This book investigates the ways in which the crusades have been observed by historians from the 1090s to the present day. Especial emphasis is placed on the academic after-life of the crusades from the sixteenth to twenty-first centuries. The use of the crusade and its history, by humanists and other contemporary writers, occupied a world of polemic, serving parochial religious, cultural and political functions. Since the Renaissance humanists and Reformation controversialists, one attraction of the crusades had lain in their scope: recruited from all western nations, motivated by apparently transcendent belief systems and fought across three continents. From the perspective of western Europe's engagement with the rest of the globe from the sixteenth century, the crusades provided the only post-classical example to hand of an ideological and military world war. Remarkably, the patterns of analysis of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century have scarcely gone away: empathy; disapproval; relevance; the role of religion; materialist reductionism. Despite the explosion of literary attention, behind the empathetic romanticism of Michaud or the criticism of Mills and Scott, the themes identified by Thomas Fuller, Claude Fleury, David Hume, Edward Gibbon and William Robertson persisted. The idea of the crusades as explicit precursors to modern events, either as features of teleological historical progress or as parallels to modern actions remains potent. The combination of ideology, action, change, European conquest and religious fanaticism acted as a contrast or a comparison with the tone of revolutionary and reactionary politics.

Abstract only
Philip M. Taylor

Chapter 7 The Crusades It is with the Crusades that the study of war propaganda is provided with the most fertile evidence to date. The knights of the first (People’s) crusade, advocated by Pope Urban II in a sermon at Clermont in 1095, had little idea of their Muslim opponents, other than they were heathens. The crusade was a holy war authorized by the Pope in the name of Christ and, as such, was justified or legitimate violence. It was around this rather simplistic point that atrocity propaganda was constructed, although events such as the burning of the

in Munitions of the Mind
Christopher Tyerman

8 Definitions and directions In the past sixty years, the study of the crusades has flourished as never before, now the subject of courses at major universities from the eastern Mediterranean to the western seaboard of North America to the Antipodes. Research has reached far beyond traditional confines and occupies the attention of dozens of scholars worldwide. An international society, The Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East, was founded in 1980. It boasts over 400 members from thirty countries, dwarfing its nineteenthcentury predecessor

in The Debate on the Crusades
Some medieval views of the crusades
Christopher Tyerman

1 ‘The greatest event since the Resurrection’: some medieval views of the crusades The very first narrative accounts of the crusades were composed by participants on the First Crusade itself. They were contained in letters sent to the west in 1097–99, culminating in the carefully edited and pointed version prepared for the pope by the crusade leadership in September 1099, the first surviving history.1 Although composed by eyewitnesses, these letters were formal exercises designed to construct didactic stories to explain to their audience the providential

in The Debate on the Crusades
Abstract only
Christopher Tyerman

INTRODUCTION Few events of European history have captured the sentiments of contemporaries and the imaginations of later observers more vividly than the series of Christian wars now known as the crusades. At least from the capture of Jerusalem by an army of western Europeans in July 1099, if not before, this particular exercise in holy violence has attracted diverse interpretations from promoters, historians and theologians, from religious enthusiasts and from their critics. As wars regarded by their instigators as religious acts nonetheless directed at securing

in The Debate on the Crusades
Reformation, revision, texts and nations 1500–1700
Christopher Tyerman

2 ‘The rendez vous of cracked brains’?1 Reformation, revision, texts and nations 1500–1700 Two of the mainstays of fifteenth-century writing on the crusades were challenged and recast in the century that followed. Responses to holy war, past and present, to regain Jerusalem or repulse the Ottoman, were compromised by new religious divisions that reconfigured much of the intellectual as well as political and confessional map of Christendom, leading, in Fernand Braudel’s terms, to a transition from a period of ‘external’ wars of faith, such as the crusades, to

in The Debate on the Crusades
Keeping the crusades up to date
Christopher Tyerman

4 Empathy and materialism: keeping the crusades up to date During a course of lectures delivered in Munich in 1855, Heinrich von Sybel (1817–95) reflected on writers on the crusades. He had made his name a decade and a half earlier demolishing the reputation of William of Tyre and Albert of Aachen as reliable sources for the First Crusade and now suggested that ‘every new commentator must find fresh subject for interest and instruction according to his own requirements and inclinations’.1 The legacy of the Enlightenment had established the crusades as a

in The Debate on the Crusades
A disputed Enlightenment
Christopher Tyerman

3 Reason, faith and progress: a disputed Enlightenment It served the didactic and rhetorical purposes of early nineteenthcentury enthusiasts to characterise the previous century’s attitudes to the crusades as uniformly hostile or ignorant, at least until William Robertson’s reappraisal in his History of the Reign of Charles V (1769). Superficially, they had a point. Fashionable and influential eighteenth-century intellectuals, even more than their predecessors, tended to use the crusade not as a historical study in its own right but as a tool in conceptual

in The Debate on the Crusades
Christopher Tyerman

7 Erdmann, Runciman and the end of tradition? The two most influential books on the crusades written in the twentieth century could hardly have been more different, the one academic, conceptually seminal, the preserve of scholars; the other literary, conceptually nugatory and a world bestseller. The writer of the first died obscurely and young, in the unwelcome military service of a despotic, disapproving regime he despised; the writer of the second lived to be ninety-seven, bathed in golden opinions and laden with public honours, a multi-millionaire. Separated

in The Debate on the Crusades
Christopher Tyerman

5 Scholarship, politics and the ‘golden age’ of research A generation after Michaud’s death, the creation of an academic society devoted to crusade studies, La Société de l’Orient Latin, bore witness to a transformation of the subject. Founded by the wealthy gentleman scholar Paul Riant (1835–88), the Society produced two initial volumes of research materials, the Archives de l’Orient Latin, in 1881 and 1884 as well as later sponsoring publication of texts and producing a regular if short-lived Revue de l’Orient Latin (12 volumes, 1893–1911). Contributors to

in The Debate on the Crusades