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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The Crusades and Medieval Society (HIST10348)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaHistory Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe crusades are a very distinctive and extremely significant aspect of the medieval world, whose influence is still deeply felt to the present day. This course aims to introduce students to some of their major themes, as well as their evolution through time from the 11th century to the end of the Middle Ages, and their interpretations by scholars. These major themes will include topics such as management, legitimacy, criticism of the crusades both within and outside Western Christendom, the background of the participants, warfare, the crusader states, as well as the legacy of the crusades. The course will also consider some key expeditions, from the conquest of Jerusalem to the late medieval campaigns. Moreover, it will not focus only on the crusades directed to the Holy Land and the Middle East, but will take a pluralist approach that considers also other theatres, from Spain to the Baltic Sea, as well as the crusades that involved Byzantium and the "internal crusades", that is, the crusades that targeted heretics and political enemies inside Western Christendom. Indeed, the same variety will apply to a series of primary sources that will be examined, which includes Western, Jewish, Byzantine and Muslim accounts, and thus portraying a great variety of views and different perceptions of the phenomenon.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting Students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Demonstrate, by way of essay, oral presentations and examination, awareness of key aspects of the crusades and of the methodological approaches used by historians, and an ability to analyse selected primary source material.
Assessment Information
An essay of c. 3,000 words, 30% of total assessment
Oral presentation, 10% of total assessment
Two-hour exam paper with seven questions, of which students will answer two, 60% of total assessment
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week 1 What were the crusades?

Week 2 Authority, legitimacy and management

Week 3 Who were the crusaders?

Week 4 Muslim, Jewish and Eastern Christian views

Week 5 Crusading warfare

Week 6 The first crusade and the conquest of Jerusalem

Week 7 The crusader states, their neighbours and the second crusade

Week 8 After the Muslim reconquest of Jerusalem: the later crusades

Week 9 Other theatres: Iberian peninsula and the Baltic

Week 10 Other theatres 2: Schismatics, heretics and political crusades

Week 11 The legacy of the crusades
Transferable skills Demonstrate independent gathering and critical consideration of relevant evidence; independent management of personal timetable and workload; ability to express ideas in a coherent and cogent fashion and write cogently and persuasively.
Reading list A. V. Murrey (ed.) The crusades. An Encyclopedia (Oxford, 2006)
3. J. Riley Smith, What were the crusades? (London, 1977)
4. C. Tyerman, The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2005)
5. J. Riley Smith, The atlas of the crusades (New York, 1991)
6. E. Siberry, Criticism of crusading, 1095-1274 (Oxford, 1985)
7. The experience of crusading, ed. P. Edbury and J. Phillips (Cambridge 2003)
8. G. Constable, 'The place of the crusader in medieval society', Viator 28 (1998)
9. J. Riley Smith, The first crusaders (Cambridge 1997)
10. C. Hillenbrand, The crusades: Islamic perspectives (Edinburgh, 1999)
11. J. Harris, Byzantium and the crusades (London, 2003)
12. R. Chazan, God, humanity and history: the Hebrew first crusade narratives (University of California Press, 2000)
13. M. C. Lyons and D. Jackson, Saladin: the politics of the holy war (Cambridge, 1982)
14. R. C. Smail, Crusading warfare, 1097-1193 (Cambridge 1995)
15. C. Marshall, Warfare in the Latin East, 1192-1291 (Cambridge 1991)
16. CT. E. Lawrence, Crusader castles (Cambridge, 1994)
17. P. M. Holt, The Age of the Crusades. The Near East from the eleventh century to 1517 (London, 1986)
18. N. Housley, The later crusades (Oxford, 1992)
19. R. A. Fletcher, 'Reconquest and crusade in Spain 1050-1150'. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 37 (1987)
20. N. Housley, The Italian crusades (Oxford 1982)
21. S. Lloyd, 'Political crusades in England, 1215-7 band 1263-5', in Crusade and settlement, ed. P. W. Edbury (Cardiff, 1985)
22. Oxford illustrated history of the crusades, ed. J. Riley-Smith (Oxford, 1995)
23. J. Riley-Smith, The crusades, Christianity and Islam (New York, 2006)
24. E. Christiansen, The northern crusades (London, 1980)
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern 200 Hours
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Gianluca Raccagni
Course secretaryMiss Clare Guymer
Tel: (0131 6)50 4030
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