Crusades & Western Cultural Imagination

A publication of the Robbins Library.


The Crusades and Western Cultural Imagination


Leila K. Norako


image of an advertisement for Crusader tobacco

Note: This is an online version of a pamphlet for a Rossell Hope Robbins Library exhibit created

by Leila K. Norako.  The exhibit ran from January to August of 2007.

Table of Contents

The Word Crusade: An Introduction
The Crusades: An Overview
Ideology and Preaching of the Crusade
Crusading and the Medieval Literary Imagination
Romanticizing the Crusades
The Crusades in Contemporary Imagination
Select Bibliography

The Word Crusade: An Introduction

"Crusade" - a term that typically refers to the wars between Medieval Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land - is a thoroughly modern word. "I have used the words 'Crusade' and 'Crusader,'" Andrew Wheatcroft states in his book Infidels: A History of the Conflict Between Christendom and Islam:

But not a single "Crusader" participated in the First Crusade. At best they were Crusaders avant la lettre, before the word existed. The wars to rescue Jerusalem long antedated the word "Crusade," which was first coined in Spain in the thirteenth century as cruzada, a generation after the loss of Jerusalem in 1187. It first entered English as the French word croisade about 1575, and it was not fully Anglicized as "crusade" until the early eighteenth century . . . "Crusade" has from the beginning been a floating,highly mobile and adaptive term, precisely denoting very little but replete with connotations.1

The varied nature of this word can be seen via a simple Internet search, where one can find websites promoting social outreach ("Crusade Against Breast Cancer"), describing Christian organizations (Campus Crusade for Christ), advertising computer games and film (World of Warcraft expansion: The Burning Crusade), or promoting commercial enterprises (Crusade Laboratories). In these contexts, the word "crusade" is an acceptable term indicating a general struggle for good. When used to refer to the historical events themselves, the modern reaction to the word and its context can be quite different. Take, for instance, an event described by Thomas F. Madden at the beginning of The Crusades: The Essential Readings:

On September 30, 2000, Wheaton College in Illinois abandoned their sports mascot of the previous seventy years. Like several other institutions of higher learning in the United States, Wheaton had been under strong pressure to abandon a school symbol that some found morally repugnant. The odious symbol was a crusader. Students at Wheaton protested that the "Crusader mascot should make us shudder." The crusades, they continued, "were marked with unspeakable acts of violence and treachery," in which "hordes of innocent people were robbed, raped or murdered in the name of Christ." They "were dramatically inconsistent with every tenet that Christianity is built upon." So fierce was the outcry against the crusades that even alumni groups did not oppose the toppling of the mascot.2

In this instance, students, alumni, and the public saw the crusader-mascot as a representation of a repugnant historical figure, and it was impossible to accept the existence of a mascot who recalled such a violent period of "religious intolerance."

Another example of the problematic contextualization of the term "crusade" is President George W. Bush's ill-timed use of the word. He faced criticism from the press and the general public by referring to the proposed war on terrorism as a "crusade" when speaking to the press corps shortly after his visit to the site of the World Trade Center in 2001:

We need to be alert to the fact that these evildoers still exist. We haven't seen this kind of barbarism in a long period of time. No one could have conceivably imagined suicide bombers burrowing into our society and then emerging all in the same day to fly their aircraft -- fly U.S. aircraft into buildings full of innocent people -- and show no remorse. This is a new kind of -- a new kind of evil. And we understand. And the American people are beginning to understand. This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while.3

Apologists for the president's remarks have argued that the word had "long lost its original meaning of 'a war for the cross' and . . . At present, 'crusade' almost always means simply a vigorous campaign for a good cause."4 But much of the criticism surrounding Bush's speech stemmed from the potentiality that, in comparing the current situation to a crusade, he was only propagating an absolutist Christian ideology; and as Wheatcroft and others have observed, the word is still deliberately used as a referent to the wars against the enemies of Christ and the "West”. For instance, Dr. Robert Morey, an evangelical Christian leader and anti-Islamicist, has created an Crusaders Club. Members must swear to uphold its statement of purpose which states that Islam is the greatest current threat against humanity, and that "Faith Defenders" have an obligation to convert all practitioners of the Muslim faith.5

The many uses of the word "crusade" stem in no small part from its potential association with, and relation to, religious warfare. It is now customary to use the word in the context of a secular (or even religious, as in the case of Campus Crusade for Christ) struggle for good, but as soon as it appears in the context of a religious and/or military conflict, cultural hackles tend to rise. Madden has pointed out that this "modern criticism of the crusades derives principally from a wide-spread belief that the medieval crusades were evil precisely because they were wars of religion."6 His argument for a contextualized approach to the study of the crusades is certainly an important one; however, the negative reaction of many modern cultures to religious warfare, specifically to the crusades themselves, should not be dismissed as a mere product of uninformed secular agendas. This modern perception is also significant to a study of the crusades, for it is through the reinvention and seemingly "false" interpretations of these historical events that some of the most enduring ideological legacies of the crusades have survived and developed. The intent of this project, is to illustrate the medieval origins and cultural implications of the crusades, and the continued references to these religious wars in western imagination.

The Crusades: An Overview


One of the first obstacles in summing up the history of the crusades is the wide-ranging and almost indefinable nature of these numerous medieval campaigns. Emphasis, in pop culture as well as in academia, is often placed on the crusades fought in the Levant.7 This focus is understandable, as the initial campaigns now referred to as crusades centered on the conquest, protection, or reconquest of Jerusalem; these crusades, moreover, have been the frequent subject of chronicle, epic, romance, and novel. Nevertheless, the term "crusade," as historians refer to it, encompasses a wide geographic and ethnic range and a host of motivations.


The spread of Islam from the 7th century onward caused Western Christendom to reevaluate its doctrinal attitudes towards religious warfare. Augustine of Hippo had outlined the conditions of a just war, but decried the use of war as a means to the conversion or slaughter of pagans and heretics. The conquest of Christian lands, however, represented a threat not just to local kingdoms but to Christianity itself, and the Reconquista (the reconquering of Spain by the Christians, c. 718-1492 CE) was a direct result of this shifting view on warfare, though at this point the Church "did not articulate the kind of spiritual benefits that would signify a holy war."8

The conquering of Byzantine territories by the Turks, and the increased persecution of pilgrims to and from the Holy Land (mainly a result of the instability of Turkish governance and their less tolerant attitude towards the "people of the book" than that of Arab Muslims), prompted Alexander Komnenos, Emperor of Byzantium, to ask the papacy for help (c. 1095).

