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The Oxford History of the Crusades

Edited by Jonathan Riley-Smith

Publication Date - June 2002

ISBN: 9780192803122

488 pages

Retail Price to Students: $22.95


In this collection of essays, the story of the Crusades is told as never before in an engrossing and comprehensive history that ranges from the preaching of the First Crusade in 1095 to the legacy of crusading ideals and imagery that continues today. Here are the ideas of apologists, propagandists, and poets about the Crusades, as well as the perceptions and motives of the crusaders themselves and the means by which they joined the movement.

The book's coverage ranges from the elaborate social and civic systems that arose to support the Crusades to in-depth and vivid descriptions of the battles themselves. The contributors provide keen and insightful commentary on the reactions of the Muslims to a Christian holy war. Also included are studies of crusades outside the eastern Mediterranean region as well as post-medieval crusades.

By describing the combat and homefront conditions, by evaluating the clash (and coalescence) of many cultures, by tracing a legacy that continues in our conflict-ridden present, and by documenting the enduring artistic and social changes that the Crusades wrought, A History of the Crusades offers an unsurpassed panorama of one of the great movements in western history. All students of medieval culture, religion, politics, and/or history will find in these pages a highly useful, thorough, and contemporary account of that movement.


  • Written by a team of leading scholars, headed by Jonathan Riley-Smith, a well-known and distinguished expert in the field
  • The only volume to trace the complete history of the Crusades from the First Crusade in 1095 to their legacy in the modern world
  • A series of finely crafted and succinct essays that can be read as separate theses or as part of the overall volume
  • Succeeds in conveying the excitement and intrigue surrounding this developing subject
  • Discusses the legacy of crusading ideas today in organisations such as the Freemasons
  • Covers art and architecture as well as history

About the Author(s)

Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith is Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University and has been a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, since 1994. He has published widely on medieval history and the Crusades and his books include What were the Crusades? (1977), The Crusades: idea and reality (1981), The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (1986), and The Atlas of the Crusades (1991). He was President of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East from 1990 to 1995.


"Review from previous edition makes the results of the recent academic study of the Crusades accessible to a wide section of the general public and succeeds in conveying that this is a living and developing subject, which has far from exhausted its potential"--THES

"fascinating ... a comprehensive history of the wars"--History Today

Table of Contents

    List of Plates
    List of Maps
    1. The Crusading Movement and Historians, Jonathan Riley-Smith
    2. Origins, Marcus Bull
    3. The Crusading Movement, 1096-1274, Simon Lloyd
    4. The State of Mind of Crusaders to the East, 1095-1300, Jonathan Riley-Smith
    5. Songs, Michael Routledge
    6. The Latin East, 1098-1291, Jonathan Phillips
    7. Art in the Latin East, 1098-1571, Jaroslav Folda
    8. Architecture in the Latin East, 1098-1571, Denys Pringle
    9. The Military Orders, 1120-1312, Alan Forey
    10. Islam and the Crusades, 1096-1699, Robert Irwin
    11. The Crusading Movement, 1274-1700, Norman Housley
    12. The Latin East, 1291-1669, Peter Edbury
    13. The Military Orders, 1312-1798, Anthony Luttrell
    14. Images of the Crusades in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Elizabeth Siberry
    15. Revival and Survival, Jonathan Riley-Smith
    Further Reading