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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: The Crusades and the Euro-Mediterranean world of the Central Middle Ages (PGHC11389)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to provide an advance introduction to the evolution of the crusades through the central Middle Ages (11th - 13th centuries), to their interpretations by scholars and to their legacy.
Course description The crusades were 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 provide an advance introduction to some of their major themes, their evolution through the central Middle Ages (11th-13th centuries), and their interpretations by scholars. They will include topics such as management, legitimacy, criticism, the background of the participants, warfare, relations with non-Christians, non-Latin Christians and Christian dissenters, as well as the legacy of the crusades to the present day. Indeed, it will not focus only on the crusades directed to the Holy Land, but will rather take a pluralist approach that considers other theatres too, from the Iberian peninsula, to the Baltic Sea and the Byzantine world, as well as campaigns that targeted heretics and political enemies of the Papacy from within Western Christendom. The same variety will apply to the range of primary sources that will be examined, which includes Western, Jewish, Byzantine and Muslim accounts, thus considering a great variety of views and different perceptions of the phenomenon. Indeed, in the period examined by this course the crusades became quite a pervasive phenomenon of medieval society, to the extent that, in many ways, this course constitutes, through the lens of the crusades, an advance introduction to European and the Mediterranean worlds of the central Middle Ages in general.

Week 1 Introduction: what were the crusades?

Week 2 Authority, legitimacy and management: popes, kings, barons, and popular crusades [asynchronous forum seminar]

Week 3 Who were the crusaders? [synchronous seminar]

Week 4 The first crusade and the conquest of Jerusalem [asynchronous forum seminar]

Week 5 After the Muslim reconquest of Jerusalem: the later crusades against the Muslims [synchronous seminar]

Week 6 Other theatres: The Iberian peninsula and the Baltic [asynchronous forum seminar]

Week 7 Crusades against Christians: eastern Christians, heretics and the so-called political crusades [synchronous seminar]

Week 8 Muslim, Jewish and Eastern Christian views [asynchronous forum seminar]

Week 9 Warfare [synchronous seminar]

Week 10 The crusader states and their neighbours[asynchronous forum seminar]

Week 11 The legacy of the crusades [synchronous seminar]
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge of themes and issues connected to the history of the crusades, of Europe and of the Mediterranean in the central Middle Ages
  2. independently identify and pursue research topics in this period of Medieval History, exhibit an understanding for and an engagement with different conceptual approaches for the study of the crusades and Medieval History in general, engage with the relevant scholarship and analyse and contextualise primary source material
  3. demonstrate their skills in group discussion, collaborative exercises and oral presentations and - arrive at independent, well-argued, well-documented and properly referenced conclusions in their coursework essay
  4. demonstrate their skills in group discussion, collaborative exercises and oral presentations
  5. demonstrate their written skills, their analytical and theoretical skills in coursework and their ability to reflect on their reading & research and provide feedback for their peers
Reading List
C. Tyerman, The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2005)

R. I. Moore, Formation of a persecuting society: authority and deviance in Western Europe, 950-1250 (Oxford, 1987) electronic resource

J. Riley Smith. 'Crusading as an act of love', History, 65 (1980), 177-92

C. Maier, 'The roles of women in the crusade movement: a survey', Journal of medieval history, 30 (2004)

B. Weiler, 'The Negotium Terrae Sanctae in the political discourse of Latin Christendom, 1215-1311', International history review, 25 (2003)

P. Chevedden, 'The Islamic view and the Christian view of the crusades a new synthesis', History, 92 (2008)

G Dickson, 'The flagellants of 1260 and the crusades', Journal of medieval history, 15 (1989), 27-67

L. Ross, 'Frederick II: tyrant or benefactor of the Latin East?', Al-Masaq, 15 (2003)

H. Attiya, 'Knowledge of Arabic in the Crusader States in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries', Journal of medieval history, 25 (1999)

K. Molin, 'The non-military functions of crusader fortifications, 1187- circa 1380', Journal of medieval history, 23 (1997)

H. Takayama, 'Frederick's crusade: an example of Christian-Muslim displomacy', Mediterranean historical review, 25 (2010), 169-85, electronic resource

P. O'Banion, 'What has Iberia to do with Jerusalem? Crusade and the Spanish route to the Holy Land in the twelfth century', Journal of medieval history, 34 (2008)

A. Hoose, 'Francis of Assisi's way of peace? His conversion and mission to Egypt', Catholic historical review, 96 (2010)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The study of the past gives students a unique understanding of the present that will enable them to succeed in a broad range of careers. The transferable skills gained from this course include:
- understanding of complex issues and how to draw valid conclusions from the past
- ability to analyse the origins and development of historiographical debates on early modern Italian history
- a command of bibliographical and library- and/or IT-based online and offline research skills
- a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
- ability to question and problematize evidence; considering the relationship between evidence and interpretation
- understanding ethical dimensions of research and their relevance for human relationships today
- ability to marshal arguments lucidly, coherently and concisely, both orally and in writing
- ability to deliver a paper or a presentation in front of peer audiences
- ability to design and execute pieces of written work and to present them suitably, as evidenced by the final assessment essay of 3,000 words
KeywordsCrusades Euro Med Middle Ages Mediterranean
Course organiserDr Michael Carr
Tel: (0131 6)50 2554
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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