The Crusades: The Essential Readings

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The twelve complete articles in this volume represent some of the best recent scholarship on the crusades. The collection introduces students to fundamental concepts of crusading, including the nature of the movement, the motivation of the participants, and the impact on the East. The focus is not on individual crusades but on the political, economic, spiritual, and demographic factors behind these medieval holy wars and on their consequences. A strong editorial structure guides students through the competing perspectives that have dominated scholarly discussion. An opening introduction summarizes relevant historical events and provides an overview of the historiography. Each article is then contextualized by the editor with a discussion of its significance to scholarship.