Though other popes had begun to generate interest among European -- predominately Frankish -- nobility in aiding Byzantium and fending off the Turkish threat, it was Pope Urban II who actually initiated the First Crusade. On November 27, 1095, at the Council of Clermont, Urban II delivered a speech that would be repeated throughout Europe, and whose (probably embellished) sentiments would be voiced to the general populace by local clergy. While an exact transcription of the speech has not survived, several versions (ranging in accuracy and reliability) do exist which indicate that Urban called for a war that would alleviate the suffering and persecution of eastern Christians and free the Holy Land of Muslim occupation. Urban's speech inspired the widespread preaching of bishops and priests, whose frequent references to the continued persecution of Christ, correlative biblical passages, and feudal obligation to God spurred thousands of men and women to "take up the cross" and join the armies headed to the Levant. Robert the Monk's Gesta Dei Per Francos attributes the phrase "Deus Vult!" ("God wills it!") to Urban, stating that Urban closed his speech with those words – ones that became a rallying cry for the crusaders.

But while Jerusalem retained a certain ideological primacy in medieval culture and continued to be a source of inspiration for various martial campaigns in the high Middle Ages, the indulgence and the desire to defend the lands of Christ were concepts readily applied to regions other than Palestine soon after the campaigns that began in 1096. The First Crusade should not then be viewed as a strict template upon which other crusading endeavors were successfully or unsuccessfully modeled. Pope Eugenius in 1148 officially identified the Reconquista as a crusade (perhaps as a means of ensuring that Christian warriors remained in Spain to war with the Moors). Several crusades throughout Europe were organized to eliminate various heretical or pagan sects and subcultures (the Albigensians or Cathars, the Germanic Wends, etc.). The ideology of the crusade was widely applied to diffuse military campaigns throughout Europe; as such, there was less and less incentive to make a redemptive journey to Jerusalem when the same religious goal could be attained much closer to one's own territory. Ultimately, this evolution of crusading ideology contributed dramatically to the decline of the Latin Kingdom because progressively fewer people were journeying to defend it.

Interpreting the Historical Crusades:

Were the crusades (particularly the Levantine campaigns) a collective failure? Steven Runciman, the famous Byzantianist and Crusades historian of the mid-twentieth century, would argue that they most certainly were. In "The Summing-Up" of his three-volume history on the Crusades, he argues that:

The Crusades were launched to save Eastern Christendom from the Moslems. When they ended the whole of Eastern Christendom was under Moslem rule. . . . Seen in the perspective of history the whole Crusading movement was a vast fiasco.9

He argues that the crusades had little lasting effect on Western Europe, that the "chief benefit obtained by Western Christendom [and the Islamic world] from the [c]rusades was negative," and that the harm done to Eastern Christendom was cataclysmic.10 He acknowledges that the central motive of, in particular, the Levantine crusades was faith, and yet argues that the simple faith of the crusaders led them "into pitfalls," not the least of which was a violent manifestation of religious intolerance. Furthermore, says Runciman, the “easy” combination of faith and avarice rendered justifiable the robbing of heretical and schismatic groups.11 He concludes that the triumphs of crusades were

the triumphs of faith. But faith without wisdom is a dangerous thing. By the inexorable laws of history the whole world pays for the crimes and follies of each of its citizens. In the long sequence of interaction and fusion between Orient and Occident out of which our civilization has grown, the Crusades were a tragic and destructive episode. The historian as he gazes back across the centuries at their gallant story must find his admiration overcast by sorrow at the witness that it bears to the limitations of human nature. There was so much courage and so little honour, so much devotion and so little understanding. High ideals were besmirched by cruelty and greed, enterprise and endurance by a blind and narrow self-righteousness; and the Holy War itself was nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God, which is a sin against the Holy Ghost.12

Runciman's interpretation of these campaigns has had an enduringly powerful influence on contemporary popular perceptions of the crusades. Both Madden and Christopher Tyerman have commented upon his importance in this context, with Tyerman specifically reflecting on the fact that many people, from the late Middle Ages to the present, would have agreed with Runciman's interpretation of the Crusades. Tyerman, however, quickly accounts for the fact that many others, from "educated circles around Urban II at the end of the eleventh century" to several contemporary scholars (themselves included) would have taken issue with Runciman's perspective.13

Madden has articulated most prominently in The New Concise History of the Crusades that the crusades should not only be viewed a success but, more importantly, should be examined in the context of the time in which they occurred. While modern audiences are quick to judge and condemn the crusaders, Madden (drawing, in part, on the work of Jonathan Riley-Smith) reminds the reader that the crusades were often viewed by contemporaries as acts of "piety, charity, and love" and argues for a proper contextualization of these campaigns:

It is easy enough for modern people to dismiss the Crusades as morally repugnant or cynically evil. Such judgments, however, tell us more about the observer than the observed. . . . If, from the safety of our modern world, we are quick to condemn the medieval Crusader, we should be mindful that he would be just as quick to condemn us. Our infinitely more destructive wars waged for the sake of political and social ideologies would, in his opinion, be lamentable wastes of human life. In both societies, the medieval and the modern, people fight for what is most dear to them. That is a fact of human nature that is not so changeable. 14

This desire for contextualization has a long tradition among crusades historians and is a frequently encouraged practice. Tyerman, however, in quoting the German historian H. E. Mayer, cautions that, while this approach is valuable, neither scholar nor more casual "observer" can avoid seeing "the crusades filtered through the material of his own mind." 15 Moreover, medieval criticism of the crusades suggests that support for them was never universal.



This timeline highlights several key moments in the struggle for Christian control of the Levant, with some acknowledgment of crusading movements outside of the Middle East. Emphasis has been placed upon the Levantine crusades, since they have been evoked most consistently throughout the centuries in Western European and American art, literature, and propaganda. (For a comprehensive timeline, see The Routledge Companion to the Crusades.)


