Course Description: The military campaigns that comprised the Crusades lasted only two centuries, but their impact on Middle Eastern and European cultures was far more lasting, and the post-medieval legacy of the Crusades continues to be a matter of debate. This course focuses on the European military expeditions to the Levant between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, attempting to understand these events and their consequences from a number of perspectives by studying firsthand accounts by Eastern as well as Western Christians, as well as Muslims and Jews. Because a main goal of the class will be to reconstruct the worlds of the crusaders (the world they came from, as well as the world they made in the Levant), students will also gain some familiarity with medieval European society, the history of the Holy Land, medieval Christianity and Islam, theories of holy war in each faith tradition, and the history of interfaith relations.
Since the First Crusade was a watershed moment in the history of the crusading movement, and later crusades were inspired by this venture’s astonishing success, we will study this event in detail from a variety of perspectives. We will then consider the conceptual and geographical expansion of crusading that led to the deployment of crusades against a wide variety of non-Muslim groups. The course will end by considering the long-term consequences of the Crusades for Europe and the Near East, and assessing the different uses – historical, political, religious – of the Crusades in the modern era.
Goals of the Course: All students in the class will:
become familiar with the history of the medieval crusading movement;
refine their analytical skills by analyzing a variety of primary sources, both orally and in formal and informal written assignments;
engage with major historiographical debates related to the Crusades;
and carry out an independent research project that showcases their critical thinking and writing skills, and demonstrates mastery of relevant history and historiography.
Class Format: Since this is meant to be a seminar-style class, most of our class time will be given over to group discussion of assigned readings in which everyone is expected to participate. There are a number of ways to join the conversation in class; you might make notes of questions that come up in the course of doing that day’s reading assignment, underline a passage in one of the sources that you think we should examine more carefully, or respond to comments or questions raised by your colleagues in the class.
Texts: The four required texts below are available for purchase at the campus bookstore.
* S.J. Allen and Emilie Amt, eds., The Crusades: A Reader (University of Toronto Press, 2003) ISBN: 1442600020 (=Allen & Amt)
* Jill Claster, Sacred Violence: The European Crusades to the Middle East, 1095-1396 (University of Toronto Press, 2009) ISBN: 1442600608 (=Claster)
* Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades (Oxford University Press, 2001) ISBN: 0192854283 (=OIHC)
* History 307 Course Reader (= CR)
Requirements and Evaluation:
All students are required to attend class regularly and participate in discussions and activities, write three reflection pieces (1½-2 pages each), two short essays (5 pages each), and complete a final project (consisting of an annotated bibliography, an in-class presentation, and a final paper of 8-10 pages).
1) Class Participation (including attendance): Students are required to attend class meetings and to keep up with all reading assignments so that they can participate in discussions and activities. Class discussion is not a spectator sport! Your participation grade will reflect not merely your physical presence in the classroom, but your level of engagement with the material. Be advised that than more than 2 unexcused absences in the course of the semester will adversely affect your participation grade, and that coming to class more than 15 minutes late constitutes an absence for that day. I reserve the right to withdraw members of the class for excessive absences (normally defined as more than 5 unexcused absences), so please inform me in advance if you know you will need to miss class for a legitimate reason.
2) Three Reflection Pieces: These short pieces of writing should reflect on an issue or question derived from the reading assigned for the day on which the pieces are due. Everyone will be assigned to a letter group (A-E) during the first class, and your reflection pieces will be due on the days marked with this letter in the syllabus. Pick 3 out of your 4 letter-days to write reflection pieces. No late reflection pieces will be accepted, as the purpose of these is to map out discussion directions for particular classes. See the handout from the first class for details on these assignments.
3) Two Short Essays: These assignments will ask you to develop close readings of primary sources that are historically-minded and informed by your knowledge of modern scholarship. The first is due Monday, Feb. 14th and the second Friday, March 25th. The first essay will ask you to evaluate the First Crusade as a spiritual, military, and/or political venture. The second essay will ask you to develop a contextualized close reading of a primary source of your choice, and you are particularly encouraged to choose a source you will use in your final paper. More detailed explanations of each assignment will be handed out in class two weeks prior to the due dates.
