The Crusades
An Encyclopedia
by Alan V. Murray, Editor
August 2006, 1314pp, 8 1/2x11
4 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-862-4
$424, £315, 354€, A606
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-863-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 1095, Pope Urban II called for an armed pilgrimage to win back the Holy Land for Christendom from Turkish domination. Over the next six centuries, territories as far apart as Palestine, the Baltic lands, and Andalusia were incorporated into Christendom by crusaders who had taken vows to wage holy war against Muslims, pagans, and heretics.

The first multivolume encyclopedia to document the history of one of the most influential religious movements of the Middle Ages—the Crusades.

The Crusades: An Encyclopedia surveys all aspects of the crusading movement from its origins in the 11th century to its decline in the 16th century. Unlike other works, which focus on the eastern Mediterranean region, this expansive four-volume encyclopedia also includes the struggle of Christendom against its enemies in Iberia, Eastern Europe, and the Baltic region, and also covers the military orders, crusades against fellow Christians, heretics, and more.

This work includes comprehensive entries on personalities such as Godfrey of Bouillon, who refused the title “King of Jerusalem,” and St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who tore up his own clothing to make symbols of the cross for crusaders, as well as key events, countries, places, and themes that shed light on everything from the propaganda that inspired crusading warriors to the ways in which they fought. Special coverage of topics such as taxation, pilgrimage, warfare, chivalry, and religious orders give readers an appreciation of the multifaceted nature of these “holy wars.”


  • 1,000 A–Z entries and texts dealing with individual crusades, people such as the kings of Jerusalem and emperors of Constantinople, places such as Jerusalem, Antioch, and Riga, institutions, literary and historiographical sources, and thematic aspects
  • 120 contributors representing 25 countries
  • A chronology of crusading expeditions
  • 54 maps of major crusades and settlements in the Holy Land, Greece, Iberia, and the Baltic lands
  • Photographs of castles and landscapes and illustrations of artworks and coins
Alan V. Murray, PhD, is lecturer in medieval studies at the University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. His published works include The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Dynastic History 1099–1125 as well as other works on the history and literature of the Crusades.


Editor's Choice 2006—Booklist, January 1, 2007

2007 Outstanding Reference Source—RUSA/ALA, January 21, 2007


"Recognizing both the complexity of the issues involved and the baggage the term carries today, the team of international scholars responsible for this new reference work successfully and dispassionately describes the individuals, places, events, and topics that cover the crusading movement. . . . While the entries are accessibly written for the general reader, they draw upon source material and secondary scholarship in a variety of languages. . . . Given its broad coverage and its accessible yet scholarly content, The Crusades: An Encyclopedia is the preferred work. Recommended for academic and large public libraries."—Booklist, Starred Review, December 1, 2006

"Recommended for academic and large public libraries."—Booklist, December 1, 2006

"The Crusades: An Encyclopedia is comprehensive in its approach and covers many concepts, terms, details and matters related to the idea of crusade in medieval thought. . . . This encyclopedia gives excellent coverage and depth to its topic. . . . The Crusades: An Encyclopedia would be a worthy addition to the reference shelves of any public or academic library."—Against the Grain, December 1, 2006

"A highly recommended, basic reference for any school where Crusades history is studied."—Midwest Book Review, March 1, 2007

"This fine encyclopedia is both an excellent introduction to the time period and its turbulence, and a useful resesarch tool for those already versed in the subject. Recommended. All levels."—Choice, March 1, 2007

"High school libraries, especially those serving AP and higher level students, and academic libraries, will want to consider this exhaustive, meticlously researched set. Recommended"—Library Media Connection, March 1, 2007

"The editors of The Crusades: An Encyclopedia have created the best reference resource in existence regarding this critical historical event. . . . This set should prove of value in high school, public, and college libraries."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, 00/00/00

"A highly accessible set that covers all aspects of the Crusades . . . Murray has edited the most comprehensive encyclopedia on the Crusades to date."—American Libraries, May 1, 2007
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