1095: Pope Urban II preaches the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont.
1096: The Peasants' Crusade, led by Peter the Hermit and Walter Sans Avoir, departs from Europe in the Spring, and by August is shipped across the Bosporus by the Byzantines. In October, the first wave of the crusader army (often referred to as the Peasants Crusade) is slaughtered by the Turks. By late summer, the second wave, led by various noblemen, was departing for the Holy Land.
1099: After an extended campaign to Jerusalem that includes the long siege and subsequent defense of Antioch, the crusaders arrive at the city and eventually wrest it from the Fatimids. Godfrey de Bouillon is elected "Defender of the Holy Sepulchre," having refused the title of king.
1100-30s: In the early 12th century the port cities between Antioch and Jerusalem are conquered by the crusaders (Tyre falls in 1124). The military orders commonly known as the Templars and Hospitallers are founded.
1144-48: The Second Crusade begins, largely brought about by the preaching of Bernard of Clairvaux; Louis VII, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and King Conrad III make their way to the Levant.
1174: Nur ad Din dies, and Saladin, a Kurdish commander, takes his place as Sultan of Egypt; he quickly moves to gain control of Syria as well. Baldwin IV, a leper, takes the throne as king of Jerusalem. Internal political turmoil abounds in the Latin Kingdom.
1180-83: Saladin agrees to a truce with Baldwin IV, but Reynald of Chatillon, lord of Oultrejordain, raids Muslim caravans, sacks Medina's ports, and openly threatens Mecca. In response, Saladin amasses a large army and takes Aleppo in 1183.
1187: The Battle of Hattin -- Saladin defeats the Crusader army and captures, among others, Guy de Lusignan (King of Jerusalem), the Grand Masters of the Hospitallers and the Templars, and Reynald of Chatillon, whom he personally executes. Saladin conquers most of the Latin Kingdom, including Jerusalem.
1189-92: The Third Crusade begins in response to Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem, led by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of Germany, King Richard I of England, and King Philip Augustus of France. Frederick dies in southern Turkey and his army disbands. Philip and Richard secure Acre and Jaffa. Richard defeats Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf (1191), and concludes a Truce with Saladin enabling Christian access to Jerusalem (1192).
1200-15: Crusades against the pagan peoples of the Baltic regions begin in earnest when the bishops of Livonia and Prussia develop plans to convert the entire region to Christianity.
1202-04: Fourth Crusade begins. Crusaders commission the Venetians to build ships for the armies, and as part of their payment they help the Venetians recapture the Christian city of Zara. They then help a deposed Byzantine monarch regain his throne. Troubles arise when the crusaders are not paid what they are owed for their services, and -- upon hearing that they will not receive compensation -- they pillage and loot Constantinople, a city that had not been taken in roughly a millennium. Pope Innocent III, who had called for a crusade to Jerusalem in 1198, excommunicates the Venetians, but does not restore the city to the Byzantines.
1207: Called for by Innocent III, the crusade against the heretical Albigensians in the south of France commences.
1212: The Children's Crusade, comprised of about 7,000 youths, departs for the Mediterranean in hopes that the sea would part for them as the Red Sea did for Moses. Many die along the way due to inclement weather and hunger, and the survivers disband after the sea does not, as hoped, part for them.
1215-21: Fifth Crusade. Called for by Pope Innocent III, this Crusade, like the Fourth, set out with plans to conquer Egypt as a means of securing the safety of Jerusalem. The crusade ultimately fails and the armies are forced to surrender on the Nile Delta in 1221.
1228-29: Emperor Frederick II, despite being excommunicated, sails east to claim his title as King of Jerusalem. He campaigns in Egypt and receives Jerusalem as part of his negotiations with Al-Kamil. Jerusalem is promptly placed under interdict due to Frederick's presence. Rendered even more unpopular in Outremer as a result, Frederick eventually leaves Jerusalem after receiving word that the the Pope had invaded and sacked his territory in Sicily.
1244: Jerusalem falls to the Turks.
1248-54: Sixth Crusade, or the First Crusade of King Louis IX of France (canonized as Saint Louis in 1304). The Crusaders manage to take Damietta but, upon Louis' capture at Mansurah, the crusader army is forced to pay a heavy ransom and relinquish Damietta.
1248-68: The Ayyubid dynasty comes to an end in Egypt and the Mamluks take power. Mongols begin their campaigns in the Arabian Peninsula and take Baghdad, Aleppo, and Damascus in quick succession, only to be stopped by the Mamluks at the battle of 'Ayn Jalut in 1260. Mamluks take Damascus, Antioch, and Jaffa over the course of several years.
1261: Byzantines retake Constantinople and the Latin Empire of Byzantium ends.
1270: Seventh Crusade. King Louis IX attacks Tunis and eventually dies there.
1291: The Mamluks take Acre, last of the standing crusader cities. Surviving crusaders retreat to Cyprus.

The following images were included with the timeline in the actual exhibit.

1. Image of a Crusader. In the Westminster Psalter, England, c. 1250. MS Royal 2A XXII, fol. 20.

2. Saladin Ravaging the Holy Land. In William of Tyre's A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea, France, c. 1250-59. MS Yates Thompson 12, fol. 161.

3. The Siege of Acre [Third Crusade]. From the Chroniques de France ou de St. Denis, France, late fourteenth century. MS Royal 20 C. VII, fol. 24v.

4. Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy with Crusaders at Antioch during the First Crusade. From William of Tyre's A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea. France, c. 1250-59. MS Yates Thompson 12, fol. 29.

Ideology and Preaching of the Crusade


By 1095, Urban II's call for a crusade was only part of a larger shifting in theological interpretations and justifications of warfare: the Reconquista in Spain, for instance, had been under way for over two centuries and was rooted in a re-fashioned understanding of just war theory. The explicit blending of pilgrimage and warfare gave the First Crusade a unique potency that triggered widespread enthusiasm across feudal social boundaries. Pilgrimage was a common practice during the Middle Ages and, given the perils of travel, pilgrims often armed themselves for defense. The ideology of the crusade, however, was one rooted in the practice of redemptive pilgrimage as well as conquest. Pilgrims journeying to particular locations often wore tokens to indicate their status and their destination. If on the way to Rome, a pilgrim would wear a badge with keys; to Santiago de Compostella, a scallop shell; to Jerusalem, a palm frond. The crusaders heading to the Levant wore a badge as well, one of a red cross -- this token was sewn onto the shoulder of their outer garment and evoked Christ's call for His followers to "take up their cross" and follow Him.

