Competing Voices from the Crusades

Fighting Words

by Andrew Holt, James Muldoon


A collection of eye-witness accounts and contemporary reports like no other - side-by-side extracts from Christian, Muslim and Byzantine participants in the Crusades.

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Cover image for Competing Voices from the Crusades

August 2008


Pages 288
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars

Uniquely multi-perspective, the anthology juxtaposes the recorded experiences and views of participants on the opposing sides in the Crusades. Each chapter focuses on an event, such as the Crusader massacre of the inhabitants of Jerusalem in 1099 and the Siege of Damascus in 1148, and is supported by commentary. Including some sources never before translated into English, the collection applies new perspectives to a popular and much-studied topic.

In tone and range, the anthology occupies the middle ground between flimsy popular works lacking source analysis and heavy-duty scholarly works too narrow in scope to appeal to anyone but the specialist. It is perfect for college undergraduates, high school students and readers with a general interest in medieval history. The carefully-chosen contrasting contemporary views of key events, including eyewitness accounts, memoirs and elite views, are laid out in a clear and easy-to-follow format with introductory texts and contextual notes. Together, they provide a unique introduction to the most controversial events of the crusades, allowing readers to formulate their own opinions of them.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: Introduction and Background to the Crusading MovementCHAPTER 2: Pope Urban II's Calling of the First Crusade- 1095CHAPTER 3: Attacks on the Jews During the First Crusade-1096-CHAPTER 4: Crusader Massacre of the Inhabitants of Jerusalem- 1099CHAPTER 5: The Siege of Damascus During the Second Crusade- 1148CHAPTER 6: Criticism of Crusading in the Wake of the Disastrous Second CrusadeCHAPTER 7: The Crusader's Loss at the Battle of Hattin-1187CHAPTER 8: Saladin's Conquest of Jerusalem-1187CHAPTER 9: The Sack of Constantinople- 1204CHAPTER 10: The Troubling Success of an Excommunicate: The Crusade of Frederick II- 1228-1229CHAPTER 11: The Troubling Failure of a Saint: The Crusade of Louis IX- 1248-1249CHAPTER 12: The Fall of Acre-1291CHAPTER 13: Daily Life in the Crusades



"This book is an interesting and ambitious concept, aiming to present Latin Christian, Muslim and Byzantine voices from the Crusades and, to quote the editors, to allow readers to determine for themselves how such events were interpreted and understood by the participants. A number of these extracts have appeared elsewhere, but often in specifically Crusading or Muslim-centred collections; to bring them together is a sensible move. The excerpts of primary source text are introducted by brief scene-setting comments and the entire collection is prefaced by a thoughtful and tersely argued summary of modern views of the Crusades. It also includes something usually ignored in textbooks - an excellent outline of Christian-Muslim conflict before the Crusades."Jonathan Phillips, Times Higher Education

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