How should we read the Crusades? The question begs a host of others, not least how do we read them, in the light of how we have read them in the past.
Students of medieval frontiers spend much of their time explaining how the ambiguous and multiple boundaries they study were very different in many important respects from the normative and singular national borders we live with in the present day. Medieval Frontiers is the third recent collection in English on this subject.
On 13 April 1204 the western or Latin armies participating in the Fourth Crusade conquered Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium. The approaching 800th anniversary of that event has generated renewed interest in the background, context and impact of that crusade, expressed in several new studies and in conferences.
In 1992 a conference was held at Reading to study the changing relations between England and Normandy that resulted from the conquest of 1066.(1) Some ten years later, after a period of intense historical investigation, a colloque at Cerisy-la-Salle re-examined the questions raised at Reading and assessed the ways in which historical understanding of t
Many scholars have thought to write a full presentation of the relations between the Catholic West and the Mongol Empire during the Middle Ages. It is a demanding task. The author should be specialised in many areas, know many languages, and he or she has to fit his or her presentation into a world historical context.
This is a splendid book, weighty, richly documented and densely argued. The title might suggest a book of focused, perhaps rather limited scope.
The re-periodisation of European history achieved in the last few decades is now complete in all but name. The idea of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries as a uniquely formative period for the creation of a European identity no longer surprises academic readers.
This book is the result of a bold and innovative research project funded between 1999 and 2002 by the then Arts and Humanities Research Board, with further funds provided subsequently by a number of scholarly institutions. The preface further acknowledges the support of a glittering array of scholars, not least Geoffrey Parker who read through the entire draft.
Fighting for the Cross introduces the subject of crusading by exploring the experiences and ideas of individual crusaders travelling to the Holy Land between 1095 and 1291.