Urban II called for a massive army to defend Byzantium against the Turks and to win Jerusalem, and itinerant clergy preached throughout Europe on behalf of the pope. To fuel enthusiasm for war, they used Biblical passages that corresponded to the cause; they also used polemical images of the Turks in their sermons, and frequently referenced the ideology of the feudal system. Thomas Madden explains their use of this particular rhetorical device:


It was Christ himself, the preachers proclaimed, who called his warriors to the aid of Jerusalem. Preachers often employed feudal ideas familiar to their audience. Was it not the duty of every vassal to come to the aid of his lord if that lord's lands were unjustly taken from him? How much more, then, did the vassals of Christendom owe to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Images of Christ carried by crusade preachers and manufactured in the workshops of Europe portrayed the Savior during the Passion and Crucifixion as a pitiful object of scorn and derision. Later, turban-headed Muslims in these depictions sometimes replaced the Roman torturers. The message was clear: Christ was crucified again in the persecution of his faithful and the defilement of his sanctuaries. The knights of Christ were called to be the avengers of an injured God.16
1. The Rider on the White Horse. From a fourteenth-century Anglo-Norman manuscript of the Book of Revelation. MS Royal 19b XV, fol. 37.
[Itinerant preachers frequently cited Biblical passages to evoke the urgency and moral obligation of the crusading effort. One of the most frequently used passages was from the Gospel of Matthew: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me."17 The notion that the End Times would be ushered in via the conquest of Jerusalem was also a popular belief, and, as a result, this image is of particular interest and suggests an enduring legacy of the idea. Polemical images that date to the time of the First Crusade reflect the exegetical justifications for the Crusade as well as the often fabricated atrocities committed by Turks upon Christians.

This image, taken from a fourteenth-century manuscript of the Book of Revelation, is an excellent example of the legacy of the crusading effort's ideology and its antagonistic relationship with the Muslim faith. The Muslims, though not explicitly present in the image, are cast as followers of the Beast. Here, Christ rides on a white horse at the head a Crusader army (note the red crosses on flags and shields), sword in mouth and book in hand (the Bible, symbolizing Christ's role as Logos, "the Word made flesh"). This scene depicts the moment in Revelation when Christ triumphs over the Beast:
And I saw heaven opened: and beheld a white horse. And he that sat upon him was called faithful and true: and with justice doth he judge and fight. . . . And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. And his name is called: the Word of God. And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp two-edged sword, that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty. And he hath on his garment and on his thigh written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords . . . And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war with him that sat upon the horse and with his army. And the beast was taken and with him the false prophet who wrought signs before him, wherewith he seduced them who received the character of the beast and who adored his image. These two were cast alive into the pool of fire, burning with brimstone. And the rest were slain by the sword of him that sitteth upon the horse, which proceedeth out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh.18]
2. Pope Urban Arrives at Clermont and Preaches the First Crusade. From an early fourteenth-century French manuscript.
[On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II spoke at the Counsel of Clermont and called for a campaign to aid Byzantium against the Turks and to take the holy city of Jerusalem. This speech, transmitted via the efforts of itinerant bishops and preachers, galvanized the European continent. Five versions of Urban's speech survive, none of which are verbatim transcriptions. Peter Edwards, in his source study of the First Crusade, states the following about Urban and the Council of Clermont:
[He] was one of the most dynamic and probably the ablest of the reforming popes of the later eleventh and twelfth centuries. His extensive administrative, judicial, diplomatic, and fiscal reforms substantially established the authority and effectiveness of the papacy after the diplomatic crises that followed the pontificate of Gregory VII . . . His own great skills as a diplomat restored papal relations with a number of individuals, clerical and lay, whom Gregory had alienated. The Council of Clermont was the first of three in France called to continue the work of ecclesiastical reform, and only at or after the final session were laymen and others given the great appeal for the defense of Christendom against both internal dissension and violence and the perceived menace posed by the Muslims in the Near East.19]
3. Chronicle of the First Crusade [The First Folio of Fulcher of Chartre's History of the Expedition to Jerusalem]. Early twelfth-century (c. 1127) French manuscript, written in Latin. MS Royal 5 B XV. fol. 64r.
[Of the surviving versions of Pope Urban’s speech at Clermont, Fulcher of Chartre's account is often considered the most reliable because he was present at the Council. His transcription of the speech is located in his History of the Expedition to Jerusalem.]
4. Jerusalem, the "Navel of the World."
[Typically placed in the center of medieval maps, Jerusalem was both a geographic location and a spiritual ideal. In preaching the crusades, itinerant preachers would frequently refer to the city in the context of the feudal system: "Was it not the duty of every vassal to come to the aid of his lord if that lord's lands were unjustly taken from him? How much more, then, did the vassals of Christendom owe to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?"20 The map of Jerusalem presented here is not meant to be a useful guide through the city any more than the Psalter World Map or other stylized world maps were meant for navigational purposes. These maps were symbolic schematics, and as such, the most ideologically important city became the centerpiece.]

a. World Map. MS Add. 28681 (Psalter Map Manuscript), fol. 9. England (London or Westminster), after 1265.

["A circular map of the world, divided into the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa, with Jerusalem in the centre. The orientation is an East-West vertical axis, with the East at the top. This shows Paradise with the heads of Adam and Eve and the four rivers flowing from it. The fantastic tribes, the Marvels of the East, are shown on the west coast of Africa. The map is surrounded by the twelve winds as human heads. At top, Christ blessing, holding the orb of the world, and flanked by two censing angels."21]
b. Situs Hierusalem (map of Jerusalem). Thirteenth Century.
[East is located at the top of the map, and accurate proportion is obviously not a concern for the artist. Jerusalem is the large circular city (similar to the shape of many world maps), and surrounding it are smaller cities in the Holy Land. Major religious sites in the city are detailed and named (such as St. Stephen's gate in the North/left, Zion Gate in the South/right, Temple Mount in the East/top, and David's Gate in the West/bottom. Pilgrims are also depicted going to or from various holy sites.]

Crusading in the Medieval Literary Imagination


Certain themes and narratives in High and Late medieval literature developed from the popularity of the crusades and the goal of claiming Jerusalem for Christianity. These motifs and stories were also inspired by the crusader's desire for glory, the promise of redemption offered by holy war, and the fantasized and actual dangers posed by the Muslim east. Charlemagne, one of the Christian Nine Worthies,22 was a popular literary figure, and tales (both real and legendary) of his adventures and battles with the Moors made for easy conflations with crusader-themes. Even King Arthur undergoes a literary transformation in the later Middle Ages: he appears in the Alliterative Morte Arthure, and subsequently Malory's Le Morte Darthur, as a king who consolidates and defends Britain and as an Emperor with plans to defend Christianity against the heathen East and conquer the world. Saracens -- as individuals and as a generalized cultural group -- appear frequently and prominently in later medieval literature, alternately depicted as sympathetic figures to be converted or diabolical enemies who must be annihilated at all costs. Despite this developing literary tradition and due perhaps to historical and legendary accounts of his courtesy to Richard I, Saladin -- particularly in Medieval French literature -- becomes a chivalric exemplar.


