The Crusades, 1095-1204


Why study the Crusades?  Although not the first clash between East and West, of Christianity and Islam, it was the first originated by a call to arms by the Pope himself.  It has left behind a heritage of brutality and fanaticism.  To understand the legacy of this series of events (the first four Crusades), and why religion was not the only driving force behind them, we will examine the calls to arms by four popes, the motivations of those who joined, the impact on Jews who lived along the crusading route, the effect of Western Christian militarism on Eastern Christianity, the occupation of the Holy Land by foreign forces, and the successful counterattack of the Muslims.  Our core book is by Jonathan Phillips, a highly respected British scholar, who has made the Crusades the main subject of his recent research.

Weekly Topics

1.  Introduction and First Crusade

2.  Establishment and Settlement of the Christian State

3.  The Military Orders (Templars and Hospitallers) and the Second Crusade

4.  Warfare, Strategy, and the Rise of Nur ad-Din

5.  Government, Religion and Pilgrimages

6.  The Rise of Saladin and the Third Crusade

7.  The Fourth Crusade and Conclusion


Jonathan Phillips, The Crusades, 1095-1204, second edition (Routledge paperback)