The Crusades and the Near East: Cultural Histories, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Crusades and the Near East

Cultural Histories, 1st Edition

Edited by Conor Kostick


288 pages

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The crusades are often seen as epitomising a period when hostility between Christian West and the Muslim Near East reached an all time high. As this edited volume reveals, however, the era was one which saw both conflict and cohabitation.

Tackling such questions as whether medicinal and architectural innovations came to Europe as a direct result of the Crusades, and why and how peace treaties and intermarriages were formed between the different cultures, this distinguished group of contributors reveal how the Holy Wars led on the one hand to a reinforcement of the beliefs and identities of each side, but on the other to a growing level of cultural exchange and interaction. This volume breaks new ground in not only exploring the conflict between the Christian and the Muslim worlds, but also the impact of this conflict on the cultural evolution of European and Near Eastern thought and practices. Utilising the latest scholarship and original studies of the sources, this survey sheds new light on the cultural realities of East-West relations and marks a new departure for studies of the crusades.

Contributors include John France, Yehoshua Frenkel, Chris Wright, Natasha Hodgson, A.V. Murray, Sini Kangas, Léan Ní Chléirigh, Susan Edgington, Jürgen Krüger, Yvonne Friedman and Bernard Hamilton.


'The articles published here aim to explore a relatively neglected area: the cultural history of the Crusades and how they shaped European identities. All ten are lively and accessible but they are also exhaustively footnoted. They both synthesise previous work and bring new insights of their own … So while this book will be of interest to researchers in the field, it will also be useful for teaching the crusades especially to those teachers who wish to go beyond the stereotyped ‘clash of cultures’ and explore complexity and diversity in the ways that human societies interact.' – Jonathan Harris, Reviews in History

'Conor Kostick should be congratulated for gathering such a stimulating, varied yet unified collection.' - Christopher Tyerman, Hertford College, University of Oxford, UK

'Kostick has produced a useful collection that shows how much and how little the Crusades impacted on all the peoples involved. The articles should be useful to anyone who needs to know that the Crusades were never an all-or-nothing proposition." - Laurence W. Marvin, Canadian Journal of History

'A volume that spans subjects as diverse as warfare, propaganda, diplomacy, medicine, architecture, literature, and "national identity." Refreshingly, the volume embraces a range of perspectives - not only the Latin/Frankish one but also Byzantine, Islamic, and even Armenian… The essays themselves will certainly be useful to graduate students and scholars who are focusing on the Crusades.' - Brian A. Catlos, Religious Studies Review

Table of Contents

Introduction Conor Kostick 1. Warfare in the Mediterranean Region in the Age of the Crusades 1095-1291: A Clash of Contrasts John France 2. Muslim Responses to the Frankish Dominion in the Near East (1098-1291) Yehoshua Frenkel 3. The Crusades and the Byzantine Empire Chris Wright 4. Conflict and cohabitation: marriage and diplomacy between Latins and Cilician Armenians c.1097-1253 Natasha Hodgson 5. National Identity, Regional Identity and Language in the Crusades to the Holy Land, 1096-1192 A.V. Murray 6. Inimicus Dei et Sancti Christianitatis? Saracens and their Prophet in Twelfth-century Crusade Propaganda and Western Travesties of Muhammad’s Life Sini Kangas 7. Western perceptions of the Byzantine Empire in the aftermath of the First Crusade Léan Ní Chléirigh 8. Oriental and Occidental Medicine in the Crusader States Susan Edgington 9. Architecture of the crusaders in the Holy Land: the First European Colonial Architecture? Jürgen Krüger 10. Peacemaking: Perceptions and Practices in the Medieval Latin East Yvonne Friedman Afterward Bernard Hamilton

About the Editor

Conor Kostick teaches on the crusades at Trinity College Dublin. A former winner of the Dublinia Medieval Essay Competition and holder of a Trinity College Gold Medal, his historical works include The Social Structure of the First Crusade (2008) and The Siege of Jerusalem (2009).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Medieval