1. The Alliterative Morte Arthure. From King Arthur's Death. Ed. Larry D Benson, rev. Edward E. Foster. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1994.
[The first half of this poem details Arthur's legendary war with the Roman Emperor Lucius. Lucius's army, an overwhelming amalgamation of cultures and races, has aptly been called a "virtual Crusades cartography" by the scholar Geraldine Heng. Indeed, nearly every race or culture named in the exhaustive list provided by the poet can be accounted for in the span of crusades history.]
2. Sir Isumbras. From The Thorton Romances. Ed. James Orchard Halliwell. London: John Bowyer Nichols & Son, 1844.
[Sir Isumbras, a popular romance of the fourteenth century, survives in nine manuscripts and five prints. The romance includes an array of crusades motifs. For instance, on page 94, lines 135-36, Isumbras -- after deciding to embark on a redemptive pilgrimage to Jerusalem -- carves a cross into his shoulder. The resulting red symbol is a direct allusion to the red cross badge placed upon a crusader's shoulder in the vow ceremony; by implication, Isumbras anticipates the martial component of his pilgrimage.]
3. William Caxton's The History of Godefrey of Boloyne and of the Conquest of Iherusalem. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1893.
[This handsome reprint by William Morris of William Caxton's 1481 chronicle of Godfrey de Bouillon was produced in England. Caxton, best known today for his edition of Malory's Le Morte Darthur, was an important cultural force in the late fifteenth century, due to his status as the first English printer and also because of the immense literary influence he wielded through the selection of a work for publication. He produced a translation of William of Tyre's Chronicle of the First Crusade in a highly condensed form with a great emphasis placed on Godfrey de Bouillon. Godfrey was one of the Nine Worthies and, in Caxton's day, the least known of the nine amongst the English. Through this publication Caxton intended to encourage noble behavior, to educate through historical example and, above all, to entreat his countrymen to reinvigorate their efforts to reclaim Jerusalem from the Turks. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 likely fueled the production of this text, imbuing the work with an urgency easily detected in his Introduction and Epilogue to the chronicle.]
4. The Nine Worthies and Godfrey de Bouillon.
[The Nine Worthies were rulers who embodied certain chivalric ideals. This grouping was a popular literary topos in late medieval literature; the first reference dates to the early fourteenth century. Some of the most vivid descriptions of the Nine Worthies, however, appear in the Alliterative Morte Arthure (lines 3406-3445) and the Parlement of the Thre Ages (lines 297-583). The use of the number nine ultimately draws on the symbolic and religious significance of triplicity, with the Worthies divided into groups of three: three pagan kings (Alexander, Hector, and Julius Caesar), three Jewish kings (Joshua, David, and Judas Maccabaeus), and three Christian kings (Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey de Bouillon).
Godfrey de Bouillon (1060-1100) was effectively the first Christian king of Jerusalem, though he refused the title on religious grounds, and died after little less than a year on the throne. He was almost immediately elevated to legendary status; for centuries after his death, he was revered for his service and martial accomplishments. Godfrey was included as on of the Christian Worthies due to his being the first Christian ruler of Jerusalem.]
Image: Death of Godfrey De Bouillon. From Chronique d'Ernoul et de Bernard le Trésorier; S. Netherlands (Bruges), late fifteenth century. Royal 15 E. I, f.150v.
5. Early Criticism of the Crusades: Gower's Confessio Amantis.
[Criticism of the crusades dates back at least as far as the Second Crusade. Opposition to the crusades grew in part because of the increasingly apparent division between ideology and practice: Christ calls for pagans and heretics to be converted, yet they were treated brutally. The late fourteenth-century poet John Gower, one of Geoffrey Chaucer's contemporaries, included in his work Confessio Amantis (The Confession of Amans) two passages which oppose the indiscriminate killing of unconverted Saracens and advocate peaceful conversion instead. In the first passage (2.3.2485-515) the Confessor responds to Amans' question about the ethics of killing a Saracen by critiquing the ideology behind a crusade; in the second passage Amans himself decries the slaying of the heathens, since Christ calls for his followers not to kill but to convert (2.4.1680). Nevertheless, critiques of the Crusades were controversial in Gower's lifetime. Russell A. Peck notes in his edition of Confessio Amantis that some these sentiments, particularly those voiced by Amans in Book 4, "echo the heretical and pacifist Lollards concerning crusades" (n. 1682)23]
6. Richard the Lion-Heart (Richard I of England).
[A widely admired king in the Middle Ages, Richard I of England (1157-1199) was lauded even by Muslim writers, a phenomenon similar to the treatment Saladin received in the French literary tradition. Richard, however, was alternately cast as a chivalric hero and as a ruler with an antagonistic, at times horrific, disposition -- a paradox which frequently appears within a single tale. In the English romance Richard Coeur de Lion, Richard accidentally eats a Saracen: he is ill, insists upon a meal of meat, and is served the head of a Saracen. Far from being disturbed when he discovers the origin of the food, Richard decides, as an intimidation tactic, to consume more Saracens in front of Muslim ambassadors; he serves human flesh to the ambassadors as well. However, in the same romance, an angel guides his actions.24 Another colorful medieval legend details how Richard earned the name "Lion-heart":
During his captivity [in Germany] Henry [IV]'s daughter falls in love with him. She orders a trusty servant to have him taken to her room in the evening, and they spend many pleasant nights together before her father finds out. The emperor is furious at his daughter's disgrace and wishes to kill Richard on the spot, but his counselors warn him that murdering his royal prisoner would be hard to excuse. He decides instead to release a hungry lion in his cell, so that the lion, not Henry, will kill Richard. However, Henry's daughter hears of the plot and warns her lover, who asks her for 40 scarves to wrap around his arm. When the lion roars, Richard reaches his wrapped arm down the lion's throat and pulls out his heart. Of course, the beast immediately dies, and Richard marches into Henry's court. He eats the heart in front of the emperor and his counselors, who hastily make arrangements to accept the ransom and send this dangerous man back to England.25]
7. Le Pas Saladin. Ed. G. S. Trébutien. Paris: Silvestre, 1836.
[F. E. Lodeman, in his article on Le Pas Saladin ("Le Pas Saladin," Modern Language Notes 12.1, January 1897), says the following about this brief Old French poem:
The author of Le Pas Saladin, a historical poem of the Third Crusade, is unknown. The only copy of the poem hitherto discovered is that in manuscript No. 24432 of the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. . . . The scene of the story is laid in Palestine. Philip Augustus, King of France, and Richard of England, have reached the Holy Land at a time when the country was all but conquered by the Saracens. The city of Jerusalem has been delivered into the hands of the enemy through treachery, and Guy, its King, sold to Saladin. But the arrival of the Crusaders has given renewed hope to the Christians. It is learned that the Saracens are to pass through a narrow defile, and Philip, with the twelve knights he has gathered around him, attacks and completely overthrows the infidels. The Holy City is re-conquered and Guy restored to his throne. Richard who, as Duke of Normandy, is a vassal of the French crown, does not lead an independent army of his own, but is one of the knights fighting under the banner of Philip.26]
8. Magnússona Saga (Saga of the Sons of Magnus).
Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway. Trans. Lee M. Hollander. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964. Pp. 688-714.
Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Trans. Theodore M. Andersson and Kari Ellen Gade. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000. Pp. 313-358.
[Magnussona Saga is found in two thirteenth-century Icelandic chronicles of the Norwegian kings. Most medieval Icelanders were descended from the Norwegian explorers and immigrants who settled in Iceland in the early tenth century; consequently, the inhabitants of Iceland viewed Norwegian history as their own during the Middle Ages. The saga contains the fascinating story of Sigurd Jorsalafara (Sigurd Jerusalem-Farer) and his crusade to the Holy Land. Tracing a detailed literary map of the route, both chroniclers elaborate on Sigurd's adventures, including his grand reception by Baldwin I of Jerusalem and Alexios Komnenos of Miklagarth (Byzantium). Sigurd's journey is in many ways an extension of the longstanding cooperation between Medieval Scandinavia and Byzantium.]
9. Sir Hugh of Tabarie. In Aucassin and Nicolette and Other Mediaeval Romances and Legends. Trans. Eugene Mason. London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1951. Pp. 85-90.
[Medieval French literature on the crusades or on the general matter of the Saracen tends to lack the viciousness of its British contemporaries. While Saracens are typically cast as inferiors in medieval British and French stories, a greater emphasis on their virtues is found in Continental literature. The emergence of Saladin as a literary exemplar of chivalry is the best example of this phenomenon. Saladin's status as a pagan or heretic (depending on the text) prevents him from achieving the ideological status of a Christian noble; nonetheless, Saladin is an embodiment of courtly chivalric values. Undoubtedly, this respectful treatment is due both to his rapport with Richard I during the Third Crusade and to the circulation of stories regarding Saladin's frequent clemency to Christian adversaries.

