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HS5219 Byzantium and the First Crusade

Instructor:  Professor Jonathan Harris

Term 1. To be taught at Royal Holloway, Egham. Tuesday afternoons.

This course traces the response of the rulers of the Byzantine Empire to the First Crusade and to the establishment of the Latin East. Early classes will focus on the background of the empire as it was in the middle of the eleventh century, its relations with the Latin West and the accession and reign of Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118). We shall then turn to the lead-up to and events of the crusade. A range of Byzantine and Western source materials will be examined in translation in an attempt to determine how the Byzantines viewed the crusaders, what they considered their aims to be, what policies they adopted towards them, and—perhaps most important of all—what mistakes they made in dealing with this unprecedented phenomenon.

 

Introductory Reading:

Angold, Michael, The Byzantine Empire, 1025-1204: A Political History, 2nd edn (London: Longman, 1997)

Harris, Jonathan, Byzantium and the Crusades (London: Hambledon, 2003)

Phillips, Jonathan, Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades (London: Bodley Head, 2009)

 

Further Reading

What secondary works you read depends on what you have studied in the past. If you are completely new to Byzantium you might like to look at some of these general introductions:

GREGORY, T.E., A History of Byzantium, 2005 (949.501/502 GRE)

HARRIS, J., Constantinople: Capital of Byzantium, 2007 (949.61 HAR)

HERRIN, J., Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire, 2007 (949.502 HER)

MANGO, C. (ed.), Oxford History of Byzantium, 2002 (949.501/502 OXF)

 

It would be helpful to read up on the Byzantine background and on the events of 1025-1071:

ANGOLD, M., ‘The Byzantine empire, 1025-1118’, in The New Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. 4: 1024-c.1198, Part II, ed. D. Luscombe and J. Riley-Smith, 2004, pp. 217-53 (940.1 NEW)

BRYER, A.A.M., 'The first encounter with the West AD 1050-1204', Byzantium: An Introduction, ed. P. Whitting, 1981, pp.85-110 (949.501 WHI)

GREGORY, T.E., A History of Byzantium, 2005, pp. 237-68 (949.501/502 GRE)

HARRIS, J., Constantinople: Capital of Byzantium, 2007 (949.61 HAR)

HERRIN, J., Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire, 2007 (949.502 HER)

MAGDALINO, P., 'The Byzantine background to the First Crusade' (MOODLE)

MANGO, C. (ed.), Oxford History of Byzantium, 2002, pp. 169-208 (949.501/502 OXF)

STEPHENSON, P., 'Political History, 1025-1204', in Palgrave Advances: Byzantine History, ed. J. Harris, 2005, pp. 39-57 (949.501/502 PAL)

TREADGOLD, W., A Concise History of Byzantium, 2001, pp. 165-96 (949.501/502 TRE)

TREADGOLD, W., A History of the Byzantine State and Society, 1997, pp. 583-637 (949.502 TRE)

 

It would also be an idea to read a narrative account of the First Crusade, if you are not familiar with it, for example:

ASBRIDGE, T., The First Crusade: A New History, 2004 (940.10 ASB)

HOUSLEY, N., Contesting the Crusades, 2006, pp. 24-47 (909.07 HOU)

JOTISCHKY, A, Crusading and the Crusader States, 2004, pp. 23-72 (940.18 JOT)

PHILLIPS, J., The Crusades, 1095-1197, 2002, pp. 1-26 (940.18 PHI)

PHILLIPS, J., Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades, 2009 (909/07 PHI)

RICHARD, J., The Crusades c.1071-c.1291, 1999, pp. 1-76 (940.18 RIC)

RILEY-SMITH, J. (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades, 1993, pp. 13-65 (940.18 OXF)

RUNCIMAN, S., A History of the Crusades: 1. The First Crusade, 1951 (940.18 RUN). Rather dated and containing some errors but still a good read.

 

Finally, a general survey of some of the themes of the course:

WRIGHT, C., ‘On the margins of Christendom: The impact of the Crusades on Byzantium’, in The Crusades and the Near East: Cultural Histories, ed. C. Kostick, 2011, pp. 55-82 (909.07 CRU)

   
 
 
 

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