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Encountering Islam on the First Crusade


  • Date Published: July 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107156890

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About the Authors
  • The First Crusade (1095–9) has often been characterised as a head-to-head confrontation between the forces of Christianity and Islam. For many, it is the campaign that created a lasting rupture between these two faiths. Nevertheless, is such a characterisation borne out by the sources? Engagingly written and supported by a wealth of evidence, Encountering Islam on the First Crusade offers a major reinterpretation of the crusaders' attitudes towards the Arabic and Turkic peoples they encountered on their journey to Jerusalem. Nicholas Morton considers how they interpreted the new peoples, civilizations and landscapes they encountered; sights for which their former lives in Western Christendom had provided little preparation. Morton offers a varied picture of cross cultural relations, depicting the Near East as an arena in which multiple protagonists were pitted against each other. Some were fighting for supremacy, others for their religion, and many simply for survival.

    • Offers a substantial reappraisal of the relationship between Christianity and Islam at the time of the First Crusade
    • Draws together the findings of multiple schools of thought concerning Christian attitudes towards Islam
    • Presents a wealth of evidence that offers a source-based corrective to modern views of the crusades
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… essential reading for those interested in what the first crusaders thought of their enemies. … Morton's approach to his research is methodical and meticulous, making careful and comprehensive use of the sources, but without being unadventurous or plodding … The result is a thorough, wide-ranging, incisive study that opens up new lines of research, poses thought-provoking challenges to conventional wisdom, and offers novel and convincing interpretations of the source material. I recommend it highly to students and scholars of the crusades, as well as interested laypersons.' Niall Christie, The Medieval Review

    'A brilliant re-interpretation of intellectual and popular attitudes to the First Crusade. It is really original and I regard it as a major contribution.' John France, Emeritus Professor of History, Swansea University

    'This is an excellent piece of work, one that is both of the highest academic scholarship overall and accessible enough to be useful to students. It will surely be required reading for any study of or course on the First Crusade for many years to come.' Alex Mallett, Journal Medieval

    '… Morton's work is a deeply researched and thoughtful study that carefully reconstructs a mixed picture of Latin attitudes and experiences.' Thomas Asbridge, The American Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107156890
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Predicates
    2. The launch of the First Crusade
    3. The First Crusade and the conquest of Jerusalem
    4. Aftermath
    5. The impact of the crusade

  • Author

    Nicholas Morton, Nottingham Trent University
    Nicholas Morton is a lecturer in history at Nottingham Trent University. He is the author of many works on the crusades and the military orders, including The Medieval Military Orders, 1120–1314 (2012) and The Teutonic Knights in the Holy Land, 1190–1291 (2009). He also edits two books series in this field: Rulers of the Latin East and The Military Religious Orders: History, Sources, and Memory.

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