4) Final Project: Topics for final projects will be chosen in consultation with the instructor during the first half of the semester, and research and writing time is built into the class schedule, especially in the second half of the semester when the reading load is lighter. I will distribute a list of possible topics and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources early in the semester to help you start thinking. The final project has three components: a) an annotated bibliography of at least three primary sources and five secondary sources, due on Friday, April 7th; b) an 8-minute in-class presentation of research during one of the last three class meetings; and c) a final paper of 8-10 typed, double-spaced pages, during May 10th in lieu of a final exam.
(See the next page for a breakdown of the final grade)
Breakdown of Final Grade:
Reflection Pieces 12% (4% each)
Short Essays 28% (14% each)
Annotated Bib. 12%
Final Paper 28%
Schedule of Classes(Readings are listed below the class for which they are due, and in the recommended order)
(Tues) Jan. 18th – Introduction Origins of the Crusading Movement
(Thurs) Jan. 20th – Theorizing Holy War (A)
- Claster, xi-xix
- Allen & Amt, nos. 2-4, 6
(CR, 1-10) Carole Hillenbrand, “Jihad in the Period 493-569/1100-1174,” in The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (Routledge, 2000), 89-97.
(Tues) Jan. 25th – The East Before the First Crusade (B)
- Claster, 3-25
- Allen & Amt, nos. 1, 10-11
(CR, 11-19) John France, “The Destruction of Jerusalem and the First Crusade,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 47 (1996): 1-17.
(Thurs) Jan. 27th – Western Europe Before the First Crusade (C)
- Claster, 29-34
- Allen & Amt, nos. 8-9
- Marcus Bull, “Origins,” in OIHC, 13-33.
The First Crusade (1095-99)
(Tues.) Feb. 1st – The Pope’s Call (D)
- Claster, 34-39
- Allen & Amt, no. 12
(CR, 20-26) H.E.J. Cowdrey, “Pope Urban II’s Preaching of the First Crusade,” History 55 (1970): 177-88; repr. in The Crusades: Essential Readings, ed. Thomas F. Madden (Blackwell, 2002), 15-30.
(Thurs.) Feb. 3rd – The Journey East Begins (E)
- Claster, 39-59
- Allen & Amt, nos. 13-16
- Jonathan Riley-Smith, “The State of Mind of Crusaders to the East,” in OIHC, 68-89
(Tues.) Feb. 8th – From Nicaea to Antioch (A)
- Claster, 61-80
- Allen & Amt, nos. 17-19
(CR, 27-37) Margaret Jubb, “The Crusaders’ Perceptions of their Opponents,” in Palgrave Advances in the Crusades, ed. Helen Nicholson (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005), 225-44.
(Thurs.) Feb. 10th – Jerusalem: The End of the Road (B)
- Claster, 80-95
- Allen & Amt, nos. 20-22
- Robert Irwin, “Islam and the Crusades, 1096-1699,” in OIHC, 217-28 only
**First Short Essay due Monday, Feb. 14th by 3pm in my office**
(see handout for details of the assignment)
The World the Crusaders Made in the East
(Tues.) Feb. 15th – Consolidating Christian Rule (C)
- Claster, 99-116
- Allen & Amt, nos. 23-26
(CR, 38-53) Benjamin Kedar, “The Subjected Muslims of the Frankish Levant,” in Muslims Under Latin Rule, 1100-1300, ed. James M. Powell (Princeton University Press, 1990), 135-74; repr. in The Crusades: Essential Readings, ed. Madden, 233-64.
(Thurs.) Feb. 17th – The Culture of the Twelfth-Century Levant (D)
- Claster, 116-30, 163-68
- Allen & Amt, nos. 29-32
- Jaroslav Folda, “Art in the Latin East, 1098-1291,” in OIHC, 141-59
(Tues.) Feb. 22nd – The Military Orders (E)
- Claster, 131-44
- Allen & Amt, nos. 49-50
- Alan Forey, “The Military Orders, 1120-1312,” in OIHC, 184-211 only
Resurgent Islam (1144-1192)
(Thurs) Feb. 24th – The Second Crusade (A)
- Claster, 144-61
- Allen & Amt, nos. 33-36, 38
- Robert Irwin, “Islam and the Crusades, 1096-1699,” in OIHC, 228-31 only
(Tues) March 1st – The Rise of Saladin (B)
- Claster, 168-81 (skim), 181-95
- Allen & Amt, nos. 39-41
(CR, 54-65) Carole Hillenbrand, “Jihad in the Period from the Death of Nur al-Din until the Fall of Acre,” in The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives, 171-92.
