(Originally Published on 7/27/2017- Updated on 8/9/2017)
In a recent blog post, I requested the lists of several medieval historians ranking the ten “most important” books on the crusades. Currently, 21 historians have submitted their lists (with more scheduled to come in). Based on a count of the lists submitted so far, and not including books mentioned in the annotated commentary provided by each historian, I have pulled together the following ranking based on whose books have received the most mentions. Continue reading →
As a follow up to a recent post on the scholarship of retired Cambridge University scholar Jonathan Riley-Smith, I also wanted to highlight (briefly) the work of UNC-Chapel Hill professor Marcus Bull(formerly at the University of Bristol), another influential crusade historian that has made an important argument concerning the religious roots of the crusading movement. With a focus on religious and social history, Bull has (like Riley-Smith) convincingly emphasized the religious appeal of crusading to knights in an important essay and book- both published in 1993.In these works, Bull refuted the long held Erdmann thesis, which argued that the rise of the crusading movement could be explained by papal schemes, inspired by the Peace and Truce of God movements, to simply export violent and rowdy trouble making knights to the Holy Land, thereby restoring peace at home and securing the resurgent papacy’s political power in Europe. Bull takes a different approach as he notes that where the Erdmann approach is most “open to criticism is in its emphasis upon the priorities of a small number of important prelates, canonists and theologians,” to the exclusion of the overwhelming majority of those who actually went on the crusade.