Crusades covers seven hundred years from the First Crusade (1095-1102) to the fall of Malta (1798) and draws together scholars working on theatres of war, their home fronts and settlements from the Baltic to Africa and from Spain to the Near East and on theology, law, literature, art, numismatics and economic, social, political and military history. Routledge publishes this journal for The Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East. Particular attention is given to the publication of historical sources in all relevant languages - narrative, homiletic and documentary - in trustworthy editions, but studies and interpretative essays are welcomed too. Crusades also incorporates the Society's Bulletin.
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.
Professor Mayer's previous volume of collected studies looked at different aspects of the Crusading movement in the Holy Land and at its religious institutions, the main emphasis being on the documentary material, the proper understanding of which is essential for historical analysis. This concern is equally apparent in the present volume, but the focus now rests on the problems of government in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. He first deals with the monarchy as an institution and with the particular rulers, examining the theoretical basis of rulership and the actual realities of their position vis-à-vis the feudal nobility. The second section looks more closely at the subjects of the crown and their status. These studies also reveal the influence of the geographical situation of the Crusader states at the crossroads between the Latin, the Byzantine and the Islamic worlds.