The Crusades and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1095-1291
Value: one unit
Prof. Jonathan Phillips
Teaching:Taught through weekly two-hour seminars
Assessment:3-hour exam (70%), best two of three coursework essays (20%), oral presentation (10%)
The triumph of the First Crusade (1099) resulted in the establishment of a Latin Christian community in the Levant for almost two hundred years. This course is primarily concerned to examine how the settlers maintained their hold on a region which was spiritually, economically and politically important to the Byzantine empire and the Muslim world as well. The reaction of these groups to the crusades and the development of their relationship with the settlers is an integral part of the subject. The 'jihad' became the channel for Muslim opposition and the Latins discovered that their own resources were insufficient to meet this threat and they appealed for help to Western Europe. The response and the consequences of this reaction for settlers' tenure of the Holy Land will be analysed. The Frankish way of life will be studied; its institutions, the economic position of the Christian settlements; the role of women, and whether the Latin states represent an early form of western colonialism will be discussed. The preaching and preparation of crusading expeditions, the evolution of the crusading idea, crusading warfare and criticism of crusading will also be studied. The course will utilize a variety of primary material from European, Byzantine, Muslim and Syriac sources in translation. A booklet containing copies of these will be provided.