Encyclopedia Library Reference Teaching Media Site Links Search About Home
ORB Masthead with site navigation toolbar; see bottom 
of page for text version of toolbar

Course Syllabus UW-Milwaukee Department of History

History 448-319 Se 001
The Era of the Crusades
Fall 1996 (Semester I, 1996-97)
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:45 PM Holton G90

Instructor: Mr. Crawford
Office: Holton 381 Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 3:00-3:30 PM
Office Phone: (414) 229-6483 Home Phone: (608) 862-1014
Email: pcrawfor@students.wisc.edu

Course Description: This course will trace the phenomenon of the Crusades from their roots in the 7th century to their influence on the 20th century, with special attention to the Crusades to the Holy Land in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, and the immediate aftermath of those Crusades. Music, art and architecture will be used to enhance students' understanding of the Crusades and their milieu. The Crusades will be presented in the context of contemporaneous European events, without which they cannot be fully comprehended.

Books: Required: Riley-Smith, Jonathan, The Crusades, New Haven & London, 1987 [hereafter Text]; Riley-Smith, Jonathan, What Were the Crusades?, 2nd ed., Macmillan, 1992; M. R. B. Shaw, trans., Joinville & Villehardouin: chronicles of the Crusades, Baltimore, 1963.

Recommended: Riley-Smith, Jonathan, ed., The Atlas of the Crusades, New York & Oxford, 1991; Keen, Maurice, The Pelican History of Medieval Europe, New York, 1968.

Additional Reading: See entries under each week, below. Additional readings are on reserve in the library; students may wish to photocopy them for convenience' sake.

Exams, Attendance Policy, and Other Requirements: There will be a mid-semester exam worth 100; a final exam worth 200 points (comprehensive); and a 10-25 page paper worth 100 points (see Paper Requirements, below). A portion of the final exam may be replaced by participation in a debate panel (see Debate Requirements, below).
Grades will be adjusted as much as +/- 5%, depending on attendance and participation. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class; one unexcused absence per semester will be allowed; further absences will damage the student's grade.
    The standard college grade scale will be used for exams, papers, and final grades: 90-100%, A; 80-89%, B; 70-79%, C; 60-69%, D; 59% and below, F.
    Late work (papers and exams) will not generally be accepted unless prior arrangement has been made with the instructor, or the student has suffered a genuine and unforeseen emergency. Be sure to contact the instructor in advance if you know you will have a problem meeting a deadline or being present for an exam. Students who think they need special accommodations in order to meet course requirements should see the instructor at the beginning of the semester.
    The class may be dropped, with the approval of the instructor or the Department, through the eighth week of classes. Courses dropped after the fourth week will remain on the student's transcript with a grade of "W." Drops after the eighth week are discouragedÀ"Àsee the instructor if you believe this is necessary.

Paper Requirements: Each student will write a 10-25 page paper on a crusade-related topic. Consult the instructor before beginning work; he may be able to save you much time and effort with suggestions on how best to proceed.
    Papers must be typewritten or produced on a word processor, and must be legible. They must be double-spaced, with margins of at least one inch. In style and format they should conform to standard academic usage; for detailed guidance see Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.
    Note: Citations must be made in proper style. For medieval history this means that proper footnotes must be usedÀ"ÀMLA style parenthetical notes are not acceptable and will cause the student's paper to be downgraded. Consult a standard medieval work such as Sir Steven Runciman's A History of the Crusades; the Wisconsin History of the Crusades, edited by Kenneth M. Setton; or journals such as Speculum, English Historical Review, Catholic Historical Review, etc. for examples of proper footnoting procedures.
    Paper topics are due at the end of class on Thursday, October 10; students will turn in about a paragraph sketching the topic they intend to work with. Papers are due at the end of class on Tuesday, November 26 (the last class before Thanksgiving recess).

*Note: One essay written for this class has now been expanded to appear in ORB's section on the Military Orders.

Debate Requirements: On December 5, up to six students may participate in a panel discussion/debate of the question: "Were the Crusades justified?" Half of the panelists must take a more or less positive position; half must take an approximately negative position.
    This question will appear on the final exam; debate panelists will be excused from answering it, and will have their performance in the debate graded instead.
    Students wishing to sign up for one or another side in the debate should see the instructor by the first exam (October 31). Note that debaters must do more than express mere opinions; positions must be carefully researched, and debaters must display command of the material. The position which is chosen need not represent the individual's own personal views; it may be chosen for any reason, but must be defended seriously.
    Further instructions for the format of the debate will be given later.

Primary Sources: Many of the readings below are primary sources, accounts written at or near the time of the events in question. A few of these sources may be found on the World Wide Web's Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies (ORB), at:

    Source texts are contained in the Internet Medieval Sourcebook section of ORB, under "The Flowering of Latin Christendom/Crusades." Students may enjoy exploring all of ORB; it is a rather useful site.

Discussion Sessions: Most lectures will conclude with a discussion period.

