Author: S.J. Allen
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
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.