Title An Introduction to the Crusades
Subtitle (Companions to Medieval Studies)
Author S.J. Allen
ISBN 9781442600232
List price USD 26.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 208
Book size 152 x 228 mm
Publishing year 2017
Original publisher University of Toronto Press
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“S.J. Allen provides a pedagogically innovative introduction to the Crusades with numerous references to the documents in The Crusades: A Reader. Her development of the broad phenomena of crusading from the eleventh to the sixteenth century is concise and cogent. Chapters on the crusade experience in material and military terms and an interesting case study of the diplomatic interactions between Saladin and Richard the Lionheart are particularly welcome. A final chapter problematizes the concept of the Crusades with a survey of their evolving reception over time in history, literature, and film.”

Kathryn Reyerson, University of Minnesota


“For over a decade S.J. Allen and Emilie Amt’s The Crusades: A Reader has been a standard classroom resource for students on the Crusades. Now, Allen has given us a handbook to that popular source collection. As a standalone text, this book would be a welcome addition to the rapidly growing range of textbook offerings on the Crusades. Allen’s clear and accessible narrative balances a concise overview of crusading through 1291 with thematic analysis of logistics, combat, memory, and more. But as a companion to the reader, with its many cross references to those documents as well as to some of the most recent literature, the book is an even more effective resource.”

James D. Mixson, University of Alabama


An Introduction to the Crusades, part of the Companions to Medieval Studies series, is an accessible guide to studying the complex history of the Crusades.

The book begins by defining the Crusades, giving the political and social context of Byzantium, Western Europe, the Islamic States, and Jewish communities to set the scene for crusading from the eleventh century to the end of the medieval period. It then immerses the reader in the logistics of crusading and the day-to-day life of a crusader, explaining arms and armor, strategy and tactics, and siege warfare. Topics explored in depth include women on crusade, pilgrimage, the Mongols, crusade charters, and the use of crusader rhetoric throughout history. A case study chapter on the negotiations for Jerusalem between Saladin and Richard I provides insight into the process of historical inquiry and methods for engaging with primary sources.

The book is pedagogically grounded through the inclusion of questions for reflection, sixteen images, four maps, a detailed chronology, a glossary, a “Who’s Who” of the crusading world, and a bibliography.


List of Illustrations and Maps

List of Text Boxes




Chapter 1. The Crusades — A Brief History • Prologue: Defining the Crusades • Box 1.1: Pilgrimage • Setting the Scene • Box 1.2: Islam: Sunni and Shi’a • On the Eve of the Crusades: The Eleventh Century • The First Crusade • Box 1.3: The Crusades and Attacks on Jewish Communities • The Crusader States • The Second and Third Crusades • Box 1.4: Women on Crusade • A New Crusading Vision:  At Home and Abroad • Box 1.5: The Children’s and Shepherds’ Crusades • Crusades across the Borders • The Twilight of the Crusades • Box 1.6: The Mongols and the Legend of Prester John • Box 1.7: The Fate of the Military Orders after 1291 • The End of Medieval Crusading

Chapter 2. There and Back Again: The Logistics of Crusading and Life as a Crusader in the Levant • Preparation and Finance • Box 2.1: Crusade Charters • Transport and Provisions • Life and Death in the Levant • Box 2.2: Muslims under Latin Rule, 1099-1291

Chapter 3. Holy Warfare: Combat in the Crusading Age • General Organization and Recruitment • Arms and Armor • Strategy and Tactics • Warfare • Box 3.1: Crusader Castles • Matters of Life and Death • Box 3.2: Hospitals

Chapter 4. A Case Study Exercise: Saladin and Richard I—Negotiations for Jerusalem • Jerusalem • Stalemate and Negotiations: The Evidence • Document 1: Baha’ al-Din on Negotiations between Richard I and Saladin • Document 2: The Itinerary of the Pilgrims and Deeds of King Richard (Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi) • Questions

Chapter 5. The Crusades and Modern Memory • The Reformation (ca 1517-1649) • The Enlightenment (ca 1650-1800) • Romanticism (ca 1770-1850) • Nineteenth-Century Nationalism, Imperialism, and Christian Militarism • Nineteenth-Century Islam and the Crusades • The Twentieth Century • The Twenty-First Century • Box 5.1: Matthew Schlimm’s Analysis of Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven

Questions for Reflection



Who’s Who in the Crusading World




About the Author:

S.J. Allen is Associate Lecturer in Arts and Humanities at The Open University, UK.

Target Audience:

People interested in Medieval History and Religious Studies.

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