Sir Hugh of Tabarie, a brief romance found in the anonymous Ordre de Chivalrie, plays upon this tradition to great effect. In the poem, Saladin captures Sir Hugh on the battlefield and holds him for ransom. During his imprisonment Hugh is treated with great courtesy, and Saladin asks Hugh either to make him a Christian knight or to show him the process. At the end of the poem, Saladin and his soldiers courteously pay Hugh's ransom themselves, and he departs freely.]
1. Four Kings of England [Richard I, top right]. From Matthew Paris' Abbrevatio Chronicorum Angliae. St. Albans, c. 1250-59. MS Cotton Claudius D. VI, fol. 9v.

2. Jaquiero, Giacomo. Godfrey de Bouillon. From a fresco depicting the Nine Worthies. Castello della Manta, Italy, c. 1420.

3. Two Images of Sigurth ("The Kings Ride to Jordan," and "King Sigurth and His Men Ride into Miklagarth"). From Heimskringla: A History of the Kings of Norway by Snorri Sturluson. Trans. Lee M. Hollander. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1964.

Romanticizing the Crusades


The crusades continued to be transformed in literature and the arts after the Middle Ages, as is exemplified by the images and books in this section. While certain individuals, such as Voltaire and Hume, harshly criticized the religious campaigns, a general romanticizing of the crusades developed and endured in the arts. Carole Hillenbrand has written lucidly about this phenomenon in Crusades: The Illustrated History:

Despite having lost the Holy Land, Europeans did not forget the crusades; and memories of this momentous interlude in their history remained, even after the Ottoman empire had ceased to pose a real threat to Europe. Many European perceptions of Muslims and the Muslim world were rooted in the crusading experience and Europe created myths and ideals based on it. . . . [I]maginative fiction was more influential than historiography in molding public perceptions of the crusades. Torquato Tasso's epic poem of the First Crusade, Gerusalemme Liberata (1581), was a particularly rich resource for nineteenth-century creative artists. The romantic lure of the crusades became a potent source of inspiration for many novelists, playwrights, poets, musicians, and artists, who portrayed the crusaders as the flower of medieval European chivalry in conflict with an exotic Muslim enemy. The crusades could also be seen to epitomize, and indeed to intensify, the epic struggle between Christianity and Islam that had begun in the seventh century.27
1. Three Editions of Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. Generously loaned by the University of Rochester's Department of Rare Books & Special Collections.
Tasso, Torquato. Gervsalemme Liberata. Lione: Alessandro Marsilij, 1581.

Tasso, Torquato. Godfrey of Bulloigne, or, The Recovery of Jerusalem. Trans. Edward Fairfax. London: H. Herringman, 1687.

