"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, July 10, 2017

The Crusades, Part MMCCXVIII

The local Catholic radio station, Redeemer Radio, is interviewing me later this morning (tune in at 7am!) about my article last month in the Catholic Herald about ISIS propaganda and Crusades history.

So, for those who are seeking some places to begin in reading Crusades history, I suggest you start here with the works of Jonathan Riley-Smith, arguably the pioneer in contemporary Crusades scholarship until his death last year. Of his many books noted in that review essay, I would, if you pressed me to recommend only one, suggest--because it is both accessible and short, but with enough detail to point you onward to other sources if you wish--his The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam, from 2008.

One of Riley-Smith's students, now teaching and well respected in North America, is Thomas Madden, and his book, The Concise History of the Crusadesnoted here, is also a good place to begin, though it does not focus on the contemporary historiographical issues as much as Riley-Smith. Madden also authored this short but useful article.

For those wanting an introduction to Arab views of the Crusades, which are fascinating and highly counter-intuitive, go here. For more generally Islamic views of the Crusades, go here.

For much more specialized scholarship, follow the links here.

Finally, for those interested in the very challenging and ever-changing historiography of the Crusades, then Giles Constable's article is very valuable indeed.

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