(Thurs) March 3rd – The Third Crusade (C)
- Claster, 195-96, 201-11
- Allen & Amt, nos. 42-44
(CR, 66-73) Helen Nicholson, “Women on the Third Crusade,” Journal of Medieval History 23/4
Mapping out the Final Projects
(Tues) March 8th – Library Class (meet in Library, room 118)
Peggy Burge will host a session designed to introduce you to print and electronic resources relevant to the history of the Crusades. You’ll get the most out of the session if you spend some time looking over the list of possible topics and bibliography and thinking about possible research topics beforehand.
(Thurs) March 10th – Individual Meetings on Research Topics
We won’t meet as a group today, but everyone will sign up for individual meetings to discuss their research projects.
March 14th-18th – Spring Break (no classes)
Expanding the Definition of Crusading
(Tues) March 22nd – The Ambitions of Innocent III (D)
- Claster, 211-23
- Allen & Amt, nos. 56-58, 60, 62
(CR, 74-87) Norman Housley, “Crusades Against Christians: Their Origins and Early Development, c.1000-1216,” in Crusade and Settlement, ed. Peter Edbury (University College Cardiff Press, 1985), 17-36; repr. in The Crusades: Essential Readings, ed. Thomas F. Madden (Blackwell, 2002), 71-97.
(Thurs) March 24th – The Crusades of Frederick II (E)
- Claster, 223-47
- Allen & Amt, nos. 63, 71-73
(CR, 88-101) James M. Powell, “Church and Crusade: Frederick II and Louis IX,” Catholic Historical Review 93 (2007): 251-64.
**Second Short Essay due Friday, March 25th by 3pm in my office**
(see handout for details of the assignment)
(Tues) March 29th – The Crusades of Louis IX (A)
- Claster, 247-66
- Allen & Amt, nos. 51, 84-85
(Thurs) March 31st – Crusading, Conquest, and Conversion (B)
- Claster, 267-81
- Allen & Amt, nos. 64-66, 74, 77-78
(CR, 102-18) R.A. Fletcher, “Reconquest and Crusade in Spain c. 1050-1150,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th ser. 37 (1987): 31-47.
(Tues) April 5th – Research Time (no class)
(Thurs) April 7th – The End of the Crusader States (C)
- Forey, “The Military Orders,” in OIHC, 211-16 only
- Allen & Amt, nos. 88, 90-92, 94
**Annotated Bibliographies are due Friday, April 7th by 3pm in my office**
(See handout for details on the assignment)
Contested Legacies of the Crusades
(Tues) April 12th – Crusading after the Crusades (D)
- Claster, 301-11
- Housley, “The Crusading Movement, 1274-1700,” in OIHC, 268-93 only
- Allen & Amt, nos. 102-04
(Thurs) April 15th – Research and Writing Time (no class)
(Tues) April 19th – Into the Modern Age (E)
- Claster, 311-18
- Elizabeth Siberry, “Images of the Crusades in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” in OIHC, 265-85
- Riley-Smith, “Revival and Survival,” in OIHC, 386-90
(Thurs) April 21st – Research and Writing Time (no class)
Use this time to keep working on drafts and prepare for the upcoming presentations. I will be available for individual consultations if anyone needs help with any aspect of their project.
Presentations of Final Projects
Our last three class meetings will be devoted to oral presentations of the final projects, with 6-7 presentations of per class. Everyone will be assigned to a panel with 2-3 other speakers working on related topics, and 2 panels will present on each day, with each speaker allotted 8 minutes. In addition to presenting on one of these days, each student will serve as either a session chair or a respondent. See the handout on presentations for more details. (Tues) April 26th – Panels 1-2
(Thurs) April 28th – Panels 3-4
(Tues) May 3rd – Panels 5-6
**Final Papers will be due on Tuesday, May 10th by 3pm in my office**
(see handout for a check-list of what needs to be turned in)