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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course explores crusade studies and the evolution of the crusades in the central middle ages.
Course description The 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 13th, 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.

Please note, for session 2017/18 this course is taught by Dr Kirsty Day in Semester 1 and Dr Gianluca Raccagni in Semester 2.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
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, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
1. A. V. Murrey (ed.) The crusades. An Encyclopedia (Oxford, 2006)
2. J. Riley Smith, What were the crusades? (London, 1977)
3. C. Tyerman, The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2005)
4. J. Riley Smith, The atlas of the crusades (New York, 1991)
5. E. Siberry, Criticism of crusading, 1095-1274 (Oxford, 1985)
6. The experience of crusading, ed. P. Edbury and J. Phillips (Cambridge 2003)
7. G. Constable, 'The place of the crusader in medieval society', Viator 28 (1998)
8. J. Riley Smith, The first crusaders (Cambridge 1997)
9. C. Hillenbrand, The crusades: Islamic perspectives (Edinburgh, 1999)
10. J. Harris, Byzantium and the crusades (London, 2003)
11. R. Chazan, God, humanity and history: the Hebrew first crusade narratives (University of California Press, 2000)
12. M. C. Lyons and D. Jackson, Saladin: the politics of the holy war (Cambridge, 1982)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and 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.
Course organiserDr Gianluca Raccagni
Course secretaryMiss Claire Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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