"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Second Crusade

I have not infrequently bemoaned the tendentious way in which the Crusades are often handled, especially at the popular level. But we are, slowly but surely, seeing a steady stream of solid studies over the last several years by reputable scholars, as I have frequently noted on here. Set for December release is another book that will shed further light: J.T. Roche and J.M. Jensen, eds., The Second Crusade: Holy War on the Periphery of Latin Christendom (Brepols, 2013), 300pp.

About this book we are told:
A seminal article published by Giles Constable in 1953 focused on the genesis and expansion in scope of the Second Crusade with particular attention to what has become known as the Syrian campaign. His central thesis maintained that by the spring of 1147 the Church “viewed and planned” the Second Crusade a general Christian offensive against the Baltic pagan Wends and the Muslims of the Iberian Peninsula and the Holy Land. His work remains extremely influential and provides the framework for the recent major works published on this extraordinary mid twelfth-century phenomenon. This volume aims to readdress scholarly predilections for concentrating on the venture in the Holy Land and for narrowly focusing on the accepted targets of the crusade. It aims instead to place established, contentious, and new events and concepts associated with the enterprise in a wider ideological, chronological, geopolitical, and geographical context.

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