Tasso, Torquato. Jerusalem Delivered: An Heroic Poem. Trans. John Hoole. London: R. and J. Dodsley, 1763.
2. Emile Signol (1804-92). The Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders. In Crusades: The Illustrated History. Ed. Thomas F. Madden. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2004.
[Signol's painting exemplifies the nineteenth century romantic envisioning of the crusades. Our eyes are immediately directed to the figure of Godfrey de Bouillon on horseback, hands raised in thanks to God for the victory. To the right, Peter the Hermit also lifts his eyes to the heavens as women pray before him and kiss his lowered hand. On the other side of Godfrey several crusader soldiers are depicted in fervent prayer, some clearly on the verge of death. The bodies of slain Muslims are sprawled in the foreground. In a lurid depiction of the ravages of war, and perhaps the romanticized ferocity of the Easterner, the dead Muslim in front of Godfrey's horse clutches the head of a crusader in one hand and his scimitar in the other. In the bottom left, barely noticeable given the darkness on this side of the canvas, a Muslim woman drapes herself in mourning over the body of her husband while their child kisses his lifeless face, indicating the artist's refusal to completely dehumanize the enemy. The on-going siege and massacre in the city can be seen in the background where, directly above Godfrey, the Muslim flag is pulled down and replaced by the red cross flag. Masterfully rendered, Signol's intricate painting simultaneously depicts the horrors of war and a glorified rendering of the crusaders and their "reclamation" of Jerusalem.]
3. Scott, Sir Walter. The Talisman. London: J. M. Dent & Co., 1907.
[Carole Hillenbrand, in Crusades: The Illustrated History, provides a useful description of Scott and his representations of the crusades: "Although he criticized the crusades in his Essay on Chivalry published in 1818, Sir Walter Scott's (1771-1832) attitude toward them was generally romantic. Of his four popular novels with crusader backgrounds, The Talisman (1825) was especially famous. Scott's depiction of Saladin drew on a literary tradition stretching back to medieval times, idealizing him with a blend of Orientalist fantasy and chivalric legend. Scott contrasts, albeit with Eurocentric condescension, 'the Christian and English monarch' Richard the Lionheart, who showed 'all the cruelty of an Eastern [sovereign],' and Saladin, 'who displayed the deep policy and prudence of a European sovereign.'"28]
4. Gustave Doré and the Crusades:
[Doré (1832-83) was a prolific French illustrator frequently commissioned to interpret pieces of literature. Joseph François Michaud, a French historian, commissioned Doré to illustrate his work entitled Histoire des Croisades.29 Doré produced numerous illustrations to accompany this two-volume work, five of which are presented here. His images glorify the efforts of the crusaders but also present more sympathetic views of the Muslims, though a eurocentrism simlar to that noted in Scott's Talisman is also present in these renderings.]
Images by Gustave Doré from Joseph François Michaud's History of the Crusades. Philadelphia: George Barrie, 1877.
"The Second Crusaders Encounter the Remains of the First Crusaders."
"Crusaders Surrounded by Saladin's Army" [Third Crusade].
"The Siege of Ptolemaïs" [Third Crusade].
"The Children's Crusade."
"A Celestial Light."
5. World Wars I and II as "Great Crusades."
Carole Hillenbrand has commented on the impact the transformed and romanticized history of the crusades had on certain perceptions of World War I:
Some commentators used crusading imagery in connection with the First World War, seeing it as a "war to end all wars" and depicting it as a conflict between cultures, fought to contain German militarism. Despite the loss of life, some clergy saw it as a crusade to defend freedom and to liberate the Holy Places from the control of Germany's Muslim ally, the Ottoman empire. Basil Bourchier, a British clergyman, wrote: "Not only is this a holy war. It is the holiest war that has ever been waged. . . . [The pagan god] Odin is ranged against Christ. Berlin is seeking to prove its supremacy over Bethlehem." In 1916 the British premier, David Lloyd George, declared: "Young men from every quarter of the country flocked to the standard of international right, as to a great crusade." When Britain's General Allenby took Jerusalem from the Turks in December 1917, Punch magazine published The Last Crusade, a cartoon depicting Richard the Lionheart looking down on Jerusalem and saying "At last my dream come true."30
As Carole Hillenbrand notes, Dwight D. Eisenhower adopted a similar ideological interpretation of World War II, as seen in this excerpt taken from his memoirs (entitled Crusade in Europe): "Daily as it progressed there grew within me the conviction that as never before in a war between many nations the forces that stood for human good and men's rights were this time confronted by a completely evil conspiracy with which no compromise could be tolerated. Because only by the utter destruction of the Axis was a decent world possible, the war became for me a crusade in the traditional sense of that often misused word."31
Pershing's Crusaders. 1st National. Committee on Public Information. Auspices of the United States Government, 1918.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. Crusade in Europe. Reprint edition, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.

The Crusades in Contemporary Imagination


Beginning in the seventeenth century, the term "crusade" was frequently used metaphorically to refer to the pursuit of a worthy goal. The word is still versatile today, though reactions to the term within particular contexts can be quite severe. "Crusade" can be used without comment when referring to a charitable organization, such as Avon in its "crusade" against cancer or in the collegiate group "Campus Crusade for Christ." But when the word is used in martial contexts with religious overtones it tends to be met with harsh criticism - for instance, the reaction to President Bush's reference to the crusades in a speech delivered shortly after September 11, 2001, a statement which precipitated numerous political cartoons, some of which appear in this case.

The historical crusades, particularly after the events of September 11, have been increasingly scrutinized by scholars, auteurs, singers, and authors alike. This sampling of films, cartoons, books, and music from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries demonstrates the wide spectrum of interest in the history of these enduringly controversial and inspirational movements.