Lecture Outline:

1. Sept. 3/5: Introduction; overview of the worlds of the Mediterranean, the Near East, and Europe 5th-10th c.;
medieval background to the Crusades 11th-16th centuries; immediate background to the Crusades: intellectual,
ecclesiastical, political; events on the Iberian peninsula.
    Text: Introduction (pp. xxvii-xxx)
    Riley-Smith, Jonathan, What Were the Crusades? (pp. 1-85)
    Painter, Sidney, and Tierney, Brian, "Islam: a new civilization" in Western Europe in the Middle
, 5th ed., pp. 123-129
    Keen, Maurice, The Pelican History of Medieval Europe (recommended but not required; students
        who have weak backgrounds in medieval history may wish to browse in this work)

Sept. 5: NO CLASS

2. Sept. 10/12: Normans, Byzantines and Seljuks 1071; Alexius' call, Urban's response; the "People's Crusade";
the First Crusade.
    Text: pp. 1-34
    Peters, Edward, ed., The First Crusade, 1-15, 23-32 (five versions of Urban's speech)
    Hill, Rosalind, ed. & trans., Gesta Francorum, 14-21, 87-97 (battles of Nicaea & Dorylaeum,
        fall of Jerusalem)
    Goitein, S. D., ed., A Mediterranean Society, Vol. 5, pp. 374-379 and notes to these pages
        on pp. 612-13 (letter from Egyptian Jews, A.D. 1100, regarding ransom for captives
        taken the previous year in Jerusalem by the Crusaders)

3. Sept. 17/19: Aftermath of the First Crusade: consolidation; the military orders; rise of Islamic counter-crusade;
Zengi; Crusade and crusade-era music; the Fall of Edessa and the Second Crusade.
    Text: pp. 34-43, 56-84 (43-56 recommended but not required)
    Fulcher of Chartres, III:37, pp. 270-2 (Crusaders as a new race)
    Bernard of Clairvaux, De laude novae militiae (In Praise of the New Knighthood), Prologue and
        I-V, pp. 127-45 (available on ORB by mid-September)
    Upton-Ward, Judith, ed., The Rule of the Templars, pp. 1-13, 19-38 (Primitive Rule of the
    William of Tyre, XII:7, pp. 524-7 (foundation of the Templars)
    -----, XVI:4, pp. 140-4 (the fall of Edessa, A.D. 1144)

4. Sept. 24/26: Decline of the Kingdom of Jerusalem; rise of Nur-ed-din and Salah-ed-din (Saladin); western
influences on the Kingdom (Reynald de Chatillon, Guy de Lusignan, etc.); the courage and tragedy of Baldwin IV;
1187 and the disastrous Battle of Hattin.
    Text: 84-108
    William of Tyre, XXI:1, pp. 397-8 (on the leprosy of Baldwin IV)
    Runciman, Sir Steven, A History of the Crusades, Vol. II, pp. 325-8 (the impact of
    -----, A History of the Crusades, Vol. II, pp. 455-60 (Hattin, July 4, A.D. 1187)
    Beha ed-Din, Saladin, or, What Befell Sultan Yusuf (Salah ed-Din), Chapter XXXV: "Account of
        the Battle of Hattin, an Auspicious Day for the Faithful," pp. 110-7

5. Oct. 1/3: Political and social structure of the Latin East; daily life; The Third Crusade: Richard I the
Lion-Hearted, Philip II Augustus, Frederick I Barbarossa; aftermath of Third Crusade.
    Text: 109-19
    Runciman, Sir Steven, A History of the Crusades, Vol. III, pp. 68-75 (Richard the Lion-Hearted
        at Jaffa)

6. Oct. 8/10: The rise of papal power; Innocent III's Crusades: the Fourth (events, the subsequent Latin Kingdom of
Constantinople, and historiographical debates) and the Fifth.
    Text: 119-149
    Queller, Donald, The Fourth Crusade: the conquest of Constantinople, 1201-1204, Preface and notes
        to the Bibliography, pp. ix-xi and 219-225
    Geoffrey de Villehardouin, The Conquest of Constantinople (all)


7. Oct. 15/17: Politics of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Cyprus: internal factions, external pressures; quarrels of
the military orders, influence of Armenia, War of San Sabas; Frederick II and the Sixth Crusade.
    Text: 149-57, 179-200
    King, Col. E. J., The Knights Hospitallers in the Holy Land, pp. 254-5
    Nicholson, Helen, "Steamy Syrian Scandals: Matthew Paris on the Templars and Hospitallers," in Medieval
2:2 (1992), 68-85

8. Oct. 22/24: The Mongols; the Battle of La Forbie, 1244; the Crusades of St. Louis: the Seventh (military action
and subsequent political and administrative consolidation of the Kingdom) and the Eighth; the crusade of the Lord
Edward and the decline of the crusading impulse; The End: Baibars and the Mamelukes; 1291 and the Fall of Acre.
    Text: 157-161, 173-178, 200-21 [161-73 recommended but not required]
    Jean de Joinville, The Life of St. Louis (all)
    Letter of Jean de Villiers (the fall of Acre)
    Runciman, Sir Steven, A History of the Crusades, Vol. III, pp. 402-23 (the fall of Acre)

9. Oct. 29/31: Slides and music: Crusader Castles.
    Routledge, Michael, "Songs," in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades, ed. Jonathan
        Riley-Smith, pp. 91-111

Oct. 31: Mid-Term (25 minutes of discussion & questions followed by a 50 minute exam).

