School of History

HST7615 THE FIRST CRUSADE AND THE FOUNDATION OF THE CRUSADE STATES

Module code: HST7615

Credits: 30

At the end of eleventh century, tens of thousands of western European Christians marched on the Holy Land, bent upon the recovery of the sacred city of Jerusalem from its Muslim overlords. Against all the odds, this extraordinary campaign – now known to history as the First Crusade – culminated in a Christian victory and the bloody conquest of the Near East. This module explores the causes and consequences of this infamous holy war, while also considering the early history of the so-called crusader states that it spawned. Students will approach these subjects from a range of perspectives, drawing upon Latin, Arabic, Greek and Armenian primary sources in translation. They will also engage with a number of contentious and current debates, questioning the ‘eyewitness’ nature of crusade narratives, the extremity of crusading violence and the supposed role of the crusades in a broader clash of civilizations.