Films (in chronological order):
The Crusades. Dir. Cecil B. DeMille. Perf. Loretta Young, Henry Wilcoxon. DVD. Universal Home Entertainment, 2006. (Theatrical release 1935, Paramount Pictures). [As one reviewer put it, this film depicts "the Third Crusade as it did not happen." Wilcoxon boisterously portrays Richard the Lionheart as he embarks on the Third Crusade with Philip Augustus. The film seeks to convey the need for religious understanding and tolerance, but with much more of an overt "eurocentric" bent.]
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Perf. Harrison Ford, Sean Connery. DVD. Paramount Home Video. 1989.
[Indiana Jones and his father search for the Holy Grail discovered by knights on the First Crusade. The film is a prominent part of a vast popular tradition linking the Arthurian Grail Quest with the historical crusades.]
The High Crusade. Dirs. Klaus Knoesel and Holger Neuhäser. Perf. John Rhys-Davies, Rick Overton. DVD. Geneon [Pioneer]. 1994.
[A spaceship crashes near a castle and is soon boarded by crusaders eager to retake the Holy Land. Instead, they find themselves on another planet and must wage war against aliens in order to make their way home. Loosely based on Poul Anderson's eponymous novel, High Crusade aspires to a Monty-Pythonesque sense of the ridiculous but, unfortunately, fails to meet its goal. The tagline to the film states: "High Crusade . . . because a heathen is a heathen."]
Kingdom of Heaven. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, David Thewlis, Jeremy Irons, Ghassan Massoud. DVD. 20th Century Fox. 2005.
[By setting this film between the Second and Third Crusade, Ridley Scott sends a message of religious tolerance to contemporary audiences through his highly romanticized portrayal of the conquering of Jerusalem by Saladin.]
Bob Dylan. The Children's Crusade. Scorpio, 1966.
[There is no apparent connection between the historical Children's Crusade and the content of this live album, though several theories as to why this particular title was chosen (ranging from the children he encountered throughout the European tour to the many groupies and fans who continuously followed him from concert to concert).]
David Bowie. "Loving the Alien." From the album Tonight. Virgin Records US, 1984.
[This song reflects upon contemporary violence in the Middle East and the role organized religion has to play in it. Movingly transformed and sung during the Reality Tour of 2004, the song was perhaps reinvented due to persistent tensions in that part of the world and the continued allusions and comparisons of the contemporary conflict to the crusades.]
Trivium. The Crusade. Roadrunner Records, 2006.
[A heavy-metal record in the style of Metallica, Trivium released this album just last year, and the final, instrumental song on the album is entitled "The Crusade." Many of the other songs center on the theme of social injustice.]
Saladin: The Animated Series. MSC Malaysia. 2006.
[Though not of American or European origin, this series is meant to inspire increasingly innovative animated productions in Southeast Asia, and its artists seem to be adapting techniques and styles frequently attributed to companies such as Disney. The visage of Saladin, for instance, is unmistakably similar to that of Disney's Aladdin and other "Muslim" cartoon figures featured in Western cartoon art. Additionally, the crusader Alamaric appears to be a pastiche of popular negative perceptions of the crusader (swarthy, brutish, threatening a civilization and a land that is not his, etc.)]
World of Warcraft Expansion: Burning Crusade. Blizzard Entertainment, 2007.
[Contains numerous implicit references to popular crusade motifs.]
Madden, Thomas F. The New Concise History of the Crusades. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
Oldenbourg, Zoé. The Crusades. Translated from the French by Anne Carter. New York: Ballantine Books, 1967.
Tyerman, Christopher. God's War: A New History of the Crusades. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press. 2006.
Rivele, Stephen J. A Booke of Days: A Novel of the Crusades. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1996.
Comics, Cartoons:
Thor. Vol. 1, no. 330. "Cry of the Crusader!" Marvel Comics, 1983.
---. Vol. 2, no. 331. "Holy War!" Marvel Comics, 1983.
[These two comic books center around the battle between Thor and "The Crusader," a violent ex-seminarian who becomes a super-human crusading soldier after a surreal encounter with his deceased father (who calls on him to defend the faith against paganism). Convinced that he must destroy the god, Thor, for the sake of Christianity, he seeks out the Norse deity (who lives in Chicago) and battles with him over the course of both installments.]
"The Ice Crusades." From a Gary Larson "Far Side" Day Calendar.
[Playing on the Cold-War era phrase, this cartoon depicts various Crusader knights in an Ice Capades scene.]
"I Love Crusaders" Bumper stickers and President George W. Bush Cartoons.
[Found in's exhaustive compendium of t-shirt slogans and stickers, these are just a few examples of the usage of crusades motifs in popular satirical media.]
Robert Morey's Faith Defender's Club:

[Note: Though the Faith Defenders website and club is still operational, Robert Morey has, for reasons unknown, removed all references to the Crusades from the website.]

Campus Crusade for Christ:
The College Crusade of Rhode Island:
Avon's Breast Cancer Crusade:
Cancer Crusade:


1. Andrew Wheatcroft, Infidels: A History of the Conflict Between Christendom and Islam (New York: Random House, 2004), 175-76.

2. Thomas F. Madden, The Crusades: The Essential Readings (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2002), 1.

3. Wheatcroft, 311.

4. Ibid., 305.

5. Ibid., 305-06.

6. Madden, Crusades, 1.

7. This term refers to the territory in the Middle East that borders the Mediterranean. "Levant," along with "Outremer," is often used by crusades historians when referring to this geographic area.

8. Thomas F. Madden, The New Concise History of the Crusades (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2005), 4.

9. Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades (New York: Harper and Row, volume 3, 1967), 469.

10. Ibid., 471, 472, and 474.

11. Ibid., 478.

12. Ibid., 480.

13. Christopher Tyerman, God's War: A New History of the Crusades (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2006), 29.

14. Ibid., 29.

15. Christopher Tyerman, The Invention of the Crusades (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 125. Tyerman quotes the crusades historian H. E. Mayer (The Crusades, trans. John Gillingham, London: Oxford University Press, 1972, 281).

16. Madden, New Concise History, 9.

17. Douay-Rheims Bible, Matthew 16:24.

18. Douay-Rheims Bible, Rev. 19:11-21.

19. Edward Peters, The First Crusade (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971), 46.

20. Madden, New Concise History, 9.

21. British Library Images Online, "World Map," British Library, (accessed Jan 16, 2007).

22. From From The New Arthurian Encyclopedia: [The Nine Worthies are] a group of historical personages considered to be particularly worthy of admiration or veneration. First formulated during the early fourteenth century, in Jacques de Longuyon’s Les Voeux du paon, the list comprises three pagans (Hector, Caesar, Alexander), three Christians (Arthur, Charlemagne, Godefroy of Bouillon), and three Jews (Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus) (p. 344).

23. John Gower, Confessio Amantis, ed. Russell A. Peck (Kalamazoo MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2000).

24. Marianne E. Kalinke, "Richard the Lion-Heart," in Medieval Folklore, ed. Carl Lindahl et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 338.

25. Ibid.

26. F. E. Lodeman, "Le Pas Saladin," Modern Language Notes vol. 12, no. 1, January (1897), 11.

27. Carole Hillenbrand, "The Legacy of the Crusades," in Crusades: The Illustrated History, ed. Thomas F. Madden. (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2004), 202.

28. Ibid., 202-03.

29. Gustave Doré, Doré's Illustrations of the Crusades (New York: Dover Publications, 1997), publisher's note.

30. Hillenbrand, 204.

31. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe (Reprint edition, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), 157. As quoted in Hillenbrand, 205.

Select Bibliography for the Exhibit:

British Library. "British Library Images Online." http://www.

Heng, Geraldine. Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

Hillenbrand, Carole. "The Legacy of the Crusades." See Crusades, ed. Madden.

Lock, Peter. The Routledge Companion to the Crusades. London: Routledge, 2006.

Madden, Thomas F. The Crusades: The Essential Readings. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2002.

---. The New Concise History of the Crusades. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005.

---, ed. Crusades: The Illustrated History. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2004.

Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Oxford History of the Crusades. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades. New York: Harper and Row, 1964.

Tyerman, Christopher. God's War: A New History of the Crusades. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2006.

---. The Invention of the Crusades. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.

Wheatcroft, Andrew. Infidels: A History of the Conflict Between Christendom and Islam. New York: Random House, 2004.















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