10. Nov. 5/7: The military orders: the trial of the Templars, the rise of Hospitaller naval power, the withdrawal
of the Teutonic Knights into the north; proposals for recovery of the Holy Land, 1300-1369: du Bois, de Mezires, Thomas,
King Peter of Cyprus.
    Text: 221-32
    Barber, Malcolm, The Trial of the Templars, pp. 1-3, 243-52
    De Mezires, Philippe, "Prologue" (in Letter to King Richard II: a plea made in 1395 for peace between
        England and France
, G. W. Coopland, ed. and trans.), pp. 3-5
    Machaut, Guillaume (trans. Barton Palmer), The Taking of Alexandria, excerpt (lines 3274-3611)

11. Nov. 12/14: The rise of the Ottoman Turks; attempts to revive crusading and recover the Holy Land: Nicopolis 1396,
Varna 1444; the fracturing of Christendom (the rise of national monarchies, the Great Schism, the Hundred Years War);
fourteenth-century Cyprus (history, architecture, music).
    Text: 232-40, 251-4
    Keen, The Pelican History of Medieval Europe, Section Four, pp. 225-313 [Recommended but not
    Housley, Norman, "The Crusading Movement: 1274-1700," in The Oxford Illustrated History of the
, ed. Jonathan Riley Smith, pp. 260-293

12. Nov. 19/21: The Reconquista; Lullism; internal crusades: Albigensian, Hussite, Italian and other political;
the northern crusades.
    Text: 161-73 (unless this was read for Oct. 22/24)
    Luttrell, Anthony, "The Military Orders: 1312-1798," in The Oxford Illustrated History of the
, ed. Jonathan Riley Smith, pp. 326-364
    Lotter, Friedrich, "The Crusading Idea and the Conquest of the Region East of the Elbe," in Medieval
, ed. Robert Bartlett & Angus McKay, pp. 266-306

13. Nov. 26: The crusade in the 16th century; conversion of crusading into exploration; survivals of crusade
rhetoric and enthusiasm.
    Text: 241-51
    Columbus, Christopher, Journal of the First Voyage (in The Voyages of Christopher Columbus,
        Cecil Jane, ed. and trans.), "Wednesday, December 26," pp. 218-21

Nov. 26: PAPERS DUE.

Nov. 28: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Day).

14. Dec. 3/5: Primary and secondary bibliography of the crusades; historiography of the crusades: "What were the
Crusades?" Riley-Smith vs. Mayer; Prawer & colonialism.
    Text: No assignment
    Riley-Smith, Jonathan, "The Crusading Movement and Historians," in The Oxford Illustrated History
        of the Crusades
, ed. Jonathan Riley-Smith, pp. 2-12
    Riley-Smith, Jonathan, "History, the Crusades, and the Latin East, 1095-1204: a personal view," in
    Crusaders and Muslims in Twelfth-Century Syria, ed. Maya Shatzmiller, pp. 1-17
    Prawer, Joshua, "The Legacy of an Epoch: A. The Crusades as a Colonial Movement," in The
        Crusaders' Kingdom: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages
, pp. 469-82
    Runciman, Sir Steven, A History of the Crusades, Vol. II, pp. 486-91 (historiography of Hattin)

Dec. 5: DEBATE.

15. Dec. 10/12: Summary of the history of the Crusades; various views of the Crusades: fact, fantasy, art, polemic
(Christian endeavor or "unforgivable sin"?); remnants of Crusading today (Pueblo, Colo., 1945; the Teutonic
Knights; the Hospitallers; St. John Ambulance); "crusade" as vocabulary word.
    Text: 255-7
    Sire, H. J. A., The Knights of Malta, pp. 268-79
    Siberry, Elizabeth, "Images of the Crusades in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centures," in The Oxford
        Illustrated History of the Crusades
, ed. Jonathan Riley-Smith, pp. 365-85
    Riley-Smith, Jonathan, "Revival and Survival, in The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades,
        ed. Jonathan Riley-Smith, pp. 386-391
    T. S. Eliot, "Choruses from 'The Rock': VIII"

Dec. 20: FINAL EXAM, 3-5 PM.

Encyclopedia | Library | Reference | Teaching | General | Links | About ORB | HOME

The contents of ORB are copyright © 1995-1999 Laura V. Blanchard and Carolyn Schriber except as otherwise indicated herein.