the military orders on seals, and monastic maps of Palestine in manuscripts, to royal chambers with paintings of holy warfare and the display of Holy Land relics at court, my project juxtaposes sacred and secular commissions made for crusaders and affiliates of chivalric culture.

How to destroy gods

Bishop Absalon topples the god Svantevit at Arkona - created by Laurits Tuxen (1853–1927)

In the year 1168 a Danish bishop destroyed three pagan gods. The story is told in Gesta Danorum, by Saxo Grammaticus, which has recently been entirely translated into English for the first time.

The Rewriting of History in Amin Maalouf’s The Crusades Through Arab Eyes

crusades through arab eyes

I argue that while Maalouf brilliantly deconstructs the Western image of the Crusades as a heroic time by documenting the barbarity of the Crusaders without falling into the pitfall of simply inverting the terms of the dichotomy, the agenda driving his rewriting of this historical period leads him to partially repeat what his book is supposed to undo

‘God helped thee; The eagle got food afresh’: Norse Crusaders and the Pleasure of Killing

King Sigurd and his men ride into Miklagard by Gerhard Munthe.

The men of the north are often depicted in the Norse sagas as taking great pleasure in killing, even doing it for no good reason

Ten Unusual Things during the First Crusade

Godfrey of Bouillon slaying a bear, f. 41v. Sébastien Mamerot, Les Passages d’Outremer, Fr. 5594, BnF

The First Crusade was one of the most written about events during the Middle Ages. Many Christian writers, including some who took part in the pilgrimage/campaign, left detailed accounts of what happened. They sometimes also included some more unusual tales, ranging from battles with bears to sitting on a throne when you are not supposed to.

Embracing Death, Celebrating Life: Reflections on the Concept of Martyrdom in the Order of the Knights Templar

Detail of a miniature of the burning of the Grand Master of the Templars and another Templar. From the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis, BL Royal MS 20 C vii f. 48r

Although research on the concept of martyrdom during the era of the Crusades has gained considerable prominence, it has rarely been applied to the Knights Templar. This is surprising, as the Templars were the first military order and paved the way for a new monastic development; they were devoted to warfare only; and they, together with the other military orders, but unlike most Crusaders, established a permanent presence in the hostile environment of the Holy Land, consequently facing the threat of death both regularly and frequently.

A Comparative Analysis of the Concepts of Holy War and the Idealized Topos of Holy Warrior In Medieval Anatolian And European Sources

story of the crusaders

This thesis focuses on the relations between the idea of holy war and the portrayals of holy warriors in medieval narratives composed by those in the service of power-holders.

Hero or Villain?: Two views on Simon de Montfort, Crusade Leader

Death of Simon de Montfort

There is perhaps no better medieval example of the phase ‘Truth is in the eye of the beholder’ than these two versions of the death of Simon de Montfort, the leader of the crusaders during the Albigensian Crusade.

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