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.

New Books on the Crusades

new books crusades

Looking for the latest books about the Crusades? Check out our list of ten recently published books…

How far were the Military Orders responsible for the results of the Third Crusade?

Gerard de Ridefort and his troops

In order to assess how responsible the Military Orders were for the results of the Third Crusade this article will be structured by the analysis of three key areas in which they played a part; the siege of Acre, the march to Jaffa and their other military contributions, and their role as councillors to King Richard I of England.

Lasting Falls and Wishful Recoveries: Crusading in the Black Sea Region after the Fall of Constantinople

16th century map of the Black Sea

This paper examines the Black Sea question in the second half of the 15th century, with special emphasis on crusading and religious questions.

Crusading Warfare, Chivalry, and the Enslavement of Women and Children

"Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099", (oil on canvas), Signol, Emile (1804-92) / Château de Versailles, France / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library

The subject of the treatment of prisoners taken in crusading warfare, long neglected, has attracted considerable interest in the last fifteen years, but more can still be said, particularly on the ways in which crusaders dealt with their enemies’ women and children, the archetypal non-combatants.

Rethinking the Crusades

Gustave Dore crusades battle

Today, the Crusade influence can be seen across the world in novels, movies, sport teams and even restaurants.

The Expansion of Christendom: Crusading in Northern Europe, 1147 – 1415

Teutonic Knights - by Wojciech Kossak (1857–1942)

Between 1147 and 1415 holy wars raged in the lands on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe.

Byzantium and the First Crusade: Three Avenues of Approach

Godfrey of Bouillon before the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus in Constantinople, 1097. Painting by Alexandre Hesse.

A recurring theme in the historiography of the First Crusade is that of the Byzantine emperor asking Pope Urban to send a small contingent against the Turks and receiving instead vast armies over which he had no control

‘Far is Rome from Lcohlong’: Gaels and Scandinavians on Pilgrimage and Crusade, c. 1000 – c. 1300

Map of Europe in 1603 by Abraham Ortelius

To what extent was the Mediterranean terra incognita to the inhabitants of the fringes of northwestern Europe – Gaels and Scandinavians – in the central Middle Ages?

Templars, Hospitallers, and 12th-Century Popes: The Maltese Evidence

Templars Hospitallers and 12th-Century Popes The Maltese Evidence

To date, scholars have cataloged approximately 1,000 pre-1198 papal documents for Templars and Hospitallers, including deperdita (lost documents, inferred from other, still existing documents), as well as forgeries and falsifications.

The German Crusade of 1197-1198

Reconquest of Beirut, Alexandre Hesse, 1842

This article reconsiders the significance of the German Crusade of 1197-8, often dismissed as a very minor episode in the history of the Crusading movement.

The Crusades: A Very Brief History, 1095-1500

crusaders capture antioch - The Hague, KB, KA 20 fol. 255r

In this chapter, I trace the contours of the specific types of violent religious conflict always immanent within the historical structure of medieval war.

Infidel Dogs: Hunting Crusaders with Usama ibn Munqidh

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

Few works of medieval Arabic literature are as valuable to the student of Islamic perspectives on the Crusades as the Kitab al-I tibar or Book of Learning by Example by the Syrian warrior and man-of-letters Usama ibn Munqidh (1095–1188).

Satiric Vulgarity in Guibert de Nogent’s Gesta Dei per Francos

Gesta Dei per Francos

Attempts to characterize Guibert de Nogent (1053-1121) generally focus upon his Autobiography, not on his history of the First Crusade.

It’s too hot! I’m hungry! : The Challenges of Going on Crusade

Crusaders arrive at Constantinople

The journey to the Holy Land by crusaders was often a perilous trip. However, the biggest fear for many crusaders was that the climate would be dangerously hot for them.

These are some of the findings of Joanna Phillips, who spoke earlier this week at the Institute of Historical Research. Her paper, ‘Marching on their Stomachs? Crusader Marches to the Holy Land in the Twelfth Century’ dealt with issues related to food, health and travel during the crusades in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Islamophobia, the First Crusade and the Expansion of Christendom to Islamic World

first crusade battle

Through the description of the First Crusade, mostly from the Western sources, this paper is intended to show that it was the Pope who systematically sown the seeds of Islamophobia among Western Christians so that they will realise his vision of expanding his Imperial Christendom to the Islamic World.

Access is Power: Financing the Second Crusade in France

12th century Charter France - possibly related to the Second Crusade

I will suggest an explanation for why historians have been slow to use land charters as a primary source for the history of the crusades.

‘De civitatis utriusque, terrenae scilicet et caelestis’: Foundation Narratives and the Epic Portrayal of the First Crusade

Siege of Antioch - from a 15th-century miniature painting.

My summary of a paper given at the Institute of Historical research on the accounts of Antioch and Jerusalem during the First Crusade.

Strange Bedfellows : The Rise of the Military Religious Orders in the Twelfth Century

Military and religious life in the Middle Ages and at the period of the Renaissance (1870)

Although they were devout members of a pacifist religion, they were also its dominant military force. By the most basic tenants of Christianity, the Military Orders should never have existed.

Book Review: Knight of Jerusalem: a Biographical Novel of Balian d’Ibelin

Knight of Jerusalem

Knight of Jerusalem is not simply an academic work of history dressed up as fiction – it is a well-plotted, tightly written tale that vividly depicts the life and times of an intrinsically interesting historical figure.

What Remains: Women, Relics and Remembrance in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade - the capture of Constantinople

After the fall of Constantinople to the Latin Crusaders in 1204 hundreds of relics were carried into the West as diplomatic gifts, memorabilia and tokens of victory. Yet many relics were alsosent privately between male crusaders and their spouses and female kin.

Anatomy of a Crusade: The De Expugnatione Lyxbonensi and the Lisbon Crusade of 1147

The Conquest of Lisbon painting by Alfredo Roque Gameiro (1917)

This paper will argue that the author crafted the speeches largely after the fact, and that Raol was able to graft ecclesiastical crusade theory onto the siege. In effect, he was able to marry a military success to the growing body of crusade propaganda.

The (Attempted) Alliance of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Valdemar II of Denmark: the Infante Fernando’s Marriage Reconsidered

King Alfonso VIII 'the Noble' of Castile

This paper presents the evidence for a lost marriage alliance between Castile and Denmark, contextualizes the marriage within the larger framework of Alfonso VIII’s international relations, and finally, demonstrates that the match can help to underscore the importance of crusading lineages in the affairs of the Castilian royal family.

The Floating State: Trade Embargoes and the Rise of a New Venetian State

Neptune offering gifts to Venice - Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

This paper was given by Georg Christ and examined embargoes and state formation in the late medieval and early modern period in Venice.

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