School of History

HST5111 - The Crusades (1095-1291)

This module examines the Crusades from the perspective of both Christians and Muslims, reconstructing the experiences and attitudes of those on either side of this epic conflict.

Module code: HST5111

Credits: 15
Semester: SEM 2

Module Convenor: Dr Thomas Asbridge

In the eleventh century, a vast Christian army, summoned to holy war by the pope, rampaged through the Muslim world of the eastern Mediterranean, seizing possession of Jerusalem, a city revered by both faiths. Over the two hundred years that followed this First Crusade, Islam and the West fought for dominion of the Holy Land, clashing in a succession of brutal wars, both firm in the belief that they were at God's work. In this module, students will examine this epic struggle from the perspective of both Christians and Muslims, reconstructing the experiences and attitudes of those on either side of the conflict. Students will be asked to consider what drove Muslims and Christians alike to embrace the ideals of jihad and crusade, to assess how these holy wars reshaped the medieval world, and to reflect on why they continue to echo in human memory to this day.

Assessment: Source analysis (1000) [25%] and Essay (3000) [75%]
Level: 5