Course Code
HIST 0190
Course Type
Subject Credit
Course Availability

Between the Council of Clermont in 1095 and the final collapse of western holdings in the Levant at the end of the thirteenth, thousands of western European Christians ‘took the Cross’ to ‘liberate the Holy Places from the infidel’. The uttermost heights of piety combined with the very worst kinds of violence, greed and ambition; both Christendom and the geo-politics of the Mediterranean were transformed; and crusading ideology spread far beyond its original target. The combination of huge, fundamental and still topical issues; a wealth of engaging Latin, Byzantine and Islamic sources (in translation); and a lively set of historiographical debates make the Crusades one of the most fascinating topics in medieval history.  

Sample Syllabus

  • Just War, Holy War & the Peace of God: Crusading Origins
  • God Wills It! The First Crusade
  • The Second Crusade: Failure and Consequences
  • The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Latin Principalities
  • More Failure? The Third and Fourth Crusades
  • The ‘Other Crusades’: Iberia, the Baltic, Italy and France
  • Permanent Crusading in the Thirteenth Century
  • Mongols, Mamluks and the Fall of Outremer

Introductory Reading

  • Riley-Smith, J. (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995 etc.
  • Jotischky, A., Crusading and the Crusader States. Harlow: Pearson Longman, 2004
  • Tyerman, C., God’s War: A New History of the Crusades. London: Allen Lane, 2006
  • Hillenbrand, C., The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2nd edn, 1999
  • Riley-Smith, J. & L. (eds), The Crusades: Ideal and Reality 1095-1274. London: Edward Arnold, 1981
  • Gabrieli, F. (ed. & trans.), Arab Historians